The Positive Home Project: Designing Eco-Friendly Home Products

Integrate product innovation with sustainable design practices on a single platform to lower a product’s environmental footprint with Sustainable Innovation Intelligence

Consumer demand for sustainable products accelerates the development of more eco-friendly home products. According to one study, online searches for sustainable goods rose by 71% globally over the past five years (The Economist Intelligence Unit). Consumer goods manufacturers now see improving product circularity as a priority, especially in design and manufacturing processes.

So, what’s an optimal way for companies to design eco-friendly home products? Integrate product innovation with sustainable design. Place sustainability at the heart of your product design and development.

Redesign for a More Sustainable World

In The Positive Home Project, a team of designers and engineers leveraged the Dassault Systèmes solutions for Home & Lifestyle on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform to improve the environmental footprint of popular home products. Read on to learn some of the sustainable product design methods that the team applied to reduce emissions and waste.

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Five home products. Five eco-friendly makeovers. 100% actionable. 

Three Keystones of Sustainable Product Design

1. Do More with Less

What if a single product could perform more than one function?  Using furniture as an example, consumers want different tables to serve different needs: One table for dining and another for working on their laptop. A SOLIDWORKS designer working on The Positive Home Project believes that tomorrow’s furniture will be smart and modular.

By integrating flexibility and sustainability early in the product development process, the designer and the team redesigned a small dining table, a larger dining table and a desk by developing one innovative modular table. After eliminating two tables, the team managed to reduce wood used by 75%, and save up to 96.6% in land use.

2. Close the Loop

Waste reduction, the critical element to improving product circularity.

Building on lean principles and inspired by material conservation practices in different countries, The Positive Home Project team considered new design improvements to improve both sustainability and performance.

They used Sustainable Innovation Intelligence, a lifecycle assessment solution, and a development solution, Perfect Consumer Product.  By applying insights from these solutions, they could:

  • Create a functional and innovative shower design that lowers water usage by 56% and helps reduce the shower’s environmental footprint
  • Optimize the assembly and logistics of a food blender — reducing CO2 emissions by almost 17%

3. Use Green Materials

Products created for sustainability can surprisingly, be less than sustainable.

The average e-bike contains virgin HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic material that is less sustainable than other materials. And, a standard cordless home jigsaw uses a battery that doesn’t last long enough so the home owner has to charge the battery regularly (or have a backup battery on hand). However, with small design improvements, The Positive Home Project team turned the negatives of both products around.

Through lightweighting and smarter material optimization, the team could:

  • Develop an e-bike with a sustainable battery design using eco-friendly materials that are easier to recycle at the end of their lifetime
  • Redesign a traditional power tool to include an eco-friendly jigsaw battery that’s lighter, powerful and environmentally friendly

Every Reduction Counts

Sustainable product design practices can positively impact the amount of global resources used, and accelerate the transition to a more circular economy. 

Take the lead from The Positive Home Project and learn how your product development team can transform products like furniture, appliances, bathroom fixtures, power tools, sports equipment and others into more eco-friendly home products.

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