Design for Environment
Design for environment (DfE) serves as basis for the integration of environmental aspects in design, and development processes of products and product systems. Based on life cycle assessments data, Design for Environment enables the environmental analysis of design modifications and further development of products at an early stage.
Under consideration of technical and economical and ecological requirements (e.g. material selection and feasibility), the most suitable design options are investigated. In this case, it is crucial to consider the whole product life cycle to prevent a shift of environmental burdens within the individual life cycle phases.
A concept for the integration of Design for Environment into the workflow of companies is illustrated in the following flow chart.
Since the ecological improvements of products and systems require a close cooperation of all departments that are involved in the development process, it is necessary to communicate all insights and essential measures to all parties concerned. This incorporates the translation of all relevant ecological aspects into designers’ language. Simplifications are possible by using check lists or manuals.
In contrast to pure qualitative Eco-Design methods, Life cycle Assessments supported methods enable the application of product-specific and pointed improvement measures, which already can be quantified at an early stage of the design and development processes.
- Decision support by accompanying development and design processes
- Creation of flexible life cycle assessments modules of product systems for the direct environmental assessment of different design modifications
- Reliable statements on the environmental profile, weak points and improvement measures of product design options
- Weak point, sensitivity and scenario analyses.