Improving sustainability through material design

Päivi Kivikytö-Reponen, Marjaana Karhu, Olli Salmi

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference AbstractScientific


    Sustainable design is typically defined in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability during the whole life cycle of the product. Sustainable design practices depend on increasing consumer awareness of environmental issues, new regulation and the scarcity of materials and other resources. Not only design guidelines for products, but also design guidelines to materials used in products are an effective way to influence resource efficiency and product sustainability. Creating design rules for products is often a complex multi-optimization task with material selection, manufacturing optimization, cost, functionality, availability and sustainability aspects as variables. Using multi-scale modelling aided optimization, the total product energy consumption can be minimized. Going beyond material selection from the conventional materials, design of materials and material processing are another way to influence on the product embodied energy and material efficiency. In our study we compare different material processing methods in order to increase product sustainability specifically in terms of energy efficiency. Design choices and energy consumption are discussed through case examples. Use of secondary raw materials and alternative material processing methods are suitable also in small scale production. They can decrease material processing related energy consumption considerably, and in the future non-energy material processing is theoretically possible.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event19th International Conference on Sustainable Innovation 2014: Cities and Regions as Catalysts for Smart and Sustainable Innovation - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 3 Nov 20144 Nov 2014


    Conference19th International Conference on Sustainable Innovation 2014


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