Caesar’s Resort at Suffolk Downs highlights landscape design; go green to gain LEED Gold Certification

2013-3-8-CAESZARS

Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs, its landscape architect Sasaki Associates and architect of record Elkus Manfredi today highlighted their vision for a resort design that will restore many of the original natural environmental features of the property, significantly increasing the amount of green space on the site and improving water quality in surrounding waterfront areas as part of their overall commitment to excellence for sustainable/green design for casino development.

The overall project design creates a unique arrival sequence and visitor experience, which embraces the natural ecology of the site.  Importantly, the project will reduce impervious pavement on the site by 30 percent, increasing pervious surfaces by at least nine acres while creating a 60 percent reduction in surface parking spaces, thus creating a volume of green space that along with the track is larger than Boston Common.  This green space will allow for greater water infiltration, which will contribute to improved storm water management and benefit water quality in Sales Creek, the Belle Isle Inlet and Rumney Marshes.

“Our landscape design is both restorative and transformative, creating an ecological experience that our guests, neighbors and the public can enjoy,” said Chip Tuttle, Chief Operating Officer of Suffolk Downs.  “One of the advantages of a 161-acre site is that, in addition to the one-mile racetrack and infield, we can create 40 acres of open space for public use and connect our development to neighboring recreational areas.  As we work to set the standard for gaming development in Massachusetts, Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs aspires to create a new level of excellence in sustainable design for gaming development projects in the U.S.”

“Our approach to the proposed landscape design embraces the history of the project site, its former natural features, its unique location connecting the waterfronts of Boston, Revere and Chelsea, and its transformation over the last 100 years into an active racing and entertainment venue,” said Isabel Zempel, Principal at Sasaki Associates, who was joined by Senior Associate Gautam Sundaram in developing the design.  “In fostering a regenerative approach to the site and landscape design, the Resort connects nature, people and place.”

“As we strive for LEED Gold certification, the project will be energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and healthy for our employees and our guests,” said John Payne, President of Enterprise Shared Services at Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR).  “We believe in this new green space proposal not just because it is the right thing to do for this project, but because it is the right thing to do for the neighborhood and the region.”

The landscape design, estimated at $10-$15 million, will promote added connectivity through pathways for pedestrians and on-street bicycle accommodations. The design also incorporates pedestrian walkways to the project site from both the Suffolk Downs MBTA Station and from Winthrop Avenue in Revere.  Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs will introduce programs and incentives to encourage the use of public transportation by both employees and guests.

The project team is also pursuing several other green initiatives, including the use of:

  • Photovoltaics  (Solar Panels) – Being evaluated for a 1.5-2.5MW Solar PV array.
  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP) – Also known as cogeneration, is being analyzed for use in the lighting, heating and cooling of the project site.
  • Rain Water Harvesting – The project will be capturing and reusing rainwater from the facilities’ roofs.
  • Anaerobic Digestion – The resort’s projected waste streams are being analyzed to determine the potential for supporting either an onsite or offsite anaerobic digestion system.
  • Geothermal – A review of the recently completed site geotechnical report is underway to evaluate the feasibility of geothermal energy.
  • Rooftop Garden – The project team is studying the viability of installing rooftop hydroponic garden greenhouses that act as a green roof and have the ability to produce fresh herbs and vegetables for the resort’s restaurants directly on site.

Environmental sustainability at Caesars Entertainment integrates strategic direction with the grass roots energy, innovation and passion of its 70,000 employees.  In 2011, Caesars Entertainment announced a broad set of quantitative two-to-five-year sustainability goals. These include targets for carbon emissions reduction, energy conservation, renewable energy, alternative fuels, water consumption, waste diversion/recycling, LEED building standards and supply chain.