3.2 System Design For Eco Efficiency Vezzoli Polimi 07 08  3.11
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3.2 System Design For Eco Efficiency Vezzoli Polimi 07 08 3.11

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3.2 System Design For Eco Efficiency Vezzoli Polimi 07 08  3.11 3.2 System Design For Eco Efficiency Vezzoli Polimi 07 08 3.11 Document Transcript

  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency course System Design for Sustainability subject 3. System design for eco-efficency carlo vezzoli politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . Italy Learning Network on Sustainability contents “Satisfactional-system” approach “stakeholders’ interactions” approach objective: system eco-efficency System design for eco-efficiency criteria System life optimisation Transportation-distribution reduction Resources reduction Waste minimisation-valorisation Conservation-biocompatibility Toxic reduction carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 3.2.1 System design for eco-efficiency (or PSS 1 ) After understanding the opportunities offered by system innovation to the product/service development, it's time to return to the role of designer. So let's start with the explanation of this particular innovation, with two main characteristics of the system innovation: radical innovations that focus less on technological solutions and more on creating new interactions/partnership between the stakeholders of the demand satisfaction system (life cycle/s) innovations that could lead up to new convergences between the stakeholders, induced by economic interests and characterized by system eco-efficiency. So far the introduction to design the system innovation for eco-efficiency has led design researchers to work on defining new skills of a more strategic nature, that aim at system eco-efficiency through their strategic convergence of interests, and are coherent with the quot;satisfaction-basedquot;, quot;multi-life- cyclequot; perspective. In synthesis, the main characteristics of the system design for eco-efficiency approach, already introduced in learning resource 1.3 are: a satisfactory approach (demand-satisfaction design); a stakeholder interaction approach (stakeholder’s configuration design); a system eco-efficiency approach (ecoefficient-oriented design). The consequence of this understanding has been the identification of key issues. design must learn to develop environmentally sustainable products and services together design must learn to promote and facilitate new configurations (interactions/partnership) between different “stakeholders”, that converge the economic and environmental interests the ability to operate/facilitate a participatory design process among entrepreneurs, users, NGO, institutions, etc. orientating this process towards environmentally sustainable solutions the ability to orientate the design process towards eco-efficient solutions. These are skills and abilities that are relatively new for a designer, but as we said are connected to the disciplinary area known as strategic design (Manzini, Collina, Evans, 2004) or Product-Service System design (van Halen, Vezzoli., Wimmer, 2005), areas already endowed with their own body of theory and their own methods and tools. For this reason the expression strategic design for sustainability has been brought to use (Manzini, Vezzoli, 2001). As such considerations give rise to a convergence of system design for eco- efficiency with both strategic design and Life Cycle Design, has also been argued (Brezet, 2001; Manzini, Vezzoli, 2001) that design for environmental sustainability must use and integrate the methods and tools of strategic design (and vice versa). In the described perspective of design, which takes into account all simultaneously active socio- economic stakeholders, designers must likewise equip themselves with the necessary skills to operate in a participatory design context (i.e. among different entrepreneurs, institutions, NGOs, associations and services) for system development that includes the offer (products and services). 1 In fact, here is preferable to use the terminology of system innovation instead of Product-Service System (PSS) because: a) it includes PSS already; b) it is more than design of products and services, also the interactions and configuration of stakeholders are important subjects to be designed. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 As far as design practice is concerned, the first design methods and tools have recently been developed, such as tools for the development of design orienting scenarios, for the strategic convergence of different stakeholders, for interaction designing and for the generation of ideas for highly sustainable systems. For example: tools for the design and visualization of the material, information and economic flows and relations between socio-economic stakeholders in a particular system of offers (Jegou, 2005; Sangiorgi, 2005). 3.2.2 System design for eco-efficiency criteria It has been already observed that, not every system innovation is eco-efficient. Accordingly is of key importance to adopt appropriate methods and tools, when designing new systems (with the potentialities to be radically sustainable), that would steer it towards a sustainable solution. For this reason, in terms of the development of new systems it is expedient to operate and adopt appropriate criteria and guidelines. Some of those methods and tools will be presented in learning resource 5.1-2-3, but now we should focus on the design criteria and guidelines for system eco-efficiency. As defined in the MEPSS EU research, 6 criteria can be listed according to their orientation towards eco-efficiency2 : 1. system life optimisation 2. transportation/distribution reduction 3. resources reduction 4. waste minimisation/valorisation 5. conservation/bio-compatibility 6. toxicity reduction. Though similar to product guidelines, a clear shift from “functional” to “satisfactory” design reference appears, that emphasises the enlargement of design scope, the reconcentration from single product to the whole product-service system and its participants, the system that provides satisfaction for given needs and desires. From here on, the perspective stays on the multiple life cycles of demand satisfaction systems. Next paragraphs will present these criteria together with guidelines and examples. 