A multi-level approach to concept selection in sustainable design
Stratton, Daniel C.
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The task of selecting the "best" concept is not a trivial undertaking in product and complex system design. The decision may depend on many attributes or objectives that can be abstracted to varying levels of clarity, each with different importance to the decision maker. This thesis presents a method that aids the designer in making decisions with multiple hierarchical attributes or objectives while avoiding some well-known issues with preexisting methods. Special considerations are made to incorporate the product's life cycle environmental impact into the decision making process so that sustainability may be achieved. Two case studies are presented to illustrate the use of this newly developed method as well as its advantages. The caliper pad material selection for a disc brake system demonstrates the advantages of using H-HEIM to weight environmental impact categories and illuminates H-HEIM<'>s unique features.