I might be skeptical about the effects of a “green” Palazzo, but at the same time, there’s some interesting information in this article and the comments. It says Nevada is one of only two states to require that all public buildings be built or remodeled to meet LEED standards. Not one of the states I would have picked to have that requirement! I mean, they should, given that water consumption needs to be drastically reduced and the potential for solar and wind power is high, but “environmentally-friendly” and “Nevada” don’t traditionally go together. Just like Dallas, whose city council just passed an ordinance stating that all development, public and private, has to be built to the Silver level. Dallas? Go figure.

That’s one very encouraging sign about the green building phenomenon. It might be ecological modernization, it might be only a first step, but the kinds of places that are getting on board are not those traditionally thought of as “green”. Portland and Seattle may have led the charge, but there are so many other places now that are making both business and moral arguments for building green. That’s the kind of change that has to happen to make this truly a national phenomenon, and it’s great to see it taking place.

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So the Palazzo Las Vegas has achieved Silver LEED certification, meaning that it has greatly reduced energy and water usage over a regular building, including solar-heated swimming pools, lighting sensors, and waste and materials recycling. On the other hand, given that there’s a Lamborghini dealership and dozens of high-end boutiques onsite, it’s hard to say that this is really environmentally friendly. I don’t really have a quarrel with the LEED system itself; it’s designed to work on buildings, not what people do inside them. It’s just hard to associate anything about overconsumptive Las Vegas with being green.