Summary
Environmentally sustainable design (also called environmentally conscious design, eco-design, etc.) is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecological sustainability and also aimed at improving the health and comfort of occupants in a building. Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, the health and well-being of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments. The sustainable design intends to "eliminate negative environmental impact through skillful sensitive design". Manifestations of sustainable design require renewable resources and innovation to impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment. “Human beings don't have a pollution problem; they have a design problem. If humans were to devise products, tools, furniture, homes, factories, and cities more intelligently from the start, they wouldn't even need to think in terms of waste, contamination, or scarcity. Good design would allow for abundance, endless reuse, and pleasure.” - The Upcycle by authors Michael Braungart and William McDonough, 2013. Design-related decisions are happening everywhere daily, impacting “sustainable development” or provisioning for the needs of future generations of life on earth. Sustainability and design are intimately linked. Quite simply, our future is designed. The term “design” is here used to refer to practices applied to the making of products, services, as well as business and innovation strategies — all of which inform sustainability. Sustainability can be thought of as the property of continuance; that is, what is sustainable can be continued. The principle that all directions of progress run out, ending with diminishing returns, is evident in the typical 'S' curve of the technology life cycle and in the useful life of any system as discussed in industrial ecology and life cycle assessment.
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