Eco-Effective Product Systems

December 31, 2015


Decision Support for Planning Eco-Effective Product Systems


Principal Investigators
MIT: J.Ehrenfeld
UT: F.Kimura, T.Kiriyama
ETH: R.Zuest, M.Frei, M.Meier, L.Baraf, S.Meuller, J.Soth, S.Schaufleberger
EPFL: P.Xirouchakis, D.Kiritsis
DTU: L.Alting
KTH: C.Luttrop, J.Persson

The goal of this research was to develop methodology and tools for planning environmentally friendly product systems based on life-cycle modeling, by moving back to the product planning and pre-design phase prior to the point where the product designer determines both 90-95% of all the costs AND all environmental impact of activities, products and services, with the aim of causing a shift in industry paradigm.

Expected Deliverables:

  1. Formal, well-structured product systems requirements model to form the basis for product development before the later phases (such as conceptual design and embodiment design); over a product system’s life phases and must generate clear and consistent holistic goals
  2. Ways to assess environmental and business aspects simultaneously (life-cycle analysis including factory model and usage model)
  3. Direct behavioral change of practicing designers throughout the research add the corresponding exchange of information.
  4. Change of the education of designers and mechanical engineers
  5. Broad dissemination o results by developing computer aided education modules accessible on the Internet or as CD-ROM
  6. Possibly to outreach to LDCs through establishing linkages with other projects.

Research contributed to different ECODESIGN approaches and educational material, including a book in the AGS series entitled “Eco-Design Pilot – Produce Investigation, Learning and Optimization Tool for Sustainable Product Development with CD-ROM”. The book complements the ECODESIGN PILOT developed by the Institute for Engineering Design at the Vienna University of Technology.

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