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The Las Vegas Death Ray  
User currently offlinenighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5134 posts, RR: 33
Posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2440 times:

Quote:

Poolside guests at a newly-opened Las Vegas hotel have been enjoying the complex's quick-tan facility - a solar "death ray" with the power to burn flesh and melt plastic.

The architects responsible for the MGM Mirage Vdara underestimated the converging power of the building's concave facade, which concentrates a roasting beam onto the pool area

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/29/las_vegas_death_ray/

Oops! Thats going to take some fixing!


That'll teach you
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6698 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2410 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Thread starter):
Oops! Thats going to take some fixing!

Nah, just a big mirror next to the pool. Send the light somewhere else.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11639 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2380 times:

Quote:
The Vdara's management is well aware of the threat to guests, which it attributes to a "solar convergence phenomenon". The architects had taken this into consideration, and "hired a consultant who decided to place a thin film over the window which reduces the sun's effects by 70 per cent".

If they had actually taken this into consideration, they would have altered the window orientation so it can't focus in a single spot. Sounds like they didn't find it out until the glazing went up and something/someone got fried.



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19520 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 2):

If they had actually taken this into consideration, they would have altered the window orientation so it can't focus in a single spot. Sounds like they didn't find it out until the glazing went up and something/someone got fried.

Yeah. They have a real problem here. And other than putting up some sort of shade to block it (maybe solar panels for a little green kitsch?), there isn't really a good solution.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2330 times:

Maybe they should have consulted physicists rather than having a random civil engineer attempt to pull this one off  

User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 927 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2310 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 4):
Maybe they should have consulted physicists rather than having a random civil engineer attempt to pull this one off

Don't go blaming engineers for this. Blame the bonehead architect who thought this was an appropriate design for the location.



Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3742 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2275 times:

An actual, working solar deathray. Nice. The Mythbusters would be proud.

I'm surprised no one has sued the architects yet.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13074 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2259 times:

A number of years ago, shortly after the completion of the Disney Theater in Los Angeles, they found out the hard way that the buffed and curved skin stainless steel metal surface was a bad idea as it cause blinding reflections during certain times of the day as well as hot spots in the area including a nearby condo complex. It was resolved by rubbing the building with a very fine abrasives, so it still shined, but with more of a 'matte' finish to down the reflection problems. Perhaps this is what will have to be considered as to this LV hotel building.

User currently offlineflyerboy1990 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2250 times:

I sent a link to aunt who lives there. She has yet to respond, but I'm sure she will get a kick out of it. However, this could be a very serious situation. Couldn't they put up some kind of outer window covering like you see on buses with decals across the windows?


And for the record, City Center is an ugly monstrocity and totally un-Vegas-like. I visited the city back in May and didn't even bother taking a look around the place. And from what I hear, it's unfortunately pretty vacant.



Flown in: 712, 722, 73G, 738, 752, DC10, CR2, CR9, A319, A320 Want to fly in: A330, 767, 777, MD80, E170 series
User currently offlinethomil13FRA From Ireland, joined Jul 2010, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2203 times:
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Quoting francoflier (Reply 6):
An actual, working solar deathray. Nice. The Mythbusters would be proud.

I'm surprised no one has sued the architects yet.

Simple. No one survived long enough   

But hey, that should make poolside barbecues a lot easier   


User currently offlineha763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3655 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2192 times:
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Quoting flyerboy1990 (Reply 8):

And for the record, City Center is an ugly monstrocity and totally un-Vegas-like. I visited the city back in May and didn't even bother taking a look around the place. And from what I hear, it's unfortunately pretty vacant.

City Center is still a theme property, just like all the other properties on the Strip. It is promoted by MGM Mirage as a city within a city and is a mixture of upscale hotels, residential units, and retail. I was also in Las Vegas in May and the only thing open in City Center was the Aria and Crystals. It is still under construction, with the last hotel due to open late this year. I actually like the look of City Center since it is different. So many of the hotels on the Strip have the same Y or X shape design.


