Sustainable design is the process by which a product is designed which take into account not only the products core use, but also seeks to minimise the impact of the product on the natural environment. This can take a number of forms. The useage of the product may be modified, in order to produce less pollution, such as amore efficient car engine, or hvac system. The product itself may be powered from an ‘alternative means’, such as photovoltaic cells/hydroelectricity. The materials used may also be selected based on the level pollution they produce in thier production, or the ease with which they can be recycled.
Ideally all these things combine into a situation where the ‘optimum’ situation/design is developed, though occasionally the more specialised down one branch a design becomes, the more concessions must be made in the others. This issue can be further exaggerated by the requirement to subscribed to extrior predefined criteria, such as BREEAM or PassiveHause, though it is hoped that these frameworks are flexible enough to encompass a range of design solutions, and rigorous enough to prevent a ‘misclassification’ of the product as environmental due to the designer jumping through hoops in order to meet the letter of the law, but not the spirit.