NEWIEE Western New England Chapter explores MGM Springfield’s sustainability practices

On May 16, the Western New England Chapter of New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE) hosted a tour at MGM Springfield’s resort and casino to learn about the company’s sustainability practices. Attendees from ISO New England, Tighe & Bond, GZA, and Exponent were led through the facility, the first gaming site in the world to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification, the highest rating the Green Building Council awards for new construction projects.

Viewers walked through the fifth floor’s network of boilers, smart energy infrastructure, and air management units, hearing about the ways the casino captures, treats, and reuses water; generates and monitors electricity onsite; and brings in cool air from a roof vent system, saving money and energy on air conditioning. LED lights are used throughout and even the windows are efficient. MGM has other environmental elements more obvious to the public, including preferred parking spaces for energy-efficient vehicles and electric car-charging stations in the parking garage. They are also discussing the possible installation of a solar canopy on top (but may end up needing a helipad for high rollers instead!).

NEWIEE tour guests at MGM outside of the preserved Springfield Armory building, now a comedy club!

NEWIEE guests walked through the entire casino, seeing the ways in which the construction incorporated into the design several of Springfield’s historic buildings, brick walls, church windows, and fun found artifacts. In a gesture to the culture of the area, the whimsical ceiling light fixtures on the gaming floor were created as a tip of the hat to beloved native author Dr. Seuss. Paints, carpets, and other finishing materials were selected to be low or free of VOCs and other chemicals for the health of visitors and employees.

For a business as energy-consuming as a casino, MGM has worked hard to offset their impact on the environment. They also persevered to honor the community into which they moved.

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