More Sustainable with Fly Ash: MGM National Harbor


The newest addition to the MGM Resorts International portfolio, the landmark MGM National Harbor—featuring 1 million square feet of gaming, lodging, entertaining, dining, retail and parking space—is a showcase for sustainability on the eastern shore of the Potomac River, just south of Washington, D.C. Every element throughout the 24-story mixed-use development was designed with sustainability in mind, including extensive use of natural light, LED lighting and water-saving features, such as the 750,000-gallon cistern that will collect rainwater.

Even more impressive than the size and extensive sustainability features is the fact that the $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. This is one of the key reasons why Aggregate Industries recommended and supplied 25,000 cubic yards of concrete made with fly-ash blended cement for the structure’s foundation package, which included pile caps and grade beams.

The use of fly ash, a coal-combustion byproduct, as a partial replacement for portland cement can help designers and builders recycle industrial byproducts, achieve higher performance from concrete mixtures and earn points toward LEED certification of their projects. These blended cements have many properties that contribute to sustainable design—they produce stronger, longer-lasting concrete, reduce the consumption of nonrenewable raw materials, consume less energy and turn byproduct material from electric utilities into resources that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills.

In addition to the foundation package, Aggregate Industries also supplied 3,000 cubic yards of ready-mix concrete for MGM National Harbor’s decorative terraces, walkways and entryways, as well as all the aggregate needed to produce the remaining 150,000 cubic yards of structural concrete for completing the project.