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Starwood gets gold.
Sunday, 28th December 2008
Source : Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Element hotel Lexington, is the first Starwood Hotel to achieve LEED GOLD certification.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.announces that its flagship Element hotel - Element Lexington - is the first Starwood hotel to earn Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and the first hotel in Massachusetts to achieve this prestigious rating.

Element Lexington earned LEED Gold certification in recognition of its superior performance in areas including water and energy conservation and improved indoor environmental quality measures. The hotel, which opened its doors in July 2008, expects to recoup its investment in green building in less than five years, due to associated operational savings. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is an internationally recognized, third-party certification for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. While meeting LEED standards, Element Lexington's key green features are also cleverly designed to be as appealing aesthetically as they are eco-friendly, so travelers never compromise on style and comfort.

Just as W hotels served as an incubator for Starwood's innovation in hotel style and design and Westin Hotels & Resorts redefined hotel bedding with the launch of the Heavenly Bed, Element has served as Starwood's green trailblazer. Launched in 2006, the Element brand made history by being the first major hotel chain to require all its hotels to pursue the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification. As part of this process, Element hotels created a roadmap for developers to streamline certification and facilitate the creation of cost-effective, environmentally sustainable hotels.

"Element Lexington's LEED Gold status underscores Starwood's history of innovation, as we continually adopt leading-edge technologies and practices," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Element Hotels. "Cost-efficient, environmentally friendly building construction and operations were at the core of the development of the Element hotel concept with the goal of creating a healthier, greener environment to benefit both guests and associates. We are actively transferring the learnings derived from this working laboratory of green development across our portfolio of nine world-class brands."

Uniquely positioned in the industry to inspire widespread green development, Element consists of entirely new-build hotels showcasing the latest in green construction, design and operations. With 30 hotels in the pipeline, Element opened its first two hotels in 2008 and expects to open several more next year in key markets such as Houston, Baltimore and Denver.

Element Lexington Earns Gold

A LEED certified building is one which has demonstrated a whole-building approach to sustainability in five key areas of human health and environmental impact: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy performance and climate protection, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. To achieve LEED Gold status, Element Lexington worked closely with LEED consultants, YRG Sustainability, consulting engineers, Collective Design Associates and Synergy Engineering PLLC and general contractor, Tocci Building Company in Woburn, Massachusetts. The hotel earned high marks from USBGC for a variety of cost-effective measures to improve environmental sustainability, including the following:

Reduced Water Consumption:

Element Lexington is saving 942,000 gallons of potable water per year by adopting water conservation practices both inside and outside the hotel. The hotel cut outdoor water consumption in half through water-efficient landscaping and reduced indoor water use by installing high-efficiency water fixtures throughout the property.

Reduced Energy Usage:

Element Lexington saves energy and each year keeps half a million pounds of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere by using energy conservation measures including a high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, Energy-Star appliances in guest rooms and an environmentally-friendly lighting system throughout the hotel powered by CFL and LED technology. The hotel also supports the development of renewable energy technology such as wind power by purchasing renewable energy credits to offset 70% of electricity use for the first two years of operation and is committed to offset 35% of annual electricity use each year thereafter.

Improved Indoor Environmental Quality Measures:

The hotel enhanced indoor environmental quality by using paints, adhesives and carpeting systems that minimize airborne pollutants. Element Lexington also partnered with EcoLab to implement Green Housecleaning practices to reduce the use of potentially hazardous chemical contaminants and maximized day-lighting throughout the hotel by utilizing oversized guest room windows and open interior spaces, including a multi-storied window wall in the hotel's lobby.

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