Except Sustainable Design
  Consult   Design   Present

sustainable project development, sustainability research, ecological architecture, green architecture, green development, integrated development, integrated design, urban agriculture, people planet profit architecture, Symbiosis in Design, sustainable community design, environmental consultancy, design consultancy.

Systems design, life cycle analysis, GIS (Geographical Information systems), urban planning, sustainable urban planning, innovative sustainable architecture.

Company Overview & History
Vision & Global Priorities
How we work & What we do
Environmental Policy & CSR
Working at Except
Clients & Partners
Publications & Brochures

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Except News
  Want to keep up to date and receive Except news first? Subscribe to our newsletter on the contact page.


  Rotterdam, February 14th, 2012
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Partners, 

Two weeks ago we told you we were nominated for a very special prize, but couldn't tell you which one yet. Now we're thrilled to share with you that we've been nominated for the 2012 Buckminster Fuller Prize for Polydome. As we are entering the next phase of the review process, our project has been published in the Buckminster Fuller Idea Index 1.0.

Our press release can be found here in English, and here in Dutch.

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international prize that supports the development and implementation of a project that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems with a $100,000 award. The jury brings together influential design science leaders and Metropolis Magazine named it “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.

“The Buckminster Fuller Challenge has inspired us since it began. Except's core mission is to develop systemic solutions for a sustainable future, and is perfectly aligned with the goal of the Challenge,” according to Eva Gladek, the Polydome project lead.

Polydome can help secure access to a just and equitable food system for the world's growing population by generating high yields, connecting biophysical and social flows, and creating meaningful jobs. It can produce diverse, climate and energy neutral food for a large population and is ideal for high-quality urban food production. The project presents a realistic and investible answer to the world's need for sustainable food production. Polydome is more than a vision for sustainable agriculture: it envisions how agriculture fits into sustainable societies.

More information and a short video on the Polydome project are available on the Except website.

We expect to be a serious contender for the award and winning the Challenge would be a tremendous honor. We are excited about joining a network that advances whole systems thinking and design to develop the kind of high impact global solutions society needs. Should Polydome win, we plan to leverage the $100,000 prize to work with our partners in the Netherlands and the United States to launch the first Polydome pilot facility and prepare the project for commercial development.

We encourage all of those interested in our work to participate in our project by joining BFI’s online community and submitting your comments on our BFI webpage.

We are proud to be affiliated with the Challenge. Stay tuned for the semi-finals and finals!


Follow us

Follow our daily events and updates on @Except_USA (English) and @Except_NL (Dutch), and of course on www.except.nl.


  Rotterdam, 6th of February 2012
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Partners, 

We hope this newsletter finds you warm and comfortable, looking back on a great year. 2011 was a blast for Except, thanks to our new clients Eneco Wind, DNV, SEV, TNO, AgentschapNL, Vestia, and the City of Utrecht.

2012 is off to a busy start, with us launching a new identity and website, and working with some great new clients and partners such as Royal Haskoning, Miya's Sushi, Vlaams Bouwmeester, Wageningen UR and Duurzaam Group Nederland. We're gearing up for a big year – we'd love to share with you what's going on.


Nominated for four international prizes

As we celebrate our 13th year of operation, we've been nominated for not one, two, or three... but four international prizes for our business management, sustainability expertise, and the Polydome agriculture system. Except is currently:

Wish us luck!

Innovation Communities Utrecht Sustainability Incubator

We're working with the city of Utrecht to make a new innovation community right in the city center; the Utrecht Incubator for Sustainability, built on the success of Ro-Co, our first Innovation Community (we're hoping to put a greenhouse on the roof). Patrick, Floor, Michiel, Marten, Eva, and Tom are working on it together.

Innovation communities Service
We launched this new service early in 2011, to provide companies and city councils with smart new business models for incubators, innovation accelerators, and collaborative networks. From the word “go,” Except arranges everything from the sustainable building renovation and financial modeling to community building and the final launch party. Read more here.

Eneco Wind system maps

We've been working closely with Eneco, which aims to become the most sustainable energy producer in Europe, to make system maps for their new wind parks. These start with research and impact calculations and end with communication strategy and graphic design. The map shown here was completed under the direction of Matt Fraser with the help of Gerard, Eva, Elias and Tom.

