The Palazzo resort, a recently-opened Las Vegas Sands creation on the Strip, is much more than a deluxe all-suite hotel tower, large casino, upscale shops and several gourmet dining spots under one roof. A few know that it is also in the forefront of eco-friendly design not only in town but also internationally.
The U.S. Green Building Council just labeled it the largest LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certified building in the whole world. It earned the institute's silver certificate with its energy-saving design, construction and everyday technologies. To incorporate all that into a 50-story structure with 3,000 plus rooms requires a major commitment and lots of intricate planning and knowledge-based work. But they did it and deserve a congratulatory pat on the back.
During construction the structural steel used was about 95% recycled content and concrete had roughly 26% of the same and the developer recycled 42,000 of building materials. That's just to get started with the examples that earned the Palazzo the LEED.
A solar heating system keeps the property's pools comfortable year round and in the summer the extra solar energy collected is diverted to help its hot water network. Out in the landscaped areas moisture sensors control irrigation and produce about a 75% cutback in water usage. Southern Nevada is currently under a drought watch and this type of conservation measure is critical to combat its effects.
The suites have an AC control system that automatically dials the temperature higher when the guests are out and will reset to normal when they come back, hopefully still having some of the money they left with in their pockets.
Overall, these design and conservation steps taken are estimated to account for 30-40% in energy savings and over 50% in water savings. In the long term the extra cost will pay for itself, and then some.