Definition of Sustainable Design

What Is Sustainable Design?


Sustainable design is the intention to reduce or completely eliminate negative environmental impacts through thoughtful designs. This concept can be applied across all fields of design such as designing buildings or products.

A sustainable design, regardless of the application, will seek to incorporate environmentally-preferable outcomes such as:

  • Lower energy and water consumption through the entire lifecycle – from manufacture to daily use to disposal
  • Minimize impact on climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or mitigating them through carbon neutralizing activities
  • Limit resource consumption through waste-free manufacturing, a preference for renewable resources, and an emphasis on recycled materials
  • Reduce or eliminate waste by minimizing consumption, reusing when possible, and recycling when necessary
  • Minimize impact on the local ecosystem and look for ways to incorporate biomimicry principles where possible
  • Give preference to non-toxic materials and those that will contribute to the health and wellbeing of humanity
  • Emphasize quality and durability over price
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