Structural Lightweight Concrete: The Clear Choice for Allegiant Stadium

by Darren Medeiros, Utelite Corporation

Owner: Las Vegas Stadium Events Company, LLC (Las Vegas, NV)

Design Architect: MANICA Architecture (Kansas City, London, Hong Kong)

Structural Engineer: ARUP (Los Angeles, CA)

General Contractor: Mortenson McCarthy Joint Venture (Henderson, NV)

Ready Mix Supplier: Precision Aggregates LLC (Mesquite, NV)

Precaster: Western Pacific Precast (Sloan, NV)

Lightweight Supplier: Utelite Corporation (Coalville, UT)

Project Location: 3333 Al Davis Way (Las Vegas, NV)

Project at a Glance: $2,300,000,000, 1.75 million sq. ft., 65,000 seats

In November 2017, ground breaking begun on a 62-acre plot of land just west of the Las Vegas Strip to make way for a $2.3 billion, 1.75 million-square-foot, 65,000-seat (expandable to 72,000), ultra-modern domed stadium for the Raiders NFL Football Team. The Stadium will also serve as the site of the Las Vegas Bowl as well as the Pac-12 Football Championship and other high-profile events beginning in 2020.

Utelite Corporation is playing a key role in assisting with technical support and supplying high quality expanded shale lightweight aggregate material meeting the requirements of ASTM C330 for the stadium’s precast elements along with metal decking cast-in-place structural lightweight concrete.

According to the design engineers, the use of structural lightweight concrete was considered and specified early in the design process as the boundaries were pushed of what design and engineering could achieve on this ultra-modern state-of-the-art stadium. Innovative design flexibility, improved seismic structural response, superior performance, greater economy and structural lightweight concrete was the solution. In addition, the joint venture team was also very open-minded and supportive of utilizing structural lightweight concrete to reduce the overall seismic loads of the structure as well as offering a UL 2-hour fire rating.

All factors considered, structural lightweight concrete was the clear choice. Structural lightweight concrete made with rotary-kiln produced expanded shale lightweight aggregates is typically 25% to 35% lighter than normal concrete and provides significant greater economy when systems are designed with equal fire resistance ratings.

“It’s been a total team approach between Utelite, the concrete producer, and the pump company to successfully pour nearly 20,000 cu. yds. of 6,000 PSI @ 28-day structural lightweight concrete on this project with minimal concrete issues on the project. Proper aggregate saturation, stockpile management, and sound quality control procedures are essential to minimize pumping concerns and to insure the structural lightweight concrete mix adhered to the stringent concrete specifications on such a high-profile project,” said Utelite’s Darren Medeiros.

The Allegiant Stadium is slated to be completed for the 2020 NFL football season.

Project Requirements

  • Structural lightweight concrete meeting performance design criteria / ASTM C-330 specification requirements
  • 20,000 cu. yds. + of 3/8″-#8 expanded shale lightweight aggregate
  • Minimum Flexural Strength: 650 PSI @ 56 days
  • Yield Strength: 6,000 PSI @ 28 days
  • Unit Weight: 110 lbs. Cu. Ft. +/- 3 lbs.
  • Air Entrainment: 6% +/- 1.5%