You have probably heard by now, but the new Element Houston Vintage Park hotel has made its proud and commendable debut last month. The message bears repeating. The Element Houston Vintage Park hotel is the first in the state to pursue and obtain the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification.This significant commitment represents a big step forward for Houston, the state of Texas and the visitors to the sparkling clean, energy efficient and user-healthy hotel. As an example of the hotel’s green efforts, even the gorgeously appointed pool contains no chlorine.Each room has an energy efficient kitchen stocked with healthy ready-made meals and pasta, sauces and artisanal meats and cheeses. Now, we are talking about health and progress. Even better news, is that consumers are liking and responding to the Element’s green message.The hotel uses Energy Star appliances and was finished with low VOC paints and has implemented incredibly attractive recycled-content carpets, cushions and art mountings. Water conservation is ensured by low-flow toilets throughout and conservation-rich rain showers.The Element has installed a proactive recycling campaign. The hotel provides recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass. Sound like home? If so, make yourself at home by visiting the hotel and supporting the green movement.The Houston hotel is typical of what is happening in new construction around the country, around the globe and specifically in Texas as more than 75% of new commercial-grade development calls for green construction and energy programs. More and more government projects are taking the green message even further and requiring LEED® certification in all design and construction.The LEED® rating system evaluates construction for environmental and health quality under six construction-based criteria. Points are awarded for each rating and the overall score generates one of four LEED® certification classifications. Congratulations to the City of Houston and a pat on the back to the Texans for their support of The Element Houston Vintage Park. Try it, you will like it!