DOI: 10.3390/su16010001 ISSN: 2071-1050

AHP and GCA Combined Approach to Green Design Evaluation of Kindergarten Furniture

Xiaojie Xie, Jiangang Zhu, Sheng Ding, Jingjing Chen
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Kindergarten furniture is an important part of children’s furniture. However, in sharp contrast with the high level of concern about the color, shape, structure, and modularity of kindergarten furniture, the research on green design and green evaluation of kindergarten furniture has not been given due attention. Through understanding the concept and principles of green design, this paper presents an objective approach to evaluate the green design of kindergarten furniture. An evaluation method based on the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) integrating gray correlation analysis (GCA) for kindergarten furniture green design was proposed. By using the AHP to determine the green design elements of kindergarten furniture, five standard layer indicators were obtained in aspects of environmental friendliness of the materials, color, technological structure, size, and interestingness, as well as 11 criterion layer indicators: environmental friendliness of structural materials, environmental friendliness of adhesives, environmental friendliness of paint, stimulate creativity or enhance concentration, avoid the feelings of unsteadiness, structural stability, rounding the edges, comfortable to use, size adjustable, interesting decorative patterns, and modular. Afterward, GCA was used to evaluate the green design of five kindergarten furniture schemes and a comprehensive evaluation score was obtained. Taking the design scheme represented by five desk and chair sets in kindergarten as an example, the effectiveness of this method was verified, and the advantages and disadvantages of the five desk and chair sets were analyzed and compared. The results showed that the third desk and chair sets at kindergarten made of New Zealand pine ranks first in the comprehensive green evaluation indicators, followed by the fourth sets made of rubber and wood. After the green design evaluation, we studied the carbon footprint of five furniture products and analyzed their carbon emissions at the production stage, the packaging stage, the transportation stage, and the storage stage. The results show that the amount of carbon emission is generally consistent with the evaluation results of the green scheme, which verifies the effectiveness of the green design evaluation method. This study provides an effective and feasible reference for kindergarten furniture designers. Hence, a greener kindergarten furniture design is expected to improve the learning and living environment for kindergarten-age children.

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