White Plains, N.Y.,(BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Element Lexington invites travelers to experience a new kind of hotel with comfortable and inspiring public spaces, modern style and eco-friendly design. Located just 30 minutes outside of Boston, the hotel offers 123 guest rooms designed to rejuvenate and energize guests for work or play. Guests can customize their spacious, natural light-filled rooms to meet their needs with multi-purpose, modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Rooms also offer a fully equipped kitchen that features modern, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and all the utensils necessary to prepare a gourmet meal. Guests are invited to rest soundly in the signature Heavenly(R) Bed, and wake up and recharge each morning in a sleek, spa-inspired shower.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(SM), and Element(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.