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Green Design and Ecologically Concerned Architecture

Green design in engineering is an umbrella term describing the various techniques used in prioritizing environmental considerations through the various design stages of a product or system, with the objective of conserving or minimising any damage to the environment. All products have some environmental impact, though some products use more resources, cause more pollution or generate more waste than others. Consequently the objective of green design is to identify those which cause least damage.

The fundamental principles of green design in engineering focus on using products with recyclable materials and recycled content, utilizing least toxic materials and manufacturing processes, minimizing or designing away the extraneous and designing for durability and longevity.

The key components of green design are summarised below:

  • Integrate design aspects for multiplicity of function;
  • Design for durability and longevity - think about the unintended consequences of maintenance and renewal;
  • Select materials that use their base resource most efficiently;
  • Value long-term benefits over short-term profits;
  • Can renewable energy sources be used?
  • Use products with recyclable materials and recycled content;
  • Reduce, reuse, recover and recycle.

ecospecifier - "the extensive database, decision making guide, project case-studies and training documents to assist eco-design" (Australian! Sponsored by RMIT). ecospecifier.org

Society for Responsible Design - Aussie association with practical suggestions of ways that designers can make a difference. green.net.au/srd/

Centre for Design (RMIT) aim "to conduct an integrated program of interdisciplinary research, consulting & professional development to promote and demonstrate the role of design and innovation in achieving an environmentally sustainable future for Australia". cfd.rmit.edu.au

The EcoDesign Foundation includes the Design for Sustainability Guide by Ezio Manzini, an excellent online resource: edf.edu.au/DfSGuideWebsite/Guide/GuideFrameset.htm

ChangeX - a cross-campus student exhibition of design works which address issues of social responsibility and sustainability. edf.edu.au/Changex/index.html

An Australian government document from 2001 "Product Innovation The Green Advantage - An Introduction to Design for Environment for Australian Business" gives some practical suggestions: deh.gov.au/industry/finance/publications/producer.html

Eternally Yours organisation encourages designers to create products with a useful life of at least 10 years. There's a 130 page book on sustainable product development you can download from their site, too. eternally-yours.org

Australian Environmental Labelling Association: aela.org.au/aela/home.htm

One of the examples shown in one of the videos we're watching is the Southcorp Dishlex Global Dishwasher: designawards.com.au/ADA/97-98/INDUSTRIAL DESIGN/084/084.HTM

Rotaloo - another very Australian solution - the green Dunny!

Some other links that may be of interest:

Bioclimatic Design

"This volume puts forward some fundamental concepts and basic ideas about ecological and sustainable design such as:

  • Towns and cities have to be understood as an ecological system;
  • New strategies and environmentally friendly urban design process have to be adopted for regeneration, in order to have the lowest impact on humans and nature;
  • Learning from the past: the traditional building methods, bioclimatic through nature, and the use of a variety of local materials have to be reconsidered;
  • Integrated environmental approaches for developing and managing a design process have to be considered
  • Design aids are essential in order to support designer’s choices for building and for environmentally friendly constructions. polistampa.com/asp/sl.asp?id=3237

The Tennesee Aquatorium by SITE exhibits many excellent characteristics of contemporary green design.




retrokat.com quite nice sites

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