Rivers Casino Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Illinois casino recycles 90 percent of construction scrap while earning gold certification.

March 19, 2012
CDR Staff
Green Building Demolition

Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Ill., the newest casino in the Chicago area, has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The USGBC says Rivers Casino is the first casino in the world to achieve the LEED Gold certification.
LEED Gold Certification of Rivers Casino is based on a number of green design and construction features that positively affect both the project and the local community. These features include:

  • 90 percent of all construction scrap, more than 35,000 tons, was recycled or utilized on site - avoiding the landfill.
  • The project is a Brownfield redevelopment, which rehabilitated a previously developed site and reduces pressure on undeveloped land.
  • Casino operations include a single-stream recycling plan, reducing the amount of material delivered to landfills.
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures and sensor-controlled faucets reduce water usage by 40 percent.
  • Complimentary electric car charging stations are provided for customer use. Free valet parking is available to low-emissions and fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • The project managed site water runoff with a Surface Water Intake Protection Program (SWIPP) program during construction to prevent runoff damage to adjoining areas.
  • The project stormwater treatment system removes 98.6 percent of total suspended solids from site runoff.
  • More than 43 percent of the material for the project was sourced from within 500 miles of the project site, reducing carbon emissions from transportation of that material and supporting local economies.
  • 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.

"We are proud to be recognized as a leader in sustainable development and we hope to set an example for the rest of the gaming and entertainment industries," says Greg Carlin, CEO of Rivers Casino. "It's important to all of our team members that we are a good corporate citizen."

"Achieving LEED Gold was challenging and expensive, but in the long run, the effort will improve the environment and reduce our operating costs," says Neil Bluhm, Chairman, Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, LLC.

Rivers Casino, which opened in July 2011, was designed with a sustainability plan to achieve its LEED certification for energy, lighting, water and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable elements.

"This honor really belongs to our entire development team, including Klai Juba Architects, Cleo Design, DMAC Architecture, Development Management Associates, our general contractor, Pepper Construction and the city of Des Plaines," says Carlin.

"The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health," says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "The work of innovative building projects such as Rivers Casino is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement."