Designer's requirements for evaluation of sustainability

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Today, sustainability of products is often evaluated on the basis of assessments of their environmental performance. Established means for this purpose are formal Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods. Designers have an essential influence on product design and are therefore one target group for life cycle-based evaluation methods. However, the application of LCA in the design process, when for example different materials and manufacturing processes have to be selected, is difficult. This is, among other things, because only a few designers have a deeper background in this area and even simplified LCAs involve calculations with a relatively high accuracy. Most LCA methods do therefore not qualify as hands-on tool for utilisation by typical designers.In this context, the authors raise the question, whether a largely simplified LCA-method which is exclusively based on energy considerations can be used as a tool for quick overviews at the conceptual level of product design. This is investigated by means of three case studies where potential environmental impact is estimated using the EDIP-method, the Eco-indicator 95 method, and an energy-based "Oil Point method" proposed by the authors. It is found that the results obtained using the Oil Point method are in good conformity with the results obtained with more complex methods. Two seminars with product developers, designers and environmental specialists where the case studies were presented indicated that the Oil Point method may well support designers in evaluating environmental aspects during their work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLife Cycle Design '98
    Place of PublicationStockholm
    PublisherRoyal Institute of Technology, KTH, Dep. of Machine Design
    Publication date1998
    Publication statusPublished - 1998
    EventLife Cycle Design '98: The 5th International CIRP seminar on life cycle engineering - Stockholm
    Duration: 1 Jan 1998 → …


    ConferenceLife Cycle Design '98: The 5th International CIRP seminar on life cycle engineering
    Period01/01/1998 → …

    Cite this