The Green Building Initiative has announced Desert Diamond West Valley Casino in Maricopa County, Arizona, as only the second casino in the U.S. to earn Green Globes for New Construction Certification status. Green Globes is a nationally-recognized eco-friendly and sustainable design rating assessment and certification program.
The new 50,000 square foot casino property, which is phase I of a future resort complex, is owned and operated by the Tohono O’odham Nation, and was designed by national casino resort designers, HBG (Hnedak Bobo Group).
Treena Parvello, director of public relations and communications for the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, said “We are thrilled that our continuing commitment to the environment has earned Desert Diamond Casino a prestigious Green Globe. Having HBG as a partner on this project helped us to ensure that we created a space that is not only sustainable, but also fully functional in addition to complementing the area in which it was built. We couldn't be more pleased."
“Working with the Tohono O’odham Nation, Desert Diamond Casino and The Green Building Initiative in this endeavor has been very fulfilling; and our team is enthusiastic about integrating more sustainable features and efficiencies into the resort’s future phases,” says Rob Lee, AIA, principal at HBG and project manager for the project.
“This level of sustainability shows a commitment by the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise to the environment,” said David Eldridge, Green Globes assessor, “and it demonstrates the abilities of HBG and the other members of the design and construction team to implement the desired features as part of the project.”
Project management processes, site location, planning, design and sustainable material selection were key drivers for the Green Globes certification for Desert Diamond West Valley Casino.
Among a few of the standouts are:
• An integrated design process (IDP) – Performance goals were set and reviewed during multiple stages of construction including site design, envelope requirements, materials, energy use, water use, and overall sustainability.
• The development area – The project was built within a half mile of a commercial zone, away from sensitive areas, out of the flood plain and on a previously developed site. Credit was also awarded for participation in the planned development surrounding an important entertainment and sports district on the west side of the Phoenix Metro area.
• Ecological impacts – The project included an erosion control plan, reduction of the heat island effect, improvement of the local ecology, minimized disturbance of the site and minimized impact to natural species and habitats.
• Landscaping – Significant planning went into soil type, plant locations and the selection of drought tolerant plants that are native to the area.
• Stormwater management – The casino design included control measures for the volume of stormwater, as well as methods to improve the quality of stormwater for reclamation.
• Exterior light pollution – The lighting design included reduction of light trespass (spilling over into other areas) and reduction of glare with efficient fixtures in the parking lot. The phase I casino is planned to revert to use as warehouse space once the larger casino resort experience opens. Because of the transitional nature of the phase I casino, designers used an abundance of sustainable materials, including carpeting made from recycled materials. Paint was used instead of the typical vinyl wall covering, and fixtures were designed to be transportable to the future casino development.
The Green Globe certification program recognizes the commitment to environmentally efficient design, construction and operational practices and provides customized guidance in the implementation of high-performance interiors and buildings.