With the rising amount of carbon emissions, government policy makers and organizations have been searching for a solution. One of the programs dedicated to environmental sustainability is LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This organization ranks buildings on a rating scale based off of efficiency, recycling, and overall “going green.” If the structure or organization increases energy efficiency and lowers their negative impact on the environment, they can receive a LEED certification. From shopping centers to hotels, these structures are an example of a new approach to sustainability.
Consumerism and sustainability are seldom used in the same sentence, but this is what Destiny USA is all about. Located in Syracuse, New York, this structure is the largest LEED Gold certified mall in the world. As a part of their drive toward eco-friendly lifestyles, the mall requires tenants to receive a LEED certification. Their commitment to energy efficiency and conservation pay off. The roof of the expansion has a system in place to collect rainwater that will be used to flush common area and tenant toilets. Also, there are retention ponds located in the parking lots on Solar Street to hold excess water and replenish the ground. In times of severe storms the roof collection system and water retention ponds will hold rainwater and reduce the volume of water sent to the city waste treatment facility. This further reduces the chance of untreated wastewater to spill over into Onondaga Lake. At 2.4 million square feet in size, Destiny USA, Syracuse’s prime entertainment spot, has had an impressive impact on the environment.
Located in Milwaukee, Miller park is exceptional because it is only the third baseball stadium to achieve LEED certification. In order to save three million gallons of water a year, every sink in the stadium has retrofitted water fixtures. The baseball stadium has also worked to completely reconfigure its ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems. Through these innovative changes, Miller Park is able to lower its carbon dioxide emissions by 1,153 metric tons every year. In comparison, this is like 220 cars being completely removed from the roadways. The stadium takes sustainability a step farther with recycling. After each baseball game, a total of ten tons of waste is recycled instead of being thrown out.
The Aria Hotel is one of Las Vegas’s top eco-friendly resorts. With a strong focus on efficiency, the hotel is able to use 2.4 million gallons less every year. To achieve this, they have installed superior showerheads, toilets and faucets. Altogether, these low-flow plumbing devices save 30 percent more water than traditional bathroom fixtures. The Aria Hotel uses reclaimed water from its cooling towers to limit dust during construction projects.
The Venetian, Sands Expo and Convention Center
Another Las Vegas structure that is committed to sustainability is the Venetian and Sands Expo and Convention Center. All three structures were built under one roof to make the largest eco-friendly building in the world. The structure uses efficient lighting systems and water recycling to lower its environmental impact. The convention center uses water efficiency measures to reduce consumption by 130 million gallons of water annually.
These unique structures represent a growing consensus that something must be done to save the planet. The greener solutions and environmentally friendly designs make each structure more efficient. From water irrigation techniques to greener energy, these hotels and shopping centers are changing the face of the planet for the better.