LeNS (2007-2010), the Learning Network on Sustainability, a project for curricula development and teaching diffusion on Design for Sustainability focused on product-service system innovation, has developed Product Life Cycle Design Tools.
LCA is a good tool to assess the environmental performance of a product. Although it is widely used by designers, LCA is often time consuming and costly. Different programme softwares providing LCA are:
The results of LCA are not so straight forward in favour of one product or material design over the alternative one, hence the results of LCA have to interpreted or weighed. The eco-indicator 99 methodology is an LCA weighing method specially developed for product design. is the most recent version of the method, which using a simple set of inventory tables and standard impact data for materials and processes, allows a basic assessment to be performed. Its main drawback is the limited number of impact indicators, but it is nevertheless an effective tool for those who do not wish to invest the money in a more accurate tool.
SimaPro follows a similar system to the basic Eco-Indicator 99 method but as a software programme it is quick and easy to use, and has a far more comprehensive database of impact data. It also allows more experienced users to develop their own impact scores for materials and processes not included as standard.
SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress enables you to perform screening-level life cycle assessment (LCA) directly on individual part designs to help you understand the environmental impacts of your design decisions. SustainabilityXpress is included with each of the SolidWorks 3D CAD design packages—SolidWorks Premium, Professional, and Standard.
You start by entering basic product parameters, such as manufacturing process and region, to calculate overall impacts of your part design on four key environmental indicators: carbon footprint, total energy demand, impacts to the air, and impacts to water. The initial analysis provides a baseline for direct comparison with any design changes.
Design for Sustainability manuals and tools