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3983 posts, RR: 28
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2139 times:

Las Vegas hotels? Solar death rays? Apparently MGM is out of money to shoot a new James Bond movie, I wonder if this was an attempt to save some money on the set for that.

http://www.geekosystem.com/mgm-james-bond-23-cancelled/



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2074 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 7):
It was resolved by rubbing the building with a very fine abrasives, so it still shined, but with more of a 'matte' finish to down the reflection problems. Perhaps this is what will have to be considered as to this LV hotel building.

If that,s the case then the problem should solve itself before too long. A couple of windy days with the sand blowing around and all will be well.

Quoting flyerboy1990 (Reply 8):
Couldn't they put up some kind of outer window covering like you see on buses with decals across the windows?

The do it on other hotels on the strip.

So what for of spf do you need to slap on when going to the pool there?


User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3068 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2060 times:

Further proof that architects should be forced to live in/use, or in this case specifically go to the pool at, the buildings they design.


Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2057 times:

Quoting flyerboy1990 (Reply 8):
And for the record, City Center is an ugly monstrocity and totally un-Vegas-like

I agree. I stayed at Aria in April and didn't like City Center at all.



But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 40
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 4 weeks ago) and read 1983 times:

Quoting flyerboy1990 (Reply 8):
Couldn't they put up some kind of outer window covering like you see on buses with decals across the windows?

Apparently the problem is the super-energy efficient windows. I guess they just need to change it.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/vega...n=1206852&playlist=11128087&page=1

It may not be the only place having this problem either.

[Edited 2010-09-30 12:46:36]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1936 times:

It's not the only building within the CityCenter complex that has a "death ray". The Harmon has one of its' own as well:

http://www.vegastripping.com/news/news.php?news_id=3555

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 14):
I agree. I stayed at Aria in April and didn't like City Center at all.

I went into Aria with my some of my friends back in June and I was "meh" about the place. Nothing about CityCenter wowed me in the least bit. I was more wowed by Encore than I was CityCenter.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 5):
Blame the bonehead architect who thought this was an appropriate design for the location.

That would be Rafael Viñoly.


User currently offlineKPHXFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 16):
Quoting MrChips (Reply 5):
Blame the bonehead architect who thought this was an appropriate design for the location.

That would be Rafael Viñoly.

I'm an architect and I can see that Rafael's design got caught short by the compromise that was done in order to realize the design.

You can blame the architect for the death ray but in that Register article they even acknowledge that it's a challenge that they are aware of. From one perspective, the concave shape facing the south is a good design move as it maximizes the rooms facing away from direct sunlight and minimizes the direct sunlight hitting the south face. Unfortunately, in this instance the reflectivity of the glass caused the entire surface of the south side to concentrate all the sunlight and rather than go into the rooms, it reflects outside and down into the pool area. Architecture, like nearly everything else, is an exercise in compromises. In this instance, the greater benefit was to minimize the amount of air conditioining needed inside the building due to the shape of the building and the reflectively of the glass. Unfortunately, the drawback is the "death ray".

Now, you could have added a section of phsyical sunshades to the project but that would have ruined the clean modern lines of the building as well as add a six or seven figure $$$ sum to the construction cost. You could have also added a glazing that would absorb the sunlight but that would only exacerbate your air conditioning needs (to the tune of probably several more cooling towers). As one poster said, you could skin the building with an absorbant window graphic skin (like on the sides of a bus or a train or writ large on some of the other Vegas hotels). However, I don't think they will do that type of adversting to the Vdara such as they've done to the Mirage, Mandalay Bay or Luxor, it just would not go well with modernist design of the City Center properties. The Register article inidcates that they are studying adding a film that would reduce the effects of the sun by 70 percent. I'm curious what film they'll use that will cut the sun's effect by 70 percent without causing the need for air conditioning to go up as the sun's energy (i.e. heat gain) has to go somewhere.

