Design for Environment Strategies

Adapted from Design for Environmental Sustainability (Vezzoli &Manzini)
Min. Resource Consumption (5)
Min. Energy Consumption (5.2.6)
Pre-production and production:
• Use materials with low production
• Use energy efficient processes
and equipment
• Use cogeneration
• Increase engine efficiency
o Use speed regulators to
optimise efficiency
o Use optimal size
o Facilitate maintenance
• Use efficient workplace heating,
illumination and ventilation
• Use online collaboration tools
with remote work sites
• Use high storage density
• Concentrate products
• Design for onsite assembly
• Min. product & packaging weight
• Decentralize activities to reduce
transportation distances
• Use local material & energy
• Encourage collective use
• Use energy efficient tech.
• Use passive energy sources
• Integrate energy recovery systems
• Facilitate the user to reduce
energy consumption
• Use power-off and/or intelligent
energy consumption utilities
Min. Materials Consumption (5.2.1-
Pre-production and production:
• Min. material content
o Reduce physical dimensions
o Remove components with
little functionality
o Digitise
• Min. in-process waste
o Reduce material scrap
o Use computer simulation in
design, modelling &
• Avoid unnecessary packaging
• Integrate packaging into product
• Use tech. with increased material
consumption efficiency
• Use passive material sources
• Use a cascade approach for
materials consumption
• Facilitate user reduction of
material consumption
• Min. default consumption
• Automate the process to reduce
material consumption
Use Low Impact Resources (6)
Use Low Impact Energy Sources
(6.2.2, 6.3.2)
• Use renewable and/or low
emission energy resources
• Use a cascade approach to energy
• Match requirement with quality of
energy source
Use Low Impact Materials (6.2.1,
• Use renewable and/or non-toxic
• Use scraps of production
• Use components from disposed
• Use recycled materials
• Use bio-degradable materials
• Min. the risk of necessary toxins
• Avoid materials and processes
that emit toxins during pre-
production or production
• Design products that do not
consume toxic materials
• Avoid materials that emit toxins
during usage or disposal
Optimize Product Lifetime (7)
Design for an appropriate lifetime
• Use components with equal
• Facilitate replacement of
components with differing
• Design material durability based
on product intended lifetime
Design for reliability (7.6.2)
• Min. #of components
Facilitate upgrading & adaptability
• Facilitate onsite upgrading
• Design modular and dynamically
configured products
Facilitate maintenance, repairs,
cleaning, and re-manufacture (7.6.4
– 7.6.5, 7.6.7)
• Facilitate component access and
• Facilitate replacement of
expendable components
• Equip products with diagnostic
• Facilitate on-site maintenance,
repairs and cleaning
• Use modular and replaceable
standard parts
• Min. maintenance needs
Facilitate re-use (7.6.6)
• Strengthen fragile components to
allow reuse
• Simplify access and disassembly
of reusable components
• Replace disposable parts with re-
usable ones
• Use re-fillable and re-usable
• Design products for secondary use
Intensify Product Use (7.6.8)
• Design products and services for
shared use
• Design multifunctional products
• Design on-demand products and
• Min. surplus of products
Extend Material Lifetime (8)
Use the cascade approach (8.2.1)
• Facilitate recycling of materials in
products with lower mechanical
• Facilitate recycling of materials in
products with lower aesthetical
• Facilitate energy recovery from
materials through combustion
Use materials with efficient
recycling tech. (8.2.2)
• Use materials that more easily
recover original performance
characteristics after recycling

MIE315: Design for Environment 1 Spring 2014
Design for Environment Strategies
Adapted from Design for Environmental Sustainability (Vezzoli &Manzini)
• Avoid composite materials or,
when necessary, choose easily
recyclable ones
• Use geometrical solutions to
increase polymer stiffness instead
of reinforcing fibres
• Use thermoplastic over thermoset
• Use heat-proof thermoplastic
polymers over fireproof additives
• Design considering the secondary
use of the materials once recycled
Facilitate end-of-life collection and
transportation (8.2.3)
• Facilitate product retrieval
• Min. overall weight
• Min. cluttering and improve
stackability of discarded products
• Design for compressibility of
discarded products
• Provide the user with information
about the disposing modalities of
the product or its parts
Material identification (8.2.4)
• Codify different materials to
facilitate ID
• Provide information: material age,
times recycled, and additives used
• ID toxic or harmful material
• Use std. material ID systems
• Use high visibility codifications
• Codifying during production
Min. the # of different incompatible
materials (8.2.5)
• Integrate functions to reduce #of
materials & components
• Use 1 material / product
• Use only 1 material but in
different forms to achieve
• Use recycling compatible
materials within the product
Facilitate cleaning (8.2.6)
• Avoid unnecessary coating
• Avoid irremovable coating
• Facilitate removal of coating
• Use coatings that are compatible
with the material to be coated
• Avoid adhesives or choose ones
that are compatible with materials
to be adhered
• Use dyeing of internal polymers,
rather than surface painting
• Avoid using additional materials
for marking or codification
• Codify materials during moulding
• Codify materials using lasers
Facilitate composting (8.2.7)
• Use materials that degrade in the
expected end-of-life environment
• Facilitate separation of non-
degradable materials
• Avoid combining non-degradable
materials with products that are
going to be composted
Facilitate combustion (8.2.8)
• Avoid use of materials that hinder
• Facilitate separation of materials
that hinder incineration
• Avoid materials that emit toxins
during incineration
• Avoid additives that emit toxins
during incineration
Design for Disassembly (9)
Facilitate disassembly and
separation (9.2.1)
• Prioritize the disassembly of toxic
and dangerous components or
• Prioritize the disassembly of
components or materials with
higher economic value
• Prioritize the disassembly of
fragile components
• Use modular structures to
simplify separation of sub-
• Min. #of dependent connections
• Simplify the disassembly
• Use a sandwich system of
disassembly with central joining
• Avoid difficult-to-handle
component shapes
• Avoid asymmetrical components
• Avoid joining systems that require
simultaneous interventions for
• Min. #of fasteners
• Min. #of fastener types
• Avoid difficult-to-handle
• Design accessible entrances for
• Design accessible disassembly
Use reversible joining systems
• Use two-way snap-fit fasteners
• Use fasteners opened with
common tools
• Use fasteners opened with special
tools, when opening could be
• Use fasteners of materials that
become reversible only in
determined conditions
• Use screws with hexagonal heads
• Avoid self-tapping screws
• Use fasteners of a material that
can be recycled with the fastened
• Avoid metallic inserts in plastics
Use permanent joining systems that
can be separated (9.2.3)
• Avoid permanent fasteners on
incompatible materials
• Use ultrasonic and vibration
welding with plastics
• Avoid adhesives
• Use easily removable adhesives
Co-design special technologies and
features for crushing separation
(9.2.4 to 9.2.6)
• Design breaking paths for
separation of incompatible
• Provide product with a device to
separate incompatible materials
• Use joining elements that allow
for chemical or physical
• Provide accessible breaking
• Provide product with information
on the characteristics of crushing
• Use materials that are separable
after crushing

MIE315: Design for Environment 2 Spring 2014