Element Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. eco-innovation lab, announced a collaboration with Sistine Solar, Inc.— a company that uses innovative design to change the way the world thinks about solar power — to produce a one-of-a-kind solar canopy for the Element brand. Starting today, Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport will debut a nature-themed, custom designed charging station that allows guests and locals to relax as they recharge their devices through the power of sunlight. A recognized industry leader in the eco-space, Element offers travelers a fresh, reimagined extended stay hotel experience. This collaboration is a continued proof point of the brand’s commitment to sustainability and eco-design, further demonstrating how sustainability and socialization can go hand in hand.
Just as Element has redefined the extended stay category through its contemporary design philosophy and eco-minded sensibilities, Sistine has transformed the bland, familiar aesthetic (think: boring black and blue grid) of solar technology. By using techniques from a wide range of disciplines – including mosaic art, solar photovoltaics, and optics – Sistine has developed SolarSkin, a patent-pending technology to create high-efficiency solar panels of any design, pattern or color. The one-of-a-kind solar canopy at Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport is inspired by the Element brand ethos that modern design flows from nature. Its unique design proves that green can, and should be, gorgeous.
“Built for today’s eco-conscious traveler, the Element brand has completely changed the face of extended stay with its light-filled atmosphere, eco-minded design and commitment to innovation,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “Our collaboration with Sistine Solar allows us to deliver an efficient custom charging solution that is not only great for the environment, but great for the overall guest experience.”
Built as an off-grid installation, the unique Solar Canopy charging station, designed in partnership with Brooklyn-based architect, Ajmal Aqtash, will allow guests to sit in the shade, socialize and relax outside of the hotel as they recharge their personal electronic devices by harnessing the power of the sun. Additionally, the canopy has integrated LEDs that allow for nighttime illumination and enjoyment. As the panels absorb sunlight, solar energy converts the light into electricity, which guests can then use to charge their devices.
“We strongly believe in the transformative power of design,” commented Ido Salama, Co-Founder of Sistine Solar. “In working with a forward-thinking and powerful brand like Element, we see a tremendous opportunity to radically change people’s perceptions of renewable energy. Instead of hiding panels where no one will see them, as is often the case, we design our panels to be admired from up-close and from afar. We marry form and function to produce a one-of-a-kind guest experience – the magic happens the moment a guest plugs in their device, admires the beautiful nature-inspired design, and makes the connection that our sun is providing clean and renewable energy. In this way, we hope people will begin to see sustainability in a new light, accelerating the adoption of clean energy.”
As Starwood’s eco-innovation lab, Element is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. Offering bright, modern design and sustainable-minded sensibilities, Element Hotels are meant to fuel a life of balance while on the road, particularly when traveling for extended periods of time. The brand is a leader in the eco-innovation space and continues to pilot latest developments in sustainable technology. The solar canopy is currently at Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport North with plans to expand globally to Element’s nearly 20 hotels around the world.
Element is experiencing incredible growth momentum. With 19 deals signed in 2014, the brand is on track to triple its portfolio by 2017. On the heels of opening its first hotel outside of North America in Frankfurt, Germany, Element will open its first hotel in China in 2015 followed by new hotels in London, Amsterdam, Boston and Philadelphia, signifying the global appeal of the brand.