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27.01.2022

A new method for circular design takes material flows into account.

Design is a key factor in determining the circularity of products and services. Researchers propose a new method. It should guide designers in their choice of materials and design.

Design is a fundamental decision stage affecting the circularity of products and services. The design process allows, for example, to use fewer of scarce resources or to choose a modular design that increases repairability and recyclability.

For this reason, a simple and easy‑to‑apply method to quantify the link between multifaceted design parameters and the pressure on resources is pivotal for designers to make informed decisions. Researchers from Empa from the project from Karoline Frankenberger “Laboratory for circular economy (LACE)” published an article in «Resources, Conservation and Recycling», proposinga new indicator called "resource pressure". It should help in the design process, for example, in the choice of materials. Copper or aluminum? In addition to the method, the knowledge transfer note N° 4 from sanu durabilitas, also presents the case of the design of a heat exchanger as an application example.

sanu durabilitas - Foundation for Sustainable Development and partner for knowledge transfer in the LACE project - summarizes with this knowledge transfer note the most important elements of this method in an accessible way.

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Nils Moussu Stiftung sanu durabilitas Dufourstrasse 18 2502 Biel-Bienne +41 33 533 22 14 nils.moussu@sanudurabilitas.ch