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Global, Human, and
Ethical Impacts of
Product Design
Throughout time, humanity has used
natural resources, animals, plants and
inanimate materials, for its survival,
consumption, and enjoyment.
 It is often taken for granted things and
resources will always be here.
 Many times short term monetary gain
is considered a priority.
Impacts Continued…
- is growing at an
exponential rate.
- shows a continual
change in human
needs and wants.
Energy: non-renewable resources are
becoming more and more scarce.
A set of moral principles or values; a
theory or system of moral values.
The discipline dealing with what is
good and bad and with moral duty
and obligation.
Ethical Design Dilemmas
Situations in which decisions you
make are in conflict with what
may or may not be morally
Sometimes this is obvious right
away, and other times it is not.
Solutions to open-ended design
problems have dilemmas that
designers face when creating the
Let’s look at some pictures of
products or things and discuss the
ethics involved.
Steps in resolving ethical design
Moral Clarity- identify the relevant
moral values.
Conceptual clarity- clarify key
Just the facts- obtain all relevant
Informed about options- Consider all
genuine options and alternative
Well-reasoned- Make a reasonable
Design Analogy
Engineering design as a metaphor or
model for thinking about moral
decision making- in general, not just
within engineering.
Like design, moral choice often
involves alternative permissible
solutions to dilemmas.
Product Lifecycle
is the succession of strategies used by
business management as a product goes
through its life-cycle. The conditions in which
a product is sold (advertising, saturation)
changes over time and must be managed
as it moves through its succession of stages.
The goals of Product Life Cycle (PLC) are to
reduce time to market, improve product
quality, reduce prototyping costs, identify
potential sales opportunities and revenue
contributions, and reduce environmental
impacts at end-of-life. To create successful
new products the company must
understand its customers, markets and
1. Raise and Extract
All consumer products begin
their lifecycle with
a dependence on the
natural environment.
Some form of energy is
always required to extract
the natural resources from
the earth or its atmosphere.
2. Process
Raw materials are processed or
Energy is required for the processing
and refining.
3. Manufacture
Additional energy is
required as the
processed or refined
materials move through
the manufacturing and
assembly process.
4. Use
Consumer products are transported to
stores (consuming additional energy)
and are ready for purchase.
Products remain at this stage as long
as they are usable or repairable.
5. Dispose
When the product is no longer of use to us and
we “get rid” of it.
EPA Guidelines
EPA: Environmental
Protection Agency. This
organization’s mission is
to protect human health
and the environment.
EPA Guidelines
The EPA works to develop and enforce
regulations that implement
environmental laws enacted by
EPA Guidelines
The EPA is responsible for
researching and setting
national standards for a variety
of environmental programs.
The EPA delegates to states
and tribes the responsibility for
issuing permits and monitoring
and enforcing compliance.
OSHA Guidelines
OSHA-Occupational Safety and
Health Administration
OSHA's mission is to assure the safety
and health of America's workers by
setting and enforcing standards;
providing training, outreach, and
education; establishing partnerships;
and encouraging continual
improvement in workplace safety and
OSHA Guidelines
To establish and maintain
safe workplace
environments, OSHA
enforces standards and
reaches out to employers
and employees through
technical assistance and
consultation programs.
Construction Materials
Made by combining four materials
into a mixture of two parts:
portland cement
Portland cement
A finely pulverized material made up
of compounds of silica, lime, alumina,
and iron.
Portland cement is created by mixing
limestone with clay, slag, or shale and
then burning the mixture in a rotary
The setting and hardening is the result
of a chemical reaction between the
portland cement and water called
Alternatives to Portland Cement
Slag cement and Fly-ash cement are
green alternatives.
Creating concrete objects such as
slabs, walls, footings, and columns with
the use of a mold or form.
Concrete reinforcement
Placing a reinforcing material, such as
steel bars, in a concrete structure to
resist tensile, shear, and bending
Concrete joints
Permits movement and volume
changes to encourage cracks at the
joint instead of other areas.
