Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 | 3 a.m.
All eyes are turned toward CityCenter as the green giant prepares to open next month.
MGM Mirage has put a lot of effort in reducing its gargantuan footprint: installing custom low-flow shower heads on a massive scale, setting up an air-conditioning system designed to push warm and smoky air up and using recycled heat from its on-site natural gas plant to heat water.
And so it’s really not all that surprising that the U.S. Green Building Council awarded CityCenter two more Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications, both gold, for the hotel and condo Mandarin Oriental and the residential Veer Towers.
CityCenter has earned gold LEED certifications for the Crystals retail center, Aria’s hotel and Vdara’s convention center, theater, and hotel.
And as a cherry atop these accolades, the Forest Stewardship Council recently honored CityCenter as this year’s best commercial project in its fifth annual designing and building awards.
CityCenter earned the award for its use of sustainably harvest wood that had been certified by the forest council.
“From its inception to design, development and construction, we had one single goal in mind for CityCenter: Create a destination that is not only built in an environmentally sustainable manner, but also operates every day with an equal commitment to conserving natural resources,” CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin said in a statement. “We’re very close to sharing with the world a remarkable demonstration that a community can be both beautiful and sustainable.”
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More green money is headed to Nevada, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced last week.
This time, though, much of the Recovery Act money has been set aside to analyze green job growth instead of funding projects or training.
Nevada was awarded $3.7 million to update its analysis of the labor markets while collaborating with Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Utah.
Part of the money will be used to improve national job projections and help states provide information on future industry demands.
Solis also announced that the Southern Nevada Workforce Investment Board is receiving $97,000 for a “greenformation” project to develop the YouthBuild Las Vegas program, which trains and places young workers in green jobs to weatherize older homes to make them energy efficient. Participants will have the chance to earn a building analyst certification through the Building Performance Institute.
The program is a partnership of HomeFree Nevada, UNLV, Nevada Conservation League and NV Energy.
Solis said she thinks green jobs will be a key contributor to rebuilding the economy.
“The investment will not only jump-start the economy, but it will lay the foundation of rebuilding the economy,” she said.
And Nevada needs that. But the key is creating long-term jobs with room for growth for workers, not just short-term construction jobs.
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Nevada’s jobless rate dipped a bit in October, down from 13.3 percent to 13 percent. The same held true for Las Vegas, which experienced nearly a full percentage point improvement. In that case, Las Vegas’ jobless rate fell to 13 percent from a record 13.9 percent.
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Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is accepting applications for its annual 2010 Defense Secretary Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest federal recognition given to companies that support their workers in the National Guard or military Reserves.
Guardsmen and Reserve members and their families may nominate employers who have provided exceptional support of military employees.
Sierra Pacific Resources (now NV Energy) and MGM Mirage are past recipients.
Nominations may be submitted at freedomaward.mil through Jan. 18.
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Solar Millennium’s recent announced it is cutting the amount of water it uses by 90 percent at its solar plants. Since, it has received commendations from the Nevada Conservation League and the Sierra Club.
The solar company will be switching to dry-cooled solar thermal technology instead of conventional wet-cooling systems.
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The Venetian renewed its contract with Veolia Energy to manage its energy infrastructure. The company operates and maintains the central plant and heating and air-conditioning equipment to minimize energy use and also maintains the pumps, heat exchangers and filtration systems for the resort’s pools, fountains and hot water.
Nicole Lucht covers health care, workplace, energy and banking issues for In Business Las Vegas and its sister publication, the Las Vegas Sun. She can be reached at 259-8832 or at [email protected]