By Don Douloff, May 29, 2008
Starwood is launching Element, the first major hotel brand to commit to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Element’s green features include energy-efficient appliances and lighting, water-efficient faucets and fixtures and recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass. Filtered water in guestrooms and amenity dispensers in showers reduce plastic-bottle waste. In addition, Element hotels use low Volatile Organic Compound paints and carpets with up to 100-per-cent recycled content and anti-microbial carpet pads, improving indoor air quality. Bathrooms will feature water-efficient rain showerheads.
Element debuts in July, in Lexington, Mass. By the end of 2009, more than 20 hotels are set to open, with the brand pursuing LEED certification in markets including New York, Chicago, Toronto, Orlando, Fla. and Las Vegas.