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Rivers Casino
Located in Des Plaines, River Casino is the first casino in the world to have been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification.

LEED Gold Certification of Rivers Casino is based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact both the project and the local community. 


Some of these sustainability features include:

  • 70 percent of the electrical energy consumed by the building over a two-year period is being offset with green power.
  • Skylights and Clerestory windows add natural light for guest and employee comfort while saving on lighting costs.
  • Interior living green walls provide better air quality and comfort. (pictured below)
Photo credit: Pepper Construction
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures and sensor-controlled faucets reduce water usage by 40 percent.
  • Paint and adhesive materials with low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) provide a healthier environment for workers and future inhabitants.
  • Casino operations include a single-stream recycling plan, reducing the amount of waste delivered to landfills.
  • Occupant sensor-controlled lighting provides lighting when needed and saves energy at other times.
  • Complimentary electric car charging stations are provided for customer use. Free valet parking is available to low-emissions and fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • The stormwater treatment system removes 98.6 percent of total suspended solids from site runoff.
  • Installation of concrete drives, landscaping, a multi-level parking structure and white roof reduce the urban heat island effect (photo below)
Photo credit: Rivers Casino, Des Plaines, IL
  • The Casino is close to public transportation to promote efficient travel.
  • Bike racks are provided for workers and customers and preferred parking is provided for alternate fuel vehicles.
  • Landscaping is largely made up of native and drought tolerant plant species, eliminating the need for irrigation and saving both potable water and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • HVAC system upgrades are intended to provide 16% energy savings, more fresh air supply above a standard design and more comfort for occupants for this building which operates 24 hours a day.
  • Systems commissioning is provided to realize operational savings planned in the design. Measurement and verification methods are planned to confirm and assure continued efficient operation of building systems.
  • LED light fixtures in the parking garage and other areas throughout the Casino building (pictured below) save on energy usage as well as maintenance costs.
    Photo credit: Rivers Casino, Des Plaines, IL


Like to have your property featured in an upcoming newsletter? Please contact Heather Teegarden 
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Last month, we re-posted the Part 1 of this 2-part blog series that highlighted some of the ways to help get your supplier to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on a report that BSR produced. The focus on part 1 was where to start when trying to reduce GHGs; part 2 will focus on moving forward with your supplier.


Once you establish that you are committed to reducing GHGs in the supply chain, and can provide the direction to do so, then it's time for you to start thinking of ways you can move forward with your suppliers.



Reward the Suppliers


What happens when you have suppliers that want to reduce GHG emissions, but the right incentives aren't there? Maybe it's time to start considering potential incentive programs, such as rewarding suppliers for investment and performance in GHG reduction. Providing that extra motivation for suppliers might be the key to allowing reductions to soar.


One such way is connecting the suppliers to the benefits of GHG reductions. Sometimes the cost savings of reduction (IKEA and Dell are just two of the many companies that take this route) or potential government incentives are not as apparent right away and you might have to show the supplier their options to help motivate them.


Another way to keep your suppliers engaged is by rewarding them directly from your business. BSR lists some possible ways to reward your suppliers - both in financial and non-financial ways:

  • Sponsor energy efficiency audits, training, and project planning for the suppliers who are willing to commit
  • Initiate a pilot project with a leading supplier and provide support throughout - this can be later used as an example for other suppliers
  • Get your public relations team involved and generate publicity through news articles to help make the supplier more visible to other potential clients
  • Integrate energy metrics and scorecards in procurement conversations with suppliers

Build the Market

While you might have the plans and the direction of where your company is going, sometimes efficiency services are still developing in many regions and long-term GHG reduction projects face many barriers. By helping build that market through partnerships, you can help create an opportunity to allow future emissions reduction projects to flourish.


Some of the ways to help build the reductions market is by making the most of existing opportunities and by engaging in industry collaborations. While a region might still be developing the GHG reductions market, as a buyer you can look to see what expertise, information systems, and financing is already in place in those regions.

Ways Forward

It's never too early to start looking ahead. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as your company moves forward:

  • Research will help shed light on opportunities with the greatest potential
  • Sharing of your company's best practices is essential to help engage other companies
  • Continuation of cross-sector partnerships to help to standardize GHG measurement


If you want to learn more about sustainable supply chains, you can do so by reading Strategic Sustainability Consulting's white paper.


Read full article


Reprinted with permission. Originally Published: July 15, 2014
Green Insurance
Protecting A Property's Reputation in the Event of Decertification  
Protecting Property's Reputation



Building and operating green multifamily buildings is not only a sound practice from a societal standpoint, it is a smart move from a business point of view.


Increasingly, owners and managers view buildings that are green as both more cost-efficient and more attractive to potential renters and buyers.


Clearly, a green reputation confers benefits. But it also carries risks. 


When a green building is the focus of adverse publicity, a company may experience a reputational crisis. Dealing with that crisis, and restoring the company's good name, is the idea behind green reputation coverage.


While green reputation insurance isn't new,  Fulcrum Insurance Programs' partner AIG has long had an interest in protecting owners and property managers who have determined their buildings will be green. So says Lance J. Ewing, vice president, industry practice group leader, for real estate, hospitality and leisure at New York City-based AIG.


"Whether they're retrofitting existing buildings to be green, or building from the ground up, AIG is there for them in serving their insurance needs, and not just green reputation needs," he says. "The whole concept in offering this coverage is to give an additional endorsement to protect the green building."


The reputation coverage AIG offers is akin to crisis response insurance, he adds. In a cyber-security threat situation, or an active shooter situation, a building owner or manager will have a crisis response need. If a building is decertified as being green, management may also have a crisis on its hands, one resulting from the adverse publicity surrounding decertification.

AIG's green reputation coverage promises "counsel, personnel or services to restore a management company's or owner's reputation," Ewing says. "We can turn bad situations into great situations for building owners or management companies when there's negative publicity related to green buildings themselves.


"The green status of a building is another arrow in a company's quiver. This insurance coverage is sort of a 'sleep at night' coverage level that will respond to a crisis or any negative publicity that may arise."


Any company with a building that is green, and meets certain underwriting standards to make it eligible for this endorsement to a liability-casualty policy, may be a potential candidate for the insurance coverage, Ewing says.


Super-green views

How does the super-green build-to-hold development community feel about green reputation coverage? To find out, MHN turned to one such developer, Rockville, Md.-based The Tower Companies, which pioneered the construction of USGBC LEED-certified residential and commercial properties. Ninety percent of The Tower Companies' properties are LEED certified.


Jeffrey S. Abramson, partner in The Tower Companies, observes that while his company has not seen green reputation coverage per se, such an insurance product, "doesn't seem to offer anything substantially different than what's offered in a well architected cadre of insurance policies set up to consider the risks of today's real estate owner with 'green coverage.'

"Standard pollution combined with broad general liability and a green building upgrade endorsement will get you there for the most part. You may not get a 'restoration of reputation,' but that can be built into a good directors' and officers' policy, and may be more germane in the public sector."


AGPOM 's partner, Fulcrum Insurance Programs, works with insurance carriers including AIG  to provide property owners specialty insurance products for their green buildings. These properties often can qualify for insurance premium credit discounts. Click here for more information.


Read full article


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