Realm of Design

Morrow Royal Pavilion: Las Vegas hits the environmental jackpot

Posted on 16 August 2016.

A US entrepreneur has invented a new building material from recycled glass bottles – and used it to construct a 30,000 m2 building : the Morrow Royal Pavilion

The project has helped prevent more than 300,000 m3 of waste going to landfill, the equivalent of 20,000 garbage trucks.

Las Vegas is a consumer oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. But in between the casinos and luxury hotels, environmental awareness is also beginning to blossom.

A new building material - recycled glass

Scott McCombs, a local entrepreneur, found a way of upcycling waste glass bottles.

In partnership with a recycling plant, his Realm of Design construction company developed a new type of material named "greenstone".

It has been designed solely from glass bottles and fly ash – the particles released by the coal plants that supply the city with electricity. Glass is collected from hotels and casinos, crushed into granules and mixed with the ash. The mixture is then poured into molds and dried. The result is a perfect alternative to concrete, both in terms of robustness and in terms of cost (about $20 per square meter).

The greenstone can then be made into bricks or be used to create decorative elements – for example fireplaces, fountains, balustrades, columns, etc.

The Morrow Royal Pavilion leads the way with the greenstone

Scott McCombs proved the benefits of his invention in a major project: a 30,000 m² greenstone building. The Morrow Royal Pavilion is currently the largest building in the world to have been constructed using recycled glass bottles. 500,000 used beer bottles were needed to build it.

The project prevented 305,000 m3 of waste going to landfill - the equivalent of 20,000 garbage trucks. A performance for which Scott McCombs is to be congratulated, especially since glass takes about 4,000 years to decompose in the natural environment.

So what’s the next challenge for the building contractor? Perhaps to promote green building throughout the entire city. One thing is sure - with the 145 tonnes of glass bottles emptied in Las Vegas every week, greenstone has a glittering future.