|By Christine McConville, Boston
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 22, 2008 -- At a time when hotels everywhere are celebrating earth-friendly initiatives, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has upped the ante with its newest hotel line.
The company's Element hotels will be the first major hotel brand to commit to the U.S. Green Building Councils' Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system, which sets a national standard for the design, construction and operation of energy-efficient buildings.
And the first Element hotel is opening this summer in Lexington.
"Element will bring style and sensibility to hotel guests while being eco-friendly," said Brian McGuinness, Element hotels' global brand leader.
Element hotels will offer energy- and water-efficient technologies and use paints and carpets with lower-than-average amounts of volatile organic compounds.
They will have bikes on hand, for quick trips, and guests who arrive in hybrid vehicles will receive premium parking spots.
And because the company will be using cutting-edge technologies, Starwood plans to use the Lexington site as the brand's working laboratory to test the latest in green products, construction, design and operations.
The Lexington hotel, located off Route 2, is expected to open in July.
In 2009, Starwood plans to build 20 more Element hotels across the country.
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