ASU Center for Organization Research and Design

The Sustainability Effects of Product/Service-System Design Validated Through Life Cycle Assessment

by Leise Smidt Dreijer; Morten Birkved; Niki Bey; Thomas J Howard

Sep 28, 2013

Temporary buildings are generally considered to be unsustainable due to a short life span of the materials applied in the building. The construction materials typically have a longer use life than the required use life of the building, thus functioning building materials are often discarded after the demolition. By using a PSS design approach in the early design stages, the architects involved in the case project were able to make design decisions based on the whole life cycle of the building components, e.g. design-for-disassembly and design-for-reuse. The lease of materials will ensure that the building materials are re-used at the end-of-life stage. This is expected to prevent production of waste and improve the overall environmental sustainability of the temporary building. The validation of the improved sustainability of the PSS-based building solution is achieved by comparing the PSS with a corresponding conventional approach for the temporary building through a comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The results show that over the entire life cycle, the aggregated environmental impact score for the PSS solution is 27% lower than the conventional solution when including operational energy and 37% lower when operational energy is excluded.