Mohegan Sun, which was created in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe, is home to three casinos, a 34-story, 1,200 room hotel, a 20,000 square-foot world class spa by Elemis, a 130,000 square-foot retail shopping experience, 100,000 square feet of function and meeting space, three entertainment venues, and more than 40 restaurant, food, and beverage outlets.

Behind the scenes, there is a lot of hard work that goes into creating a 24 hour, seven days a week entertainment destination that is clean, comfortable, and enjoyable for guests and employees alike. At the same time, the Mohegan Tribe is sensitive to environmental concerns, and it has implemented many green initiatives over the years to reduce energy usage, eliminate waste, and recycle. Notable achievements include the use of recycled materials, hybrid fleet vehicles and bicycles, green cleaning practices, forestry donation, and the installation of fuel cell power systems to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Balancing Comfort and Conservation

One aspect of Mohegan Sun’s green initiatives is to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities. The challenge is to find ways to maximize energy efficiency without sacrificing the indoor environmental quality of the resort. One way that Mohegan Sun achieves this balance is by implementing a ventilation solution known as demand controlled ventilation or DCV. The concept of DCV is straightforward: determine the number of people that are in each area and then adjust the ventilation rates accordingly. During busy times of the day ventilation will increase to provide more fresh air to guests, and when occupancy declines, ventilation is reduced, saving energy without negatively impacting the indoor environmental quality.

While traditional DCV technologies would measure the amount of indoor CO2 in an area to determine occupancy and ventilation rates, and then adjust the amount of fresh air provided to that area based on that measurement, Mohegan Sun, with the help of Aircuity, takes DCV to a higher level by sensing the total indoor environmental quality. Aircuity’s approach senses CO2, particulates, and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) that negatively impact the indoor air quality and adjusts ventilation rates to ensure energy savings and maximum occupant comfort.

“We want to make sure that we are providing the optimal amount of fresh air based on everything that’s in the air, not just based on the number of people,” explained Daniel Webster, chief engineer at Mohegan Sun. “Aircuity’s approach makes it cost effective for us to measure many different critical parameters within the casino and make smart decisions about the ventilation control.”

Seeing Is Believing

Aircuity securely stores the data captured by its OptiNet® system and makes it available to Mohegan Sun facilities personnel for review through a secure web portal. If there are reports of uncomfortable conditions within the facility, the time period in question can be located, graphed, and reviewed to gain insight into the nature and severity of the issue. This information can also be exported into other data analysis tools or reports, making it easy to share up-to-date information about the facility’s indoor environmental quality.

Going Green Saves Money

Energy efficiency projects create the greenest energy of all — energy that never gets used. At Mohegan Sun, implementing Aircuity in the Casino of the Earth has lowered ventilation rates and saved the energy needed to heat and cool that air. Over the past year, Mohegan Sun has saved an estimated $74,000 in heating and cooling utility expenses. Based on these savings, the project paid for itself in 20 months. Mohegan Sun is now expanding this DCV solution in the Casino of the Sky and the Casino of the Wind.

The Mohegan Tribe’s dedication to sustainability dates back to 1994 — two years before the resort was opened — and its commitment is as strong today as it was nearly two decades ago. Mohegan Sun is proof that organizations can be sensitive to environmental issues while still maintaining high standards of quality for their guests. Aircuity’s demand controlled ventilation solution is just one way that Mohegan Sun saves money, reduces energy consumption, and lowers its carbon footprint without sacrificing the comfort of the occupants of its facilities.

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Publication date: 3/4/2013