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Saving resources
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Sustainable design principles
While the practical application varies among disciplines, some common principles are as follows:
Choose non-toxic, sustainably produced or recycled materials which require little energy to process
Low-impact materials
Use manufacturing processes and produce products which require less energy
Energy efficiency
Reducing consumption and waste of resources by increasing the durability of relationships between people and products, through design
Low-impact materials
Products, processes, and systems should be designed for performance in a commercial 'afterlife'
Design for reuse and recycling
Targeted durability, not immortality, should be a design goal
Material diversity in multicomponent products should be minimized to promote disassembly and value retention.
Design impact measures for total carbon footprint and life-cycle assessment for any resource used are increasingly required and available. Many are complex, but some give quick and accurate whole-earth estimates of impacts. One measure estimates any spending as consuming an average economic share of global energy use of 8,000 BTU (8,400 kJ) per dollar and producing CO2 at the average rate of 0.57 kg of CO2 per dollar (1995 dollars US) from DOE figures.
Sustainable design standards and project design guides are also increasingly available and are vigorously being developed by a wide array of private organizations and individuals. There is also a large body of new methods emerging from the rapid development of what has become known as 'sustainability science' promoted by a wide variety of educational and governmental institutions
Redesigning industrial systems on biological lines ... enabling the constant reuse of materials in continuous closed cycles...
shifting the mode of consumption from personal ownership of products to provision of services which provide similar functions, e.g., from a private automobile to a carsharing service. Such a system promotes minimal resource use per unit of consumption (e.g., per trip driven)
Service substitution
Materials should come from nearby (local or bioregional), sustainably managed renewable sources that can be composted when their usefulness has been exhausted
Renewable resource
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