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Starwood Hotel - Sustainable trade show design and SKA rating assessment - a trade show area with yellow and grey sofas and chairs and a tv mounted on the wall

Starwood Hotel & Resorts


Project Specs


Starwood Hotel & Resorts


350 sqm










Our brief was to design an environmentally friendly and sustainable trade show stand reflecting the Starwood brand language and ambitions: high quality, modern, young and innovative. The stand design and delivery was to be officially certified with a recognised environmental label.

Measurement of the environmental impacts and reductions to start with the disposal of the old stand, all the way to how Starwood will use, and Iguana (the contractor) will manage, the new stand in operation and dispose of at the end of its four year lifecycle.


We started by creating a sustainability strategy for the stand, taking a holistic view of its operation and ongoing use. The design needed to achieve a balance between environmental, economic and human wellbeing requirements and was designed with ‘the end in mind’. We worked closely with Starwood, Iguana and selected suppliers to achieve a design and delivery within the sustainability targets.

The stand was designed in a modular format to evolve and change as needed: it is a canvas that can be worked on at every show, with environmental and cost awareness. Design workshops resulted in creative solutions to divert items of the old stand from going to landfill and instead included in the design of the new stand, under a different use.

Staff and visitor wellbeing was considered with solutions providing a feel of inclusion, freedom and freshness. Indirect lighting, a central refreshments station, acoustic treatment and additional ventilation in meeting rooms, are some of the design elements that contributed to creating a comfortable working space and an enhanced visitor experience.

This was a new approach to exhibition stand design which is of great significance: it is an industry that produces vast amounts of waste and it proved that sustainable practise and great design is achievable.


Economic Value

The stand was expected to reduce operating costs by €100,000 per year. Following its first year of operation, the stand actually achieved operational cost savings in excess of €200,000.


There was knowledge transfer to both contractor and client who were encouraged to think differently; their respective project teams were inspired and a successful cooperation was achieved between our three companies on an international level. At the exhibition, Starwood staff who came from all over the world were inspired by the sustainable story of the stand. Elements like the tailored reused fire hose or the ‘edible’ upholstery sparked curiosity and encouraged conversations between them. They felt a sense of pride for both their stand and their company’s successful initiative to set a good example.


The project achieved Silver Ska Rating under the Retail scheme; it is the first certificate to be awarded in the exhibition industry. A central measuring system, HabiTEQ, was installed to capture and record meter readings and provide consumption data for analysis. Different spaces were separately controlled to reduce energy use when not in operation. Doors, glass screens, tables and chairs from the old stand were refurbished and re-used, and features were created by reclaiming materials. All light fittings were LED. All timber was FSC or PEFC certified. Floors were environmentally certified or natural and recyclable. All paints were VOC free. Graphics were recyclable and from non-pvc material. An on-site water bottling facility replaced plastic bottle deliveries, reducing the material use, waste and transport emissions.


“Grigoriou Interiors truly are the best at understanding the requirements and possibilities that come alongside sustainable design. Their knowledge and design capacities are limitless.”

Gabriela Hersham Co-Founder & CEO Huckletree
Gabriela Hersham Co-Founder & CEO Huckletree