Destiny USA officials stated on October 12 that they will install vertical wind turbines starting next month. The turbines will rest on top of the light poles in the mall's recently built auxiliary parking lots south of Hiawatha Boulevard. The company in charge of Destiny USA claims that the wind turbines will produce 64,000 to 84,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, or about 30 percent of the electricity used by the parking lot lights.
According to Destiny USA’s 2011 Annual Environmental Report, the mall aims to be the largest LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, as determined by the U.S. Green Building Council) certified commercial building in the United States. The report states that among other ‘green’ advancements, four million gallons of water will be conserved annually through a rainwater harvesting system, which amounts to 78 percent reduction in the mall’s baseline water use.
The development and actual construction of the Destiny USA expansion has also been relatively sustainable. The floor of the new expansion is made of a mixture of cork and walnut shells, which is a quickly renewing resource. Around 50 percent of the permanent wood structures in the expansion are made of Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, and the roof of the expansion is made with ‘solar reflective’ materials that keep the surrounding temperature cooler and conserve energy. Impressively, 276,000 gallons of bio-diesel fuel was used during the construction of the expansion, reducing construction related greenhouse gasses by 67 percent.
Destiny USA executive in charge of development, David Aitkin, says that growing up near “oil city”—a scrapyard and oil tank wasteland next to Carousel Center—has made him passionate about developing an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient project. “We have gone above and beyond the traditional realms of retail development,” Aitken explains to National Real Estate Investor, “all while remaining cognizant of environmental sustainability.”
With Destiny USA taking the lead (and the LEED!), there could be a greener future in store for malls across the country.