A Method for Understanding Sustainable Design Trade-Offs During the Early Design Phase

  • Addison WisthoffEmail author
  • Bryony DuPont
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 52)


The purpose of this research is to present a new method for integrating sustainable design knowledge into the early design phase of new products and processes. A novel organized search tree is constructed to enable the application of sustainable design knowledge before and during concept generation. To further facilitate its application, this search tree is embedded in an easy-to-use web-based application called the GREEn Quiz (Guidelines and Regulations for Early design for the Environment). As a designer progresses through the quiz, user responses are compiled and weighted, and a final environmental impact report is provided to the user. Two research studies are explored to validate the proposed method. The results of these studies show that the search-tree format and presentation of the collection of design knowledge presented in this work provide design engineers with a valuable and informative resource for facilitating the design of products with reduced environmental impacts.


Sustainable products Product development Early design phase Design for the environment Sustainable design theory 



This work was funded by the National Science Foundation CMMI -1350065 and Oregon State University’s School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing EngineeringOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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