Last week we defined in part sustainable design as “the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability” with the intention of sustainable design being to eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design”. In theory, manifestations of sustainable design require no non-renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment.

I also raised the questions “Can Odoni-Elwell improve its environmental credentials through good design?” and “Does eco-design provide some, all or even any of the answer?”

I ended last week’s post by including an image of the Sustainable Design Cycle which considers the life cycle of products. It may appear obvious that to be increase our environmental credentials and go greener we must assess how green we are currently.

According to Sustainable Minds (2013)

75% of manufacturing costs are committed by the end of the concept phase”

And…

“Operationalizing greener product design starts with bringing life cycle thinking and a whole product systems approach to the beginning of the design process. The result is innovative, greener products, cost savings by reducing re-engineering, and greater competitive advantage”

 

To assess the life cycle of a product we must:

  • Detail and explain the product and its components
  • Explore how it comes into being
  • Consider what happens to it at the end of its life?
  • Consider what are its upstream and downstream processes?

We have and are currently assessing the life cycle of our products as part of a project in collaboration with the Eco Design Centre. Next week we will being to look at the life cycle of one of our more popular products, the ST1 Bike Shelter.

Many thanks to Stuart Clarke, whose research and hard-work has made this post and all the posts over the next coming weeks possible.

The flower

A few weeks ago I was attending a meeting between Odoni-Elwell (my employers) and the Eco Design Centre which served as a meet and greet between new members of the two organisations (and what I feel could turn out to be the beginning of a learning experience for myself!). I showed up at the meeting knowing very little about eco-design and although I left still lacking detailed knowledge in the area, I was eager to investigate and learn more. In many areas, Odoni-Elwell are where they need to be. However, the company wishes to embed a sustainable approach still further.

This is perhaps best illustrated by our environmental policy, intended as an honest appraisal of our abilities and aims. It can be found on our new website here:  www.odoni-elwell.com

The topic of discussion for the meeting was very much how we can move forward and improve our environmental  credentials. Out of interest and a desire to assist the project, its important I understand firstly what sustainable design actually is and how eco-design aligns alongside it.

Sustainable design (also termed environmental design, environmentally sustainable design, and environmentally conscious design) is described as the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability (McLennan, 2006). I found myself asking “What does this definition mean to us (Odoni-Elwell) who are traditionally a Steel Fabricating company?” In McLennan’s (2006) book  “The Philosophy of Sustainable Design” the intention of sustainable design is described as the need to eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skilful, sensitive design. Manifestations of sustainable design require no non-renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment.

It’s early days in my learning process, but I’ve come to the interim conclusion that no matter what you are currently doing it is possible to be more environmentally sensitive by adhering to sustainable design principles. The question I keep pondering however, is this; “Can Odoni-Elwell improve its environmental credentials through good design?”. Equally, does eco-design provide some, all or even any of the answer? As our project work with the Eco-design centre progresses, the answer to these difficult questions are likely to be revealed.

This post serves as an introduction for series of weekly updates discussing sustainable design and other related topics.

McLennan, J. (2006). The Philosophy of Sustainable Design. Ecotone Publishing: UK

The Sustainable Design Cycle

Good afternoon all,

Odoni-Elwell have complimentary day passes to give away for the upcoming Cycle Show in the NEC Birmingham. To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is like and share our Facebook page (send us a screen shot) and send in your best Cycling related picture. We will judge on both quality and quantity.  We will announce the winners on Tuesday the 17th of September. Best of luck and we look forward to seeing you at the show.

You can access our Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/OdoniElwellUK and for those of you who may have missed it last week, you can assess the new Odoni-Elwell website here – http://www.odoni-elwell.com/

Regards,

Callam

Originally blogged on sister site – cyclestuff. wordpress.com

CycleStuff

artcrank manchester

Due to the perfect storm of work commitments, post grad study and family holiday, I didn’t make it up to Artcrank Manchester, which is crying shame for three reasons;  (1) The art looked excellent (as you’d expect), (2) I don’t need a massive excuse to sip beer, soak up culture and kick back, (3) I agreed to loan them some toast racks for use outside the venue.  We didn’t make a great big hoopla about it, simply ‘cos it’s nice to do your bit. In my – albeit romantic – view, too few businesses engage with the communities that they service and I feel its important to make a valid contribution – especially if you’re also active in the community on a personal level.

Birmingham council

 

artcrank coloursAnyway…..<climbs off soapbox>. I love the top image from Retrofuzz, part of the creative team involved in putting together Artcrank Manchester (fine work chaps –…

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Image

Preparation for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show began on Wednesday. It was a long day out in sun to prepare our exhibit but the team are proud of their efforts and with how the exhibit looks this year. On display we have our: Timber Bike Shed, George’s Shed with a green roof, Type 9 Cycle Rack, Miniature Bike Bunker with green roof, the Flower, the Double Decker and the Spaceman. The rest of our products will not be on display until the show begins properly on Monday.

Come and visit us at the show to find out what the company is up to and to get information on some of our newer products, we are situated at lot A47 which thankfully is in the shade.

As an aside, we recently launched a company Facebook page which can be accessed by clicking the button…   FB

– Callam