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Winning Sustainable Suite to be Showcased at HD Expo


IRVINE, CA – WATG and IDEO were announced as the winners of the first-ever Sustainable Suite Design Competition—an event that challenges designers to showcase the best hospitality design strategies that boast environmental responsibility while enhancing the guest experience. The team will build and showcase a full-scale mock-up of their winning suite design at the 2010 Hospitality Design Expo & Conference in Las Vegas, May 19-21.

The winning suite—Haptik, a Greek term meaning to experience interactions based on sense of touch—created a juxtaposition between sustainability and luxury by redefining the guest experience without sacrificing either ideal. The nuanced subtleties of the design were choreographed around individual moments that engage the senses, allowing the guest to discover how environmental responsibility can be achieved personally and collectively.

Among the innovative winning strategies were the many energy-reducing features, such as an “all-off ” switch to ensure lights are automatically turned-off based on passive infrared sensors (PIS) and room conditioning equipped by a four-pipe horizontal fan-coil system. Additionally, water use was also key in reducing environmental impact, as the Haptik suite includes a Trombe wall in the shower that captures solar heat to warm the shower water and a graywater irrigation system that filters and recycles shower water to outdoor gardens and landscaping.

Because the hospitality industry is a large consumer of energy and water use, this competition aimed to motivate sustainable practices industry-wide among newly built and existing hotels. The U.S. Green Building Council, in conjunction with the American Society of Interior Designers and NEWH, sponsored the competition.

Submissions from 65 professional designers and aspiring young professionals were received, each one redefining how a high-performance, energy-and-resource-efficient hotel suite should look and function. Design submissions were judged on three overarching categories: Design Elements (water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials, and resources and indoor environmental quality); Education (guest room attributes and guest practices); and Overall Design (integrated design approach, originality and innovation, general aesthetic, and financial feasibility).

WATG has a legacy of environmentally sensitive planning, architecture and design. A hallmark of WATG is its awareness to the influences of the local culture, the natural resources, the people and the spirit of the place. From its offices in Irvine, Seattle, Honolulu, Orlando, Singapore and London, WATG has designed hotels and resorts in 160 countries and territories across six continents. For more information, visit