As the article indicates, they are giving guests who complain an umbrella. I would not be surprised if that is not a part of the ulimate solution in the form of a tensioned fabric structure (similar to Denver's tent structure) over the pool.

Also, you can also be sure that while Rafael's (or rather his firm's) name is going to be on the lawsuit for the cost change of this mistake, his architect of record (the ones who actually designed and engineered the building) and possibly the contractor is going to be listed it as well. It takes more than one person to get into a mess like this. Also, if the owner (MGM) is acknowleging that this is a problem, then that *probably* means that the architect told the owner about this a long time ago.

Quoting TSS (Reply 13):
Further proof that architects should be forced to live in/use, or in this case specifically go to the pool at, the buildings they design.

Both the architect and the owner in this case acknowlege that this is a challenge and that it was a design compromise. The architect probably could not have known how bad the compromise was going to be. The building's fine in this case, it's the pool that's the problem. And while the pool in a hotel is an important consideration, I'm sure the owner thought it was going to be a minor nuisance, not one like this.

All in all, I think the City Center project is the city of Las Vegas trying to reinvent itself.


User currently offlinefca767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 1746 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1839 times:

Quoting KPHXFlyer (Reply 17):
the concave shape facing the south is a good design move as it maximizes the rooms facing away from direct sunlight and minimizes the direct sunlight hitting the south face

I thought south facing rooms are in direct sunlight as the sun is usually in the south on this part of earth


User currently offlineKevinL1011 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2964 posts, RR: 48
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1830 times:

Big deal. Like this is more of a health hazard than the second hand smoke inside every casino and hotel lobby.


474218, Carl, You will be missed.
User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1253 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1817 times:

Quoting KPHXFlyer (Reply 17):
I would not be surprised if that is not a part of the ulimate solution in the form of a tensioned fabric structure (similar to Denver's tent structure) over the pool.

But what about those who want to tan?

How about a glass/composite cover which reduces the "death ray" effects to a natural level?



Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offlineKPHXFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1767 times:

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 20):
But what about those who want to tan?

You'd only be blocking the reflection (the death ray), not the sun. In my vision, you'd put this structure on the north side of the pool and it would only partially cover the deck and part of the pool. The sun would still be shining in from the south, but there'd be a shade from the reflection from the north.

Cheers,
Cory


User currently offlineKPHXFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1759 times:

Quoting fca767 (Reply 18):
thought south facing rooms are in direct sunlight as the sun is usually in the south on this part of earth

They are. I should have been more clear. The rooms on the north side of the buidling are completely shielded from the southern sun. They are getting no direct sunlight at all. The northern rooms also have more window area per room and the southern rooms have less window area per room. So the southern rooms are getting less sun throughout the day than they would have if the concave shape went the other way or was a more standard rectangular plan. As I said eariler, it's a design compromise and is a form of design called passive solar building.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_solar_building_design

Cheers,
Cory


User currently offlinefca767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 1746 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1726 times:

Quoting KPHXFlyer (Reply 22):
They are. I should have been more clear. The rooms on the north side of the buidling are completely shielded from the southern sun. They are getting no direct sunlight at all. The northern rooms also have more window area per room and the southern rooms have less window area per room. So the southern rooms are getting less sun throughout the day than they would have if the concave shape went the other way or was a more standard rectangular plan. As I said eariler, it's a design compromise and is a form of design called passive solar building.

Ah I see now thanks cory  


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26426 posts, RR: 75
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1666 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 6):

I'm surprised no one has sued the architects yet.

I'm guessing MGM will be.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 7):
Disney Theater

Disney Hall. Sorry to nitpick, but it is a pretty important building here.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
25 Jalap : This phenomemon isn't that rare, is it? Maybe the magnitude is quite bad there but I've experienced this burning feeling in Brussels as well when I ex
26 Post contains links srbmod : It appears that MGM may have known about this as early as 2008 and went with a cheap fix instead of a solution that would have done away with it: http
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