What is broken? Expected lifetime, perception of brokenness and attitude towards maintenance and repair

Salvia, G., Cooper, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-8623-2918, Fisher, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-2565-8805, Harmer, L. and Barr, C., 2015. What is broken? Expected lifetime, perception of brokenness and attitude towards maintenance and repair. In: T. Cooper ORCID: 0000-0001-8623-2918, N. Braithwaite, M. Moreno and G. Salvia, eds., Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) Conference proceedings, [Nottingham Trent University], Nottingham, 17-19 June 2015. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE, pp. 342-348. ISBN 9780957600997


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This paper addresses the discrepancy between the expected and actual lifetimes of vacuum cleaners considering perceived ‘brokenness’ as a driver for replacement. Among electrical products, vacuum cleaners have a high rate of domestic ownership in the UK. They also embody large quantities of greenhouse gases which could be reduced by increasing their longevity and resource efficiency (Schreiber et al., 2012). A focus on energy efficiency has only shown limited or even negative results, therefore to meet recent European Union regulations on durability requirements a focus on product longevity is needed. Around one half of new vacuum cleaner purchasers replace one less than 5 years old, below the expected lifespan, with perceived breakage, poor performance and unreliability as the major reasons for replacement. Their relative simplicity could allow vacuum cleaners to last for significantly longer. The nature of the common causes of failure is known, including stretched cords or blockages, and WRAP has developed guidelines for product improvements. However, many working or repairable machines are disposed of because they are perceived to be ‘irremediably’ broken.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Alternative Title: Proceedings of the Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference, 17-19 June 2015
Proceedings of the PLATE Conference, 17-19 June 2015
Creators: Salvia, G., Cooper, T., Fisher, T., Harmer, L. and Barr, C.
Publisher: Nottingham Trent University: CADBE
Place of Publication: Nottingham
Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780957600997
Rights: [© Nottingham Trent University 2015].
cc Proceedings are under a Creative Common License Number CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:26
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:24
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12817

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