New Washington resort achieves gold status

New Washington resort achieves gold status

Photo courtesy of National Harbor

MGM National Harbor has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification to MGM National Harbor, MGM Resorts International’s newest resort.

Minutes from Washington, D.C., in Prince George's County, Maryland, the resort is scheduled to open Dec. 8.

The LEED green building rating system is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, according to a press release.

Meeting the rigorous environmental standards of this designation is a testament to the complete integration of sustainable principles throughout the design and construction of MGM National Harbor, officials said.

“Environmental responsibility is a commitment that extends across all levels of our organization. Achieving our ninth LEED certification exemplifies MGM’s long-standing effort to implement sustainable and responsible practices across our resorts,” said Cindy Ortega, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for MGM Resorts International. “MGM National Harbor embodies the company’s dedication to environmental leadership in our industry.” 

The resort will incorporate a variety of environmentally minded practices and sustainability elements, making MGM National Harbor a premier eco- luxury destination.

MGM National Harbor is just off the banks of the Potomac River, in the Chesapeake Bay region. One priority of the MGM National Harbor team was to protect the water resources in and around the project site. MGM designed and implemented a range of innovative approaches to store, reuse and reduce consumption of water to help protect the local ecosystem.

Environmental attributes of MGM National Harbor that supported the LEED gold rating include: 

  • Rainwater harvesting: MGM National Harbor designed and constructed a 700,000 gallon cistern to collect, store and treat rainwater captured from the roof structures. The repurposed water will be used for the resort’s irrigation, cooling and sanitary needs and will reduce the amount of water taken from the Prince George’s County water supply. 
  • Water conservation: High-efficiency fixtures, including automatic faucets, low-flow toilets and shower fixtures help reduce the property’s water consumption by more than 45 percent. An on-site well provides recalculated water to help further minimize water loss due to evaporation.
  • Energy efficiency: MGM National Harbor was built with comprehensive integration of LED (light emitting diode) high-efficiency lighting technology. The use of these lighting systems not only allows for less direct lighting energy to be consumed, but also a significant reduction of cooling energy required throughout the building. 
  • Resiliency: MGM National Harbor designed and built one of the largest privately operated combined heat and power (CHP) energy plants in the Washington D.C. region. The system works to generate on-site electricity for the resort. By creating its own energy, MGM National Harbor improves reliability, minimizes energy losses in transmission and reduces demand on the local energy grid. 
  • Alternative transportation: To encourage the use of alternative transportation, MGM National Harbor has installed 28 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and 185 low-emitting-fuel efficient vehicle parking spaces. These attributes help to promote the use of alternative transportation modes for both our guests and employees.
  • Waste and recycling: More than 96 percent, or more than 15,000 tons, of construction waste was diverted from landfills during the building of MGM National Harbor. Construction and demolition waste makes up approximately 40 percent of landfills in the United States.

MGM National Harbor features 308 hotel rooms, a 125,000-square-foot casino, 12 world-class food and beverage venues, a 27,000-square-foot spa, a flexible 3,000-seat theater and 18,000 square feet of high-end luxury retail space.  


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Civic and Cultural Centers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Hospitality, Lighting - Energy Efficient Lighting, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, USGBC, Water Saving Strategies and Devices

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council


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