Many of them are still secret, but click here to see an example map used at the opening of the Fujifilm windpark. The system map was used as a giant puzzle at the opening event, allowing all visitors to participate in making the system complete.

Greenprint: Examples of sustainability in the built environment

We published a new book: with over 150 pages of innovations for homes, cities, and daily life, Greenprint is a source of inspiration for anyone interested in sustainable cities and architecture. It was edited and produced by Stephi Bartscht and has contributions from dozens of Except members.

Download it for a voluntary donation or order a printed copy here.

AVR Energy Square

Kevin and Tom designed an interactive public square for the AVR Energy-from-Waste plant in Rotterdam of the van Ganzewinkel Group, with Eva contributing the plant design. It's built out of waste materials from the facility itself, with a beneficial ecosystem, and a design that educates visitors about the energy-from-waste process. It's already mostly constructed. Photos online soon.

Schiebroek-Zuid School and Symposium

For the further development of Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam, Tom, Piero, and Giancarlo designed a multi-functional, sustainable school complex for housing corporation Vestia. The complex contains a primary school, two special ed schools, daycare, housing, a cafe, retail, and a sports complex. The 20-page project booklet is aimed to inspire school boards and city council members about the opportunities of choosing for innovative, green building.

Urban Redevelopment Symposium
In October, Except hosted a symposium together with InnovationNetwork and Vestia for the Schiebroek-Zuid social housing redevelopment project with many engaging speakers and discussions. It was packed! Thanks to everyone who attended.

Miya’s Sushi

Ariana and Eva worked with our favorite restaurant in the world, and one of the world's most sustainable places to get amazing food, Miya's Sushi in New Haven, USA to make a guide that quickly shows the complex issues surrounding seafood sustainability. See it on the Miya's website soon.

House of Energy SEV House of Energy book

This inspiration book for energy-neutral house renovation, made together with Dutch research institute TNO, gives home owners and contractors alike all the necessary tools to make energy neutral living a reality. The book is filled with examples, inspiration, interviews, tips, and technical details. It was made under Marten's management with Jacob, Gerard, Piero, Tom, Jasper, Stephi, Giancarlo, and the TNO team. Download it for a boost of energy! (it's free)

Update: Polydome

As part of our continued efforts to get a Polydome pilot built, Eva and Tom made a short video about the project, which features the amazing voice of our friend George Collins. Check it out here.


PICNIC, NAi, and other talks

We recently gave talks at TU Delft, the Netherlands' Architecture institute (NAi), the annual PICNIC Festival, and Mediamatic. We were also on the ground in China during Beijing Design week.


In the news

We were recently covered in a variety of magazines, books, and online media, including: China Business Travel Magazine, CityFarmer, Doors of Perception, Design Observer, Inhabitat, Dvice, Yorokobu, Algae Industry Magazine, Onder Glas magazine (NL), Groenten en Fruit (NL), and Duurzaam Gebouwd (NL).

New Except People

New People!

Except has a great set of new people strengthening its sustainable development team and, as usual, representing a diverse array of disciplines.

A warm welcome to economist Patrick Kaashoek; business developer and biologist Floor van Bovene; software architect and artificial intelligence genius Tijn Schmits; wordsmith extraordinaire, Jules Marshall; and social pollinator Jeroen Boon. Read more about them on our people pages.

Except: Mexico
Associate and business developer Carlos Camara Ortiz is making steps to set up a new Except office in Guadalajara, Mexico.


Follow us

That's it for this Except newsletter. Follow our daily thoughts and updates on @Except_USA (English) and @Except_NL (Dutch), and of course on www.except.nl.

Have a great 2012!
The Except Integrated Sustainability team


  Rotterdam, 1st of December 2011
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Partners, 

It is the end of autumn and we're heading for the holidays. Two of our brand new books are out just in time! Both are an inspiration for sustainable living and cities. One is for sale, the other for free!


Examples of sustainable practice in the urban environment 

Greenprint features over 150 pages of the latest,  worldwide sustainable innovations in the built environment. It shows how pursuing sustainability can change your world from the smallest to the largest scale.

