WHITE PLAINS, NY— Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ newest brand, Element, will now mandate LEED-certification in all of its hotels. The first Element is scheduled to debut this summer and 20 are set to open by the end of 2009. The first Element, in Lexington, MA, has been a working laboratory, as Starwood has tested the latest in green construction, products, design and operations at the future hotel. Using the information gleaned from these tests, Element has created a road map for development that is designed to streamline LEED-certification pursuits and provide a pathway to cost-effective green building. Element’s research shows that the initial minimal cost premium investment for green building can be recouped within a few years. Element’s key green features will include energy-efficient stainless steel appliances and lighting; water-efficient faucets and fixtures; bins for paper, plastic and glass recycling; filtered water in each guestroom; amenity recycling dispensers in showers; low volatile organic compound paints and carpets with up to 100% recycled content; and anti-microbial carpet pads. Also, guests driving hybrid cars will get preferred parking at Element hotels. Furthermore, a magnet will replace the traditional paper do-not-disturb sign. Starwood hopes to eventually bring many of these green standards to its other brands in the future.