Shoppers at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas may not be aware of the measures being implemented to create a greener experience.
The 2.3-million-square-foot shopping center will also rely on solar power, monitor water use and install new electric vehicles, officials said last week, showing off one of those vehicles.
In the year In 2016, the fashion show installed rooftop solar panels that produced 1.5 million kilowatt hours per year – about 11% of the mall’s annual use of 12.1 million kilowatt hours.
Brent Gardner, the mall’s senior general manager, said most of the millions of kilowatt-hours power the mall’s air conditioning system.
“(The) 115-degree winter requires energy to cool 2.3 million square feet of space,” he said.
Except for the roofs of the eight anchor stores, most of the flat and existing space is covered with 3,600 solar panels. Gardner said those roofs are held by each chain.
“We’ve covered every common roof that we control,” Gardner said.
Rhianne Menzies, director of ESG at Brookfield Properties, which manages the Las Vegas shopping center, said 50 of the company’s 683 properties use solar panels. According to data from Brookfield, these panels generate about 54 million kilowatts of renewable energy each year.
“There’s a big value case for it, because we’re able to get those federal tax credits or grants around production,” Menzies said. “Most of the time nowadays, solar energy is generating cheap electricity, so we get a part of the environment, but it’s also worth it.”
Brookfield is also working on building a solar energy storage battery at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, N.J., Menzies said.
“It’s a huge upfront investment, but we get value creation,” Menzies said. “We always look at everything from a holistic perspective of cost, environmental impact, cost, savings, etc. So we’re willing to put capital where it makes sense for our property.”
In June, Fashion Show bought its first electric vehicle for security purposes. The plan is for the Hyundai Kona to go live this month after wearing the branding, light bars, public address system and license plate cameras.
The vehicle was Charge overnight at one of the mall’s 10 charging stations installed in 2019.
“That way we can reduce fossil fuel consumption and get rid of those ships,” Gardner said.
Gardner said the mall uses approximately 80 million gallons of water a year, a good portion of which is consumed by the mall’s HVAC cooling tower — the size of a double-decker bus.
Gardner said he and Menzies discussed what it would take to use recycled gray water for the air conditioning system instead of municipal water, but that’s an idea for now.
Gray water is domestic wastewater from sinks, bathtubs and sinks. Waste from the toilet is separated from black water.
“It’s something we think about on all properties, but I think it’s more relevant to the area we’re in,” Menzies said.
Gardner said that even though the water is not potable, it still needs to be treated because engineers have to deal with it every day.
“I wouldn’t say the technology is too early, but everything that goes into it to make sure we can do it, it’s reliable, the business side will take over to decide whether it’s a viable project or not,” he said.