Greenprint is an inspiration for anyone working on sustainable urban environments and architecture, ranging from energy & materials to transportation, waste, water management, agriculture, social interventions, neighborhoods and existing eco-cities. 

Greenprint is available in hard copy. If you order via our website, we offer you a substantial discount. The book is also available as a download for a donation. Order the book or read more about Greenprint here.


House of Energy House of Energy
Inspiration for Energy Neutral living 

What defines an energy-neutral home? What are the benefits? What are the costs? What are the choices? What does it looks like? And what kind of people live there?

Except and TNO have made an inspiration book to introduce interested house owners and construction professionals to energy neutral building and renovation. A book filled with examples, inspiration, interviews tips and technical details: it's a book full of energy!

The book was commissioned by the SEV Energiesprong (‘Energy Leap’) programme. It's available to download for free from our website. Get it here. The book is in Dutch only, but it has plenty of images to feast on for everyone.

We have a limited supply of hardcopies. Email us if you're eager to get your hands on one for a particular purpose.

  More news...

In the coming weeks you can expect a full newsletter where we line up the most important activities taking place at Except… Stay tuned for breaking news on wind farms, sustainable schools, carpet production, and food sourcing to name a few.

warm regards,

the Except Integrated Sustainability team


  Rotterdam, 9th of June 2011
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Partners,  

Summer is around the corner and we have a host of new developments to share. Between rethinking greenhouse agriculture, mapping the Dutch meat sector, going viral with social media, and welcoming a host of new members - this may have been Except’s most eventful season yet. We’re are excited to share it with you: 

Polydome Greenhouse 


Polydome is published! - a revolutionary approach to greenhouse agriculture that offers the possibility of commercial scale, net-zero-impact food production. 

The Polydome system strategically interweaves a wide variety of crops and animals, taking advantage of every inch of the greenhouse while eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

With its high yields (60 – 90 kg per square meter), and diverse outputs (over 50 crops, two mushroom varieties, chickens, eggs, fish, and honey), even a small Polydome system can provide a richly varied food supply for a large population. Using Polydome, even a city as dense as New York could provide the majority of its own food supply using available roof space.

Polydome was developed for InnovationNetwork, an amazing organization working on agriculture innovation. See details of the project and download the Polydome book for free here.


bkcity image BK City Slim

Except was one of five international teams invited by the Technical University of Delft to design a sustainable vision for their newly relocated architecture faculty after a 2008 fire left the original building in ruins.

While focusing on increasing energy efficiency and decreasing operating costs, we also embraced the refurbishment of BK City as an opportunity to increase students' hands-on experience and understanding of sustainability. 

We designed the interventions to be participatory, didactic, and engaging, providing students with a 21st century knowledge base they could leverage within and beyond BKCity. See it all here.

green scan Roosendaal Urban Green Scan

We hear a lot about it: the integration of green spaces could change our cities from dead concrete caverns to lush green paradises, with reduced pollution, local food production, and many social and health benefits. But how to achieve this in specific cities is less clear: where exactly do these opportunities lie, what is possible, how do we communicate it, and where do we start?

This project answers exactly those questions and helps provide a guideline for cities all around the world. We also offer the scan as a service. With a multidisciplinary team of ecologists, architects, urbanists, and local policy makers, Except made a map of opportunities for beneficial green interventions for the Dutch city of Roosendaal.

The Urban Green Scan service is now available from Except for municipalities and city governments to allow more cities to embrace green development. Details here.


carbon Yale University Carbon Tool

Yale University has started a Community Carbon Fund which enables students, staff, and faculty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through community offsets. The program helps finance energy efficient retrofits in low-income New Haven homes and supports urban forestry initiatives.

We developed an online carbon calculator tool for the program so that students and staff can calculate their CO2 footprints for travel, commuting, and events. The tool allows them to donate directly to projects in the New Haven community to offset their footprints.

The tool uses Google maps to calculate your travels live, and is a lot of fun to use. Give it a go right here. 

maps Meat/Carpet Sector Maps

Ever wondered how your hotdog was made, or where carpets come from? Except is in the midst of completing two exciting new projects that map the meat and carpet sectors of the Netherlands, helping create sustainability road maps for both.



