Walser Subaru – Burnsville, MN

Last week, Walser Subaru in Burnsville, Minnesota became the first LEED certified Subaru dealership in the country. The dealership opened in November 2008 and although auto sales plummeted for the rest of the industry, Subaru ended 2008 with an increase in sales. However, the energy efficient features used in the dealership helped Walser Subaru to keep its operating costs down. The dealership features a white roof to cut down on sunlight absorption and uses wind power to meet all of its energy needs.

Walser Subaru also implemented several water efficient features. Low-flow plumbing features were installed and the landscaping is watered via a high-tech system. An onsite weather station monitors the external conditions and when the winds and humidity are low, the vegetation is watered.

CityCenter – Las Vegas, Nevada

The LEED certifications for CityCenter in Las Vegas continue. Earlier this year, the ARIA Resort hotel, the ARIA Resort convention center, the Vdara Hotel, and the Crystals multi-use complex all received LEED Gold certification. Today, CityCenter announced that the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and the Veer Towers have also received LEED Gold certification. CityCenter, an 18-million square foot multi-use complex, now has six LEED Gold certified properties on site.

The complex has an on-site natural gas co-generation plant, the resort limos are powered with compressed natural gas (CNG), the base of the slot machines in the many onsite casinos double as air conditioning units, and a massive site-wide recycling program is in use.

The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is the first Mandarin Oriental hotel in the world to receive LEED certification. Opening on December 4, the super luxurious resort has 392 guest rooms and 225 residential suites. Although CityCenter is on the famous Las Vegas Strip, the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas does not have a casino.

Although the sustainable features used at CityCenter are commendable, the fact that the project helped 10,000 construction workers gain valuable on the job green building experience. Although construction at CityCenter is ongoing, the facility will surely have more LEED certifications in its future.

Photo: snowpeak/Flickr

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