Development of usage models for the ecodesign of products: the concept of usage ecodrift
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Usage ecodrifts, which refer to non-optimal use of a product by the users, create additional environmental impact generators: energy overconsumption (real-time impacts) and abnormal wear and tear of parts of the product (delayed impacts). The goal of this study is to demonstrate that these Usage EcoDrifts must be taken into account during the design stage to better the environmental performance of the use phase of the product. In this paper, we study the case of different usages of a vacuum cleaner and their environmental consequences. We first conducted a survey to gather information on how people use the product. Then, we conducted experimentations to measure the consequences of the usages. We also explored how the testers responded to feedback inviting them to adopt a more sustainable behaviour. Results show that most of the users do not use the product optimally and cause additional environmental impact. Several usage ecodrifts were identified, causing both abnormal energy overconsumption and wear and tear of the product. The calculations show that delayed environmental impacts, because their consequence is the early replacement of the whole product, are of much greater importance than real-time environmental impacts.
KeywordsUsage EcoDrift Use phase model Ecodesign Life cycle assessment Users segmentation Interactive design
We thank the ANR (French national research agency) for its support through the ECOTECH program.
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