The description of Idemat
You want to know which material is sustainable? You want to make a sustainability inspired choice? You want to know what "the circular economy" brings in terms of less pollution and less materials depletion? This App gives quick and reliable answers on these questions.
Sustainable design plays an increasingly important role in society and product design. However, industrial designers often struggle with choosing the right materials, think the process is too time consuming or lack the necessary support and inspiration to perform the task ahead. The IDEMAT app provides the solution and brings life cycle assessment closer to the start of the design process – an area where more significant environmental gains can be realized.
IDEMAT features two impact indicators to express environmental burden: eco-costs - a prevention based indicator for external costs - and carbon footprint. Choosing either one allows for the selection of one of three scenarios (landfill, waste treatment, and closed loop recycling for the circular economy), which are explained in detail in the app.
The end of life of a material can have a significant contribution to its overall environmental impact. By integrating the so called end-of-life scenarios at the start of the selection process, a complex and error prone step is greatly simplified.
A coherent categorization of materials allows for easy navigation and comparison. To compare materials from different categories a favourite list can be created. The over 480 unique LCI’s relate to categories such as metals and plastics, woods and textiles up to electronics, transport, derived processes and many more.
Materials within a category are visually represented as bars, sorted by score or alphabet whichever personal preference dictates. Scores directly correspond to bar size, a larger bar indicating a larger environmental impact as compared to a smaller bar indicating a less significant impact.The bar’s primary colour relates to the chosen indicator, whereas its shade communicates the chosen end-of-life scenario. The end-of-life contribution on the score (if applicable) is visualized in the bar.
Each material has its own detail screen, featuring inspiring imagery and in-depth information. The eco-costs indicator is broken down in its individual components, inspiring and challenging designers further to reduce impact in these specific areas while also providing maximum transparency.
Besides this, an overview is given of how each end-of-life scenario impacts the score of both indicators. The detail screen also provides web links to relevant additional information and allows for entries to be added to a favourite list. An identifier ID added to the bottom of the screen corresponds to the full IDEMATapp database of the Delft University of Technology (at www.ecocostsvalue.com tab data), allowing for quick reference and a further LCA analyses.
For more information see www.idematapp.com .
This App was inspired by the Makers App of Nike MSI for designers. However, MSI is not LCA based, so cannot be used for scientific materials selection, neither cradle-to-gate nor cradle-to-cradle. If you want to see the differences, save the list of materials in your favourites and compare the ranking of them with MSI.