The Azimuth Project
Sustainable design (Rev #5, changes)

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Idea

Sustainable design, sustainable engineering, eco design is product design/engineering which takes aspects of sustainability into consideration. Here products are investigated not only under typical design aspects like functionality and esthetics but also under aspects like recyclability, reusability, carbon footprint, etc.

A first orientation on the involved criteria can be found at this criteria matrix (in german) or the ecodesign pilot by the Institut for Engineering Design at the Vienna University of technology. Criteria may be bound to special application like for example the eco design criteria of industrial furnaces and ovens etc.

Sustainable design

Life cycle assessment

A key part of sustainable design is to keep environmental impacts as transparent and evaluable as possible. For this a life cycle assessment (LCA), i.e. an analysis of the involved materials/processes etc. of a products lifetime can be done. This analysis can be made with the assistance of computer tools called LCA tools (see below).

consumption/ consumption tracking

Investigations of consumption, consumption patterns and material flows are partially input for life cycle assessments, they play however also a role in establishing consumer needs and how the consumers may participate in the sustainable effort.

institutions

Tools

Sustainable design is often acompagnied by tools which are useful for identifying actions which are thought as providing more sustainable solutions. It should however be pointed out that using computers for assisting an eco design process accounts again for environmental impact. Julian Kunkel at the German Climate Computing Center answered to a question in Jan 2011 that there exists to his knowledge no easy comprehensible website on questions like the environmental impact and handling of data storage and data transfer. The awareness for such issues is raising though (see e.g. press release of finish company MOTIVA).

LCA tools

European Comission, LCA tools

some tracking tools

etc. To be continued.

See also: