If you’re going to build a gigantically humongous casino/hotel/condo/shopping center megaplex in the middle of Las Vegas, you may as well do it green … or as green as a project of this size could be in the middle of the desert during a drought.

Brought to you by MGM Mirage, the 18-million-square-foot, $5 billion project will reportedly seek an unspecified level of LEED certification and, The Globe and Mail reports, will be bigger than Times Square, Soho, and Rockefeller Center — combined.

MGM’s claims of “sustainability” are likely more hype than reality, at least in the classic sense of the word, but designers, I suppose, do deserve some measure of credit for going greener than the average megaplex.

Eco-design features are said to include use of reclaimed water, planting of green roofs, and construction of a central power plant to be located on-site (presumably powered by something cleaner than, say, coal). One of the least-hailed features of the complex, though, will be an attempt at some kind of urban density, as well as the creation of a multi-use area amid the sprawl of Las Vegas’ strip.

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So way to go, MGM! May you and your big-name architects inspire other developers large and small to aim for at least some shade of green.

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