Whole system design incorporates sustainable design – design and development of systems to achieve:
- Consume natural resources within capacity for them to be regenerated
- Do not release/produce hazardous/polluting substances
- Avoid contributing to irreversible impacts on ecosystem
- Provide useful and socially acceptable benefits long term
- Cost-effective and produce reasonable rate of return on total life-cycle investment.
An example of a system that satisfies the above would be renewable resources.
Definition – Whole System Approach is a process through which interconnections between sub-systems and systems are actively considered and the solutions sought address multiple problems via the same solution.
In most systems design, we limit the environment of the system by using standard approaches. This only satisfies a single outcome without considering the impact (of that outcome) over time.