3.2.3 System life optimisation When speaking about system life optimisation, we mean the design for system stakeholders’ interactions leading to extending the sum of the products’ life span and intensifying the sum of the products’ use. We already discussed (see also learning resource 2.3) that a product with longer lifespan than another similarly functioning one, generally determines smaller environmental impact. A product with accelerated wear will not only generate untimely waste, but will also determine further impact due to the need to replace it (see fig. ??). 2 Developed in a European research project entitled MEPSS, Method for Product-Service System development, funded by EU, 5FP, Growth. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 Production and distribution of a new product to replace its function involves the consumption of new resources and the further generation of emissions. Environmental advantages of a product’s (system sum) with a longer lifespan But regarding to the given product in use, the extension of its lifespan might not determine a reduction in impact; continuing to use an old product can even cause an increase in impact. When technological development offers the opportunity to have new products with better environmental effectiveness (e.g. lower consumption of energy or materials or reductions in emissions) providing the same exact service, then soon the need to manufacture, distribute and dispose the new product will be compensated, in terms of balancing environmental impact, by improved performance in use. However, the duration of products can be planned by increasing their reliability and facilitating updating, adaptability, maintenance, repairs, re-use and re-manufacturing. Finally, on a system perspective we have to consider the overall and interlinked avoided (or eventually added) environmental impacts of the whole of the products or support products needed for the satisfaction of a certain demand of needs and desires. Let's take a look at the environmental advantages of intensifying the usage of the product. The figure ?? depicts a product that is shared and used intensively by Andrew in the periods A1, by Bernard during the periods B1, and finally by Charlie at the periods C1. Below we have the timeline with the same service rendered from 3 different products each one used by the three aforementioned persons. So one item is pre-produced, produced, distributed for Andrew and then used by him, another one for Bernard and finally third one for Charlie. In the figure the avoided impacts of an intensively used product are highlighted blue. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 Environmental advantages of intensifying the usage of the product’s system sum (life span not dependent by the length of use) In reality this reasoning is valid as far as life span is not dependent by the length of use, for example for those products that are disposed because they appear obsolete though not worn out. Let us consider then even the case in which the life span is dependent from the length of use. So the same situation we saw before is reported in figure ??, but now the below products non intensly used last longer. So if we want to compare the two scenario we should take into account the pre- production, production, distribution and the use and disposal of an other product when the first is disposed that is used in the same periods. And than of an other product when the second is disposed. Environmental advantages of intensifying the usage of the product (life span dependent by the length of use) carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 In qualitative terms to understand whether an existing system presents problems related to life optimisation, the following key questions should be asked: Are disposable systems used? Are disposable products packaging or support products used? Do parts of the system tend to be technologically obsolete? Do parts of the system tend to be culturally/aesthetically obsolete? Do some parts of the system tend to wear out more easily (than others)? 3.2.4 Transportation/distribution reduction Transportation/distribution reduction denotes the design of system stakeholders’ interactions leading to reduced sum of the transportations and packaging. To understand in qualitative terms whether an existing system presents problems related to life optimisation, the following key questions should be asked: Is there any excessive transportation of goods? Is there any excessive transportation of semi-finished products or by-products? Is there any excessive transportation of people? Are the transportation means in service fully used? 3.2.5 Resources reduction By reduction of resources is meant the design for system stakeholders’ interactions that reduce the sum of the resources used by all products and services of the system. Materials and energy, albeit with different intensity for different products, are used throughout the entire life cycle. For that reason the design approach must aim at reducing consumption of resources at all stages, including, design and management activities. It is obvious that a reduction in the use of resources determines cancellation of environmental impact regarding what is no longer used. Using less material diminishes impact, not just because fewer materials are manufactured, but also due to avoiding their conversion, transport and disposal. In the same way, lower energy use diminishes impact, thanks to smaller amount of energy that has to be produced and transported. Finally, on a system perspective we have to consider the overall and interlinked material and energy reduction of the whole of the products or support products needed for the satisfaction of a certain demand of needs and desires. To understand whether an existing system presents problems in qualitative terms related to resources reduction, the following key questions should be asked: Is the system consuming high quantities of energy? Is the system consuming high quantities of natural resources? Is the system absorbing high quantities of consumables? Are products, packaging or support products highly material intensive? carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 3.2.6 Waste minimisation/valorisation Waste minimization/valorisation entails the design for system stakeholders’ interactions improving the sum of the system recycling, energy recovery and composting and reducing the sum of the waste produced. As we introduced in learning resource 2.3 we use the term recycling when secondary raw materials are used to manufacture new industrial products and composting, when secondary raw materials are made into compost. In all these cases the environmental advantage is doubled (see fig. ??). First we avoid the environmental impact of disposing of materials in landfills. In the second place resources or energy are made available for the production avoiding the impact from the extraction and processing of a corresponding quantity of materials and energy from virgin natural resources. The impact of these avoided processes can be considered as an indirect environmental advantage. Finally, on a system perspective we have to consider the overall and interlinked avoided (or eventually added) environmental impacts of the whole of the products or support products needed for the satisfaction of a certain demand of needs and desires. Environmental advantages of extending the lifespan of materials of the whole of the products and support products of a certain system of satisfaction A clarification on materials’ recyclability: it is common to hear that certain material is 100% recyclable. Often these statements have no meaning. In fact, in one way or in an other nearly all materials are recyclable. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 Therefore the reconcilability depends obviously on the specific material’s characteristics, namely the performances recovery potential and the relative costs, e.g. metals recover their performances better than plastics after recycling. But the recyclability depends also on the way a material is “fitted” into a product; if it is easy to separate it from others: we can say that it depends on the product’s architecture. We could have a material capable of well recovering its performances, but very hard and not convenient to be separated from others. Here they cannot be called recyclable materials. Similarly recyclability depends on every recycling phases, beginning from collection and transportation. We could have a material capable of well recovering its performances, easy to be separated from the others, but much too costly to be collected and transported to the recycling sites, meaning that they are not recyclable materials. To understand whether an existing system presents problems in qualitative terms that are related to resources reduction, the following key questions should be asked. • Do all waste end up in landfill? • Does the system produce high quantities of landfill waste at the end of service-life? • Do the production, packaging and support products produce big quantities of landfill waste? 3.2.7 Conservation/biocompatibility Conservation and biocompatibility entails the design for system stakeholders’ interactions that improves the overall amount of the system’s resources conservation/renewability. An explanation is needed on resources renewability. Timber is renewable material, but the same type of wood can be procured from two different areas, whereas one of them is under planned and controlled exploitation and the other one not, leading to deforestation. So the very same material can qualify as renewable in the first case, and not renewable/non-reproducable in the other case. It can be summarised that the renewability depends upon specific re-growing speed and extraction frequency. Therefore we can define that: a resource is renewable when the consumption rate is smaller than the natural re-growing rate. Finally, on a system perspective we have to consider the overall and interlinked level of renewability of the whole of the materials of the whole of the products or support products needed for the satisfaction of a certain demand of needs and desires. To understand whether an existing system presents problems in qualitative terms related to conservation and biocompatibility, the following key questions should be asked. • Is all the energy produced from exhausting resources (e.g. fossil fuels)? • Does the system use mainly depleting and/or non-renewable materials for products, support products, packaging, and infrastructure? 3.2.8 Toxic reduction Reduction of toxic emissions entail the design for system stakeholders’ interactions that reduce/avoid the gross total of toxicity and harmfulness among the resources utilised or emitted by the system. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.2 System design for eco-efficiency . year 2007-2008 Regarding to this is important to remember that a properly effective approach must always refer to the entire life cycle and to every concurring process of the whole of the products and the support products of a particular system of satisfaction. Meaning that various technologies for transforming and treating materials (some of them might entail toxic or noxious emissions, others equally effective might not) have to be considered along with distribution systems that cause the least harm to the environment, products designed to use energy and consumable resources less invasively. Finally, we must orientate our choice of materials (and additives) towards minimizing the emissions that occur during disposal. To illustrate materials’ environmental impact, we have to understand that except toxic materials, (like asbestos, that should be avoided anyway) the environmental impact depends upon both: • the material-specific characteristics and • the product-specific characteristics. Let's take as an example a composite material like a polymeric matrix filled with fibres. Though it is used to manufacture disposable dishes, it is very bad material in terms of environmental impact, since it causes many problems in the disposal phase and it is very resource-using in production. On the other side, the same composite material could be with a low environmental impact if used to produce some parts of a product, which will be moved, so forth having the greater impact in the usage phase due to fuel consumption. While this material is probably lighter than others, it will, by reducing the overall weight, reduce the whole transportation consumption. Therefore it might be also good or at least better material in environmental terms. For this reason alone would be misleading to propose scaled environmental impact ranking of different materials. Finally, on a system perspective we have to consider the overall and interlinkedtoxicity of the whole of the materials and processes of the whole of the products or support products needed for the satisfaction of a certain demand of needs and desires. To understand whether an existing system presents problems in qualitative terms related to toxic and harmful resources, the following key questions should be asked. Are the processed resources toxic or potentially toxic for the workers? Are the processed resources toxic or potentially toxic in during distribution? Are the processed resources toxic or potentially toxic for the user? Are the products, support products, packaging or infrastructure toxic or potentially toxic during after service time treatments? carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability