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Sustainable development in engineering: a review of principles and definition of a conceptual framework

Author

Listed:
  • Bruno Gagnon

    () (Faculte de Génie, Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Roland Leduc

    () (Faculte de Génie, Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Luc Savard

    () (GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke)

Abstract

This paper aims to provide engineers and the engineering community with a conceptual framework setting out the connections between engineering projects and the sustainable development of environmental and social systems. The main principles of sustainable development on the one hand and of sustainable engineering on the other hand are first reviewed and summarized. Particular attention is paid to the principles put forward by international and national engineering organizations. Second, concepts and models originating in natural and social sciences are outlined to shed more light on the ways the various aspects of sustainability are related. The conceptual framework we propose combines the reviewed principles, concepts and models in a relevant manner for engineering projects. Engineering and physical or social systems prove to be related in manifold ways. While the most common relations are exposed in the sustainability framework, others have to be further elaborated in order to fully take into account the specificities of the various fields of engineering. Finally, applications of the sustainability framework in engineering practice and engineering education are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Gagnon & Roland Leduc & Luc Savard, 2008. "Sustainable development in engineering: a review of principles and definition of a conceptual framework," Cahiers de recherche 08-18, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
  • Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:08-18
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    File URL: http://gredi.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wpapers/GREDI-0818.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Gagnon & Roland Leduc & Luc Savard, 2010. "From a conventional to a sustainable engineering design process: different shades of sustainability," Cahiers de recherche 10-09, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    2. Alkaff, Saqaff A. & Sim, S.C. & Ervina Efzan, M.N., 2016. "A review of underground building towards thermal energy efficiency and sustainable development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 692-713.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Engineering; Sustainable development; Sustainability principles; Sustainability framework;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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