Research Papers: Design Theory and Methodology

A Compilation of Design for Environment Guidelines

[+] Author and Article Information
Cassandra Telenko

Department of Mechanical Engineering and
School of Industrial Design,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30308
e-mail: cassandra.telenko@me.gatech.edu

Julia M. O'Rourke, Carolyn Conner Seepersad, Michael E. Webber

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78701

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received May 31, 2015; final manuscript received October 22, 2015; published online January 13, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Harrison M. Kim.

J. Mech. Des 138(3), 031102 (Jan 13, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: MD-15-1404; doi: 10.1115/1.4032095 History: Received May 31, 2015; Revised October 22, 2015

Policymakers, consumers, and industry leaders are increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of modern products. In response, product designers seek simple and effective methods for lowering the environmental footprints of their concepts. Design for environment (DfE) is a field of product design methodology that includes tools, methods, and principles to help designers reduce environmental impact. The most powerful and well-known tool for DfE is life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA requires a fully specified design, however, which makes it applicable primarily at the end of the design process. Because the decisions with the greatest environmental impact are made during early design stages when data for a comprehensive LCA are not yet available, it is important to develop DfE tools that can be implemented in the early conceptual and embodiment design stages. Based on a broad critical review of DfE literature and best practices, a set of 76 DfE guidelines are compiled and reconciled for use in early stage design of products with minimal environmental impact. Select guidelines are illustrated through examples, and several strategies for using the guidelines are introduced.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Design
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Fig. 1

The product development stages, showing LCA as a retrospective tool and DfE guidelines as a concurrent design tool [15]

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Fig. 2

Final DfE mind map (abridged)

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Fig. 3

Xerox® uses remanufactured modules. Adapted from Refs. [59,60].

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Fig. 4

Wearer’s movement powers the Seiko Kinetic® auto relay [64]

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Fig. 5

The Black and Decker® Leaf Hog™ uses a ribbed structure to increase strength and reduce material use

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Fig. 6

SinkPositive diverts tank water through a faucet [40]

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Fig. 7

The ECO kettle™ responds to user habits and helps users heat only what they need [66]

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Fig. 8

The IKEA POANG chair has been successful since 1977 [69]

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Fig. 9

Ford model U concept car has a modular and upgradeable interior [71]



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