Stone, clay masonry units, and
concrete masonry units used for
construction material
A combination of portland cement,
lime, or masonry cement and an
aggregate that forms a workable
Pourable construction materials used
to fill voids in reinforced and
unreinforced masonry, tile, and stone
Clay masonry units
Burned clay units used in construction
such as bricks, architectural terra
cotta, and hollow clay tile.
Molded concrete units used in the
construction industries as structures,
walls, and facing.
Precast concrete
Concrete products that have been
precast in molds and then removed
and transported to construction sites.
An example is precast concrete walls
for building, which are often
Dimensional Lumber
is a collective term for harvested wood that has
been manufactured into boards and planks. This
process is part of something called wood production.
Lumber is predominantly used for structural purposes
but has many other uses as well. Lumber is classified
as hardwood or softwood.
Lumber is supplied either rough or finished.
Besides pulpwood, rough lumber is the raw material
for furniture-making and other items requiring
additional cutting and shaping. It is available in many
species, usually hardwoods, but it is also readily
available in softwoods such as white pine and red
pine because of their low cost. Finished lumber is
supplied in standard sizes, mostly for the construction
industry, primarily softwood from coniferous species
includingpine, fir and spruce (collectively known
as Spruce-pine-fir), cedar, and hemlock, but also
some hardwood, for high-grade flooring.
Oriented strand board (OSB) is an engineered
wood particle board formed by layering strands
(flakes) of wood in specific orientations. It may
have a rough and variegated surface with the
individual strips of around 2.5 × 15 cm (1" x 6"),
lying unevenly across each other.
OSB is a material with high mechanical properties
that make it particularly suitable for load-bearing
applications in construction.[1] The most common
uses are as sheathing in walls, flooring, and roof
decking. For exterior wall applications, panels are
available with a radiant-barrier layer prelaminated to one side; this eases installation and
increases energy performance of the building
envelope. OSB also sees some use
in furniture production.
Water Membranes
In building construction, a structure needs
waterproofing since concrete itself will not be
watertight on its own (but note concrete is
easily waterproofed with additives). The
conventional system of waterproofing involves
'membranes'. This relies on the application of
one or more layers of membrane (available in
various materials:
e.g., bitumen, silicate, PVC, EPDM etc.) that
act as a barrier between the water and the
building structure, preventing the passage of
water. However, the membrane system relies
on exacting application, presenting
difficulties. Problems with application or
adherence to the substrate can lead to
leakage. In the UK these membranes are
rarely allowed below ground below the water
Asphalt Shingles
An asphalt shingle is a type of wall
or roof shingle. They are one of the
most widely used roofing covers in
North America because they have a
relatively inexpensive up-front cost
and are fairly simple to install.
Gypsum Board (Drywall)
Drywall (also known
as plasterboard, wallboard, gypsum
board, sheetrock, or gyprock) is a panel
made of gypsum plaster pressed between
two thick sheets of paper. It is used to make
interior walls and ceilings. Drywall construction
became prevalent as a speedier alternative
to traditional lath and plaster.
In many places, the product is sold under the
trademarks Sheetrock or Gyproc. In New
Zealand the category is known
as plasterboard or gib board (originally
"Gibraltar board"), the latter being a
proprietary brand name but now largely a
genericised trademark
Finish Carpentry
Carpentry that involves the
installation of finish woods,
(and trim made of plastic or
molded polyurethane materials) to
provide a finished appearance to
installed doors, windows, stairs,
and other features of a building's
interior. Elements include casing,
baseboard, railings,
mantels, louvers, paneling, and
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable,
or mastic composition that, after
application to a substrate in a thin
layer, converts to a solid film. It is most
commonly used to protect, color, or
provide texture to objects. Paint can
be made or purchased in many
colors—and in many different types,
such as watercolor, artificial, etc. Paint
is typically stored, sold, and applied as
a liquid, but dries into a solid.
A carpet is a textile floor
covering consisting of an upper layer
of "pile" attached to a backing. The
pile is generally either made from wool
or a manmade fiber such
as polypropylene, nylon or polyester a
nd usually consists of twisted tufts
which are often heat-treated to
maintain their structure.