Design Process 5.

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Environmental considerations
 

Introduction

Mounting financial and environmental pressure means the retail display industry is being challenged now more than ever to produce ‘efficient’ designs.

Major retails and brands will have robust environmental policies in place and expect the same from their suppliers.

The dc design process will ensure your display equipment meets the relevant local legislative requirements and the manufacturer can produce sustainable, resource efficient display equipment that minimises impacts and increases circularity.

Good design is not just about aesthetics, it must meet the needs of the user and provide safe and fit for purpose equipment.  This needs to be achieved whilst ensuring that the life cycle environmental impacts are minimised and that the maximum amount of utility is extracted from materials resources before they are finally disposed of.

Sustainability

Good design is not just about aesthetics, it must meet the needs of the user and provide safe and fit for purpose equipment.  This needs to be achieved whilst ensuring that the life cycle environmental impacts are minimised and that the maximum amount of utility is extracted from materials resources before they are finally disposed of.

During the initial the concept briefings consider the following:

Minimise Resource Use

Minimise the amount of materials where possible within the required performance specification. do not ‘over design ensure the overall approach used is appropriate for the expected life span. (I,C)

 

Recycled Material Content

Specify materials with a high recycled content, (this reduces ‘primary’ material demand and in the vast majority of cases recycled materials have a lower embodied impact) (I,C)

 

Recyclable

Specify materials which are commercially recyclable and ensure they are clearly labelled or identified in accompanying information to encourage and enable recycling at end of life. (C)

 

Renewable

All materials should be derived from a certified renewable source (e.g. wood should be FSC) where relevant. (I,C)

 

Disassembly

Design to allow ease of full disassembly. (Parts are then more likely to be recycled at the end of the fixtures’ useful lifespan. Use de-mountable fixings and avoid permanent joining materials of different types. (C)

 

Performance / Durability

Specify materials that are appropriate to the design life of the item. Specify durable and long-lasting instead of those that have long life but these may not be needed in temporary and short life units. Ensure the materials satisfy the performance requirements of the brief without ‘over performing’.(I,C)

 

Standardisation

Avoid ‘specials’ wherever possible/ utilise standard platforms where possible to ensure maximum flexibility of all equipment between departments & stores (C) Consider modular construction techniques to promote re-use through standardisation or sub-assemblies and components.

 

Flexibility

Adopt a design approach that maximizes the flexibility of the fixture to enhance its longevity (where appropriate)

 

Packaging

Specify packaging that is reusable where possible. If this is not possible ensure it is minimal and uses recycled and recyclable materials without compromising the integrity and functionality of the packaging (I,C)

 

Logistics / Installation / Decommissioning

Consider the use of ‘flat pack’ to increase transportation efficiency. balance this with easy / speed of installation and ability to disassembly, reuse and/or recycling when decommissioning. (I)

 

Wellbeing

Specify materials which are non-toxic or have low toxicity, and minimise pollution in manufacture, transport & installation and disposal.

 

Legal Compliance

Ensure the designs meet all the relevant producer responsibility legislation, and any legally enforced materials restrictions and information on materials content.

 

Evaluation

In order to evaluate the benefits of sustainable design a scoring system must be used to compare designs and measure improvements.

dc measures two separate aspects of the display equipment:

 

  1. Impact

A measure of the carbon footprint of the equipment, this includes:

  • materials
  • manufacturing processes
  • logistics
  • transportation
  • eventual end of life
  1. Circularity

A measure of the overall circularity of the equipment which takes into account:

  • recycled and recyclable / renewable content
  • amount of materials used
  • standardisation and ability to re-use components, durability
  • ease of disassembly deconstruction and packaging
  1. Efficiency

A measure of the electrical performance of the design, including lighting and digital equipment. 

  • Efficiency of control gear
  • Efficiency of LED’s
  • Energy consumption

 

The ‘weighting’ of materials versus energy will be depended on the life of the product and a final score rating will need to be created after we’ve processed an agreed quantity of test models.

 

Approval considerations 


Design

Approvals must be sought by the designer from key stakeholders at pre-agreed stages of the design process. This may include but are not limited to:

  • Client
  • Creative team
  • Health and safety
  • Engineering and electrical
  • Procurement

Display equipment must meet the specific requirements of the client and comply with all relevant standards. The designer must also highlight any specific issues that may impact on the either the creative or engineering design which may contravene any of these standards.

Safety requirements use sound risk assessment principles that identify potential hazards and risks associated with the intended use of the item and the use of control measures to eliminate or reduce to manageable levels those identified risks.

The dc mark gives end users the confidence that designers have taken accountability for their designs and have adhered to the principles and standards set out in this guidance

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