SiD Sustainability Definition

Because of dissatisfaction with the existing definitions of sustainability, we formulated a definition using our Symbiosis in Development method. It helps safeguard the word from deterioration and provides new avenues for fundamental sustainable development.

Important differences between our and existing definitions are:

  • The SiD definition doesn't just describe what sustainability leads to (such as the Brundtland definition), but also what it is and how it can be achieved.
  • That sustainability is the property of a dynamic system, not of objects.
  • That sustainability is a fixed state of a dynamic entity.
  • That there always needs to be a system boundary when speaking of sustainability (sustainable over what period of time? and where?).

Read about the new definition on the SiD page here.


  New Website Additions & Twitter

Except has several new additions to its virtual face this year, including an amplified social media presence and new bi-weekly Global News Digest. If you have not registered yet for the 'wormfood digest', you can do it here.

Except now officially has a Twitter account. Two in fact: Except_USA and Except_NL. If you have a twitter account, we'd love to hear from you.

Except_USA: Follow Except_USA on Twitter Except_NL: Follow Except_USA on Twitter

We also have some extra free goodies on the website for you, including an extensive free Artificial Light Guide, a collection of System Maps, a gallery of some of our special panoramic photographs from around the world, and soon-to-be-released Precedent book with more than 150 inspiring examples of sustainable projects. The book will soon be available on Amazon. We’ll let you know when.


  In other news....

Except's building search continues. Except is quickly outgrowing our plant-filled Rotterdam headquarters, and looking to expand to a new building. We have looked at some promising candidates in Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Amsterdam. If know of a building you think can use an innovative sustainable renovation and interesting new multi-use program, let us know.


  New Members and staff!

Except has a great set of new people strengthening its sustainable development team, representing a diverse array of countries and disciplines.

Except newest associates – Nels Nelson (Urban Ecologist), Marten Witkamp (Sustainability Manager), Pam de Sterke (Process Manager),Stephen Friday (Urban Economist), Bob Geldermans (Industrial Ecologist and Architect), Tim Horsten (CSR Consultant & Engineer), Gerard Vink (Graphic Designer) and Matthew Fraser (Industrial Ecologist and Designer) – bring their energy and ex pertise to a wide variety of Except projects.

This summer, we're also joined by Alberto Zamora, a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, and Yan He, a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Meanwhile, Ryan FitzGerald and Melinda Stylos-Allan, also both Yale graduates, are working with the US team.

Jacob Verhaart and Elias de Valk, both industrial ecologists, joined Except's Rotterdam office earlier this year. Angelo Sandron has brought his Italian design skills, and some delicious family-made olive oil, to both Except and the Rotterdam Collective for the Spring to work on his thesis, while Huub 

Dekkers has been at the office writing his thesis about Except – an ethnographic study of just what makes Except tick. Except's new office controller, Natasja Jonckheere, also joined us last month. She brings both management and design skills to the core staff of Except.


  Get in touch!

That’s all for now, but please feel free to send us a note if you have any thoughts or feedback on what we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

warm regards,

the Except Integrated Sustainability team


  Rotterdam, 4th of May 2011
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Partners,  

Today is an important day, as our Polydome project becomes publicly available. This revolutionary agricultural greenhouse system may provide an important step towards making the world's food supply sustainable. We've worked on it for almost a year and are very proud to present it to you, and as usual, we've made our report available to the public, 80 pages filled with innovative agricultural innovation. Below you find the press release, or download it in pdf.


Polydome Greenhouse

Polydome Greenhouse

Polydome Greenhouse

Polydome: Towards Net Zero Impact Food Production

Rotterdam, The Netherlands - May 4th, 2011
- Except Integrated Sustainability has released Polydome, a revolutionary approach to greenhouse agriculture that offers the possibility of commercial scale, net-zero-impact food production. The Polydome system strategically interweaves a wide variety of crops and animals, taking advantage of every inch of the greenhouse while eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. With its high yields (60 – 90 kg per square meter), and diverse outputs (over 50 crops, two mushroom varieties, chickens, eggs, fish, and honey), even a small Polydome system can provide a richly varied food supply for a large population. Using Polydome, even a city as dense as New York could provide the majority of its own food supply using available roof space.

