The ULI Young Leaders group toured Rivers Casino with Development Management Associates (DMA) who facilitated the project to its LEED Gold completion in July of 2011. The group started the evening with a 45 minute presentation detailing the construction timeline and process of creating this class A gaming establishment in just 14 months. Some of the larger hurdles to the development included state ordinances that require the gaming floor of the casino to sit on water. DMA worked through this issue by creating a 6 inch water pool (sanitized and filtered) under the gaming floor which fell into compliance with all city and state regulations.
Inside the building, HVAC upgrades provide 27% energy savings over base line design—savings multiplied by the fact that the facility is open to the public 22 hours per day. Skylights and clearstories provide natural light to the interior of the building and contradict the myth that casino operators don’t want customers to know if it’s day or night. Two large skylights in the employee dining room further enhance the work environment. The design and execution of the project included many other sustainable features to support its application for LEED Gold status. The design also significantly impacted the efficiency of the entire project by limiting spaces such as storage and kitchen (all restaurants other than Hugo’s Frog Bar share the same kitchen) to make the best of building footprint.
All in all, Rivers Casino is a world class establishment that is at the forefront of casino development with its LEED designation and quality of life features. It was apparent during the ULI Chicago tour that there is much more to learn from this feat of engineering and imagination, and that is just the reason why you should go visit!
Authored by: Eric Turrin, Director of Corporate Services, Foresite Realty Partners LLC