Starwood’s Element Hotel LEED Certification


Starwood Hotels recently opened its very first Element Hotel, the Element Lexington. This particular hotel is the very first Starwood property to receive 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. That means they’re SUPER eco-friendly.

What specifically does LEED Gold certification mean? That the hotel surpassed environmental standards for water and energy conservation and improved indoor environmental quality measures.

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.

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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.

The Element Lexington earned high marks for a variety of cost-effective measures to improve environmental sustainability, including the following:

Reduced Water Consumption: The hotel is saving 942,000 gallons of water per year by utilizing water conservation practices both inside and outside the hotel. The hotel cut outdoor water use in half by utilizing water-efficient landscaping and reduced indoor water use by installing high-efficiency water fixtures throughout the property.

Reduced Energy Usage: The Element Lexington saves energy by using high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning system; Energy-Star appliances in guest rooms and an environmentally-friendly lighting system throughout the hotel, adding up to a whopping half a million pounds of carbon emissions each year. The hotel purchases 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: Element was built using paints, adhesives and carpeting systems that minimize airborne pollutants. In addition, the hotel has 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.

So if you’re looking for a hotel in the Boston area and you’re a bit of a tree hugger (like me), you may want to consider the Element Lexington. The property is located a short 30 minutes outside of Boston, Massachusetts and offers 123 guest rooms. Westin fans will be happy to hear the new chain still offers the Heavenly Bed, which is truly a blessing.

And it’s all good for business. Starwood expects to recover the costs of certification within the next 5 years.