Productive ecosystems
Complementing advanced technologies with an innovative design, Polydome maximizes food production and variety by operating more like a self-maintaining ecosystem than an industrial farm. Plants, mushrooms, livestock, and insects interweave to connect waste, water, and energy flows between species and capture the benefits of varied space and light conditions. Shade-loving plants are sheltered by taller crops that soak up sun, chicken and fish provide ready-made fertilizer, while beneficial insects act as natural substitutes for pesticides. Animals within the system range freely and live naturally, while the design of the crop layout limits the need for repetitive human labor.

Feeding our cities
Since cities have existed, they have been dependent on outlying agricultural land to feed themselves. The Polydome system's increased variety, efficient spatial arrangements, and reduced environmental footprint mean that a compact Polydome system could sustainably and locally feed a large population. With its flexible cropping schedules, a Polydome system can respond quickly to local food demands and offer more economic resilience than standard single crop systems. For the first time in history, cities could become producers rather than just consumers, capable of providing for many of their needs from within, and reducing the disconnect between urban life and agricultural production.

Sustainable agriculture
Polydome offers a range of environmental savings, highly efficient and localized production, attention to both human and animal welfare, and cutting edge energy and water management strategies. As a result, Polydome systems could represent a step towards truly sustainable agriculture and serve as a vital building block of a resilient, sustainable society.

Funding for this project was provided by InnovationNetwork, an agency supported by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, and SIGN, the organization for Innovation in the greenhouse sector in the Netherlands. The complete project report has been made available on the website of Except, under a Creative Commons license.

For more information, please contact:
Eva Gladek, eva@except.nl, +31 (0)10 - 7370215.

Except is a research, consulting, and design office for sustainable development. With its multidisciplinary team, Except creates strategies and concepts for the future of cities, industries, policy, business, design, and more.


  Rotterdam, 24th of January 2011

Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Partners,


It's been a while since we've last sent out a news -apologies for that. We didn't want to withhold you the promised news about Schiebroek-Zuid, the exciting project we started before the summer.

Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid

We are excited to share the results of one of our most intensive projects of last year - a sustainable vision for a low-income neighborhood, completed for the largest social housing corporation in the Netherlands. You can view the project online here, and read more about it in the press releases listed below.

The final project is made up of a Vision Document and Ingredient Book, which lay out the theory and components, or ingredients, of Except's multi-faceted sustainable roadmap for the area.

Throughout the summer and fall, we worked with a multidisciplinary team of experts from within and beyond Except -including the amazing environmental engineers of Atelier Ten of London - in consultation with stakeholders and residents, and in partnership with housing corporation Vestia and agricultural research network InnovationNetwork to produce the dynamic final vision.

The project is published under a Creative Commons license, making much of the research - almost 300 pages of data, analysis and innovative strategy- publicly available for free. We hope you enjoy it; please let us know if you have questions or comments.

Download the full press release in English here, and in Dutch here.

Greetings from Rotterdam,
the Except Team



  Rotterdam, 28th of July '10
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Partners,  

To throw some excitement into the slowness and relaxation of the summer months, we bring you some news about a few remarkable new projects, new members of staff, and some interesting shifts in organization at Except.

Project: Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid

One of our most inspiring recent projects has been to develop a strategic vision for how to convert a 1950s neighborhood of social housing flats into a self-sustaining, beautiful, and equitable neighborhood.

With a team of around 25 people, including members from all parts of the world, we generated a variety of technological and programmatic options for achieving this plan within the next 20 - 30 years.

The Schiebroek-Zuid research has resulted in a truly integrated, realistic plan that addresses not only renewable local energy and water, but also basic food production, employment, social programs, education, community facilities, and more. The project report, comprising over 250 pages of information on phasing, energy and material flows, management structures, agricultural methods, building design, and much more, will hopefully serve as a guide towards a brighter future for Schiebroek-Zuid as well as an example for social housing everywhere.

Our primary client is Vestia, a social housing corporation (and proprietor of the neighborhood), with additional funding from InnovationNetwork, innovator in agriculture and sustainable development.

The project book will soon be released to the public.

Project: the Dandelion Project

In response to a request from the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Ordinance, and the Environment (VROM), Except worked with Storrