The next time you’re at the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas, you may want to pack SFP 2000 sunscreen and plenty of aloe vera if you plan to sit poolside. A guest has complained of severe burns from the midday sun, a victim of the so-called death ray. The culprit? Glass panels designed to improve the energy efficiency of the building. Who knew that energy efficiency could be so dangerous?
The Vdara hotel is part of MGM’s $8.5 billion CityCenter complex, a project that stalled more times than a person learning to drive a manual transmission, until it finally opened last December. According to reports, solar convergence occurs when the midday sun hits the crescent-shaped south façade of the hotel concentrating intense rays over a 15 foot area of the pool area for the period of an hour. Guests are encouraged to avoid the area during that time, unless they want to look extra crispy.
Owner MGM was aware of the problem in 2008 during construction of the building. Following expert recommendations, a cutting-edge Viracon glazing film designed to reduce the sun’s reflection by 70 percent was applied to the double-pane spandrel panels.
As a result of complaints and media attention, MGM has been monitoring temperatures in the area until they can find a permanent solution to the problem, which range from a shade structure to more umbrellas, hopefully made from non-penetrable, non-melting materials. MGM spokesman, Gordon Absher told Reuters that some guests seek out the hot spot on cooler days. However he acknowledges that a person could be seriously hurt if they fall asleep in the hot spot, not to mention the lawsuit that would ensue. "In Vegas, people are out drinking the night before, so it's not hard to imagine people being unconscious there under an umbrella," he told Reuters.
On a positive note, I think we’ve finally found a solution to the Jersey Shore problem.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons