Adaptability

Adaptability can extend the useful life of a product that quickly becomes obsolete. To reduce the overall environmental impact, designers should design a product so that a sufficient portion of it remains after obsolete parts are replaced.

Adaptable designs rely on interchangeable components. For example, an adaptable strategy for a new razor blade design ensures that the new blade mounts on the old handle so that the handle does not become part of the waste stream.

A large American company designed a telecommunication control center using a modular work station approach. Consumers can upgrade components as needed to maintain state-of-the-art performance. Some system components change rapidly, while others stay in service for ten years or more.

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