Environment

Some Places Are Sacred

As the developer of Summerlin®, The Howard Hughes Corporation® (HHC) has long honored its responsibilities as a steward of the land. Years before the first family moved into the community in 1991, The Howard Hughes Corporation® (HHC) demonstrated a legacy of environmental responsibility.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area:
Protected, forever.

 

In 1952, Howard Hughes acquired 25,000 acres of land west of Las Vegas. In the early 1980s, Summa Corporation (predecessor to The Howard Hughes Corporation) realized the development potential of the land. The community was named Summerlin for Hughes’ paternal grandmother, Jean Amelia Summerlin.

In 1988, HHC initiated a land exchange with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), turning over more than 5,000 acres of sensitive land adjacent to Red Rock Canyon in exchange for 3,400 acres inside the valley – protecting the Canyon’s scenic loop road experience from visible development. This critical exchange was made possible by The Nature Conservancy, and created a buffer zone that continues to protect Red Rock Canyon to this day, serving as a gateway into the National Conservation Area. In 2001, HHC donated $30,000 to the BLM for new trail marker signage throughout the Conservation Area.

In 2002, HHC initiated a second exchange with the BLM, with more than 1,000 acres along Summerlin’s western border being added to the adjacent Red Rock area. This exchange set aside more than 1,200 acres of pristine BLM ridgeline for a future county trails park.

We know H2O.

 

Summerlin began incorporating desert landscape into its common areas in the late 1990s, one of the Las Vegas valley’s earliest adopters of the concept.

In 2003, in partnership with Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), Summerlin became the area’s first community to implement strict Water Smart conservation guidelines on a community-wide basis. At the time, this included limitations of where turf could be used by homebuilders as well as in common and public areas, and now includes the replacement of existing turf landscapes with desert-friendly plant materials, including salvaged native plant revegetation. This innovative new landscaping technique saves even more water usage than desert landscaping, with some re-veg landscapes eventually requiring no irrigation at all.

HHC executives have served on SNWA’s Conservation Coalition for years, to encourage water conservation not only in Summerlin, but valley-wide. Summerlin continues to be a champion of this cause, in both new commercial and residential construction.

Breathe easier.

In the mid-1990s, HHC executives served on a valley-wide development industry coalition that drafted the nation’s toughest self-imposed rules on dust control and air quality

Clean air matters:

- Summerlin was the first community in Southern Nevada to incorporate roundabouts into its roadway system, a concept that allowed for better traffic flow and reduced pollution through the elimination of idling at lights and stop signs.

- The Summerlin Trail system provides safe routes where many kids can walk to school safely without having to cross streets, reducing the number of cars on the road both before and after school.

- Downtown Summerlin offers 318 stalls for low emission vehicles, and four stalls with electric vehicle charging devices.

Nature, as it was meant to be.

The preservation of our stunning desert backdrop has always been an integral part of our vision, with natural landscapes and topography integrated into the community wherever possible. HHC works closely with federal and state governments, tribal leaders, and the archaeological community to protect historic American Indian rock art etched into the Little Red Rocks area in Summerlin’s far western region. The community’s 150-plus miles of trails connect neighborhoods and villages, and encourage outdoor recreation and neighborhood socialization. These trails include 10 miles of trail along the completed 215 Beltway, and will eventually connect directly to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

TPC Summerlin and TPC Las Vegas golf courses are Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf courses, dedicated to conserving water and preserving all wildlife habitats. In 1998, HHC played a leadership role in the establishment of a development fee to fund a widely acclaimed multi-species habitat program here in Southern Nevada.

In 2008, HHC received the American Trails Developer Award from American Trails, a non-profit organization dedicated to trail interests. The award recognizes well-designed multi-use trail systems, and this was the first time a private developer was ever honored.

Desert Clean-ups.

The Howard Hughes Corporation has organized and hosted many desert clean-ups in and around Summerlin, in partnership with both private companies and public agencies. Through these efforts, hundreds of tons of illegally dumped trash have been removed from the area. The company also encourages, welcomes and supports private groups, such as Eagle Scout projects, to organize smaller clean-ups in and around the community.

Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design.

In 2016, Downtown Summerlin earned Silver Certification status in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). To achieve this remarkable certification for such a large project, the following milestones were met:

- 24.5 percent reduction in energy consumption to optimize energy performance.

- 40 percent reduction in water use for enhanced water efficiency.

Growing smarter.

By their very nature, master-planned communities employ a variety of planning tactics to ensure smart growth and development in a thoughtful and more organized fashion. As Summerlin continues to evolve, the community is focusing on the creation of higher density urban areas in and around the area, and in the western region of Summerlin. In the Downtown Summerlin area, plans call for numerous multifamily residential options – including apartments, townhomes, condominiums and brownstones – to provide a true, more sustainable urban living experience.