This rather lengthy post provides an overview of the shortsheet (also included in the press kit). Its purpose is to give additional information and answers to the most commonly asked questions.
What is Idemat?
Idemat is a tool that allows designers to compare materials and derived processes based on environmental impact. It provides an easy to use and fast means for designers to reduce the environmental burden of their designs.
Where does the data come from?
The dataset is based on the most recent IDEMAT dataset made available by Delft University of Technology, and is available at www.ecocostvalue.com. The IDEMAT dataset is a set of Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) of more than 1000 materials, services, production processes and end-of-life scenarios – based on data from the Swiss ecoinvent database and CES EduPack, plus additional LCI’s made by Delft University of Technology. The single indicators which are used in the Idemat app have been calculated from these IDEMAT LCI’s by means of the SimaPro LCA software.
What platforms does Idemat support?
Idemat is currently available for iPhones (iOS 8.0 and higher). Android support is something we aim for in the near future, but work on it has not yet started.
How about using IDEMAT data on a desktop pc?
For use on a pc or laptop, the full Excel-based IDEMAT dataset can be used, which is available for free from www.ecocostsvalue.com. Each entry in the app features an identifier code, matching the corresponding entry in the Excel file.
What benefits does the app offer over the Excel version?
The Idemat app improves the user interface and accessibility of the Excel version, aspects that were found lacking in feedback sessions with users. The app provides a clear structure featuring integrated end-of-life scenarios, and is highly visual which inspires and makes interpretation of data much easier and more pleasant. The accessible nature of the app makes it highly useful in the early stages of the design process (where the use of a regular pc is impractical and obstructive). Material selection at this stage can have significant influence on the environmental burden of products, as the design is not yet fixed and significant design changes can still be made.
Is the data free to use?
The impact data included in this app is licensed under CC BY-4.0 (see creativecommons.org) and is therefore free to use in all projects (even commercial) as longs as both the creator and Delft University of Technology are attributed.
The eco-costs indicator is expressed in euros – can I convert it to another currency?
Yes, it can be converted to other currencies. It is recommended, however, to use the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) rather than the normal heavily fluctuating exchange rate. In PPP we advise (October, 2015): 1.00 EUR = 0.83 USD.
Who’s behind Idemat?
Idemat is the result of an MSc graduation project at Delft University of Technology. It was initiated by the Design for Sustainability department of the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, and was carried out by Marinus Meursing (design and programming) and Joost Vogtländer (dataset). For more info visit: www.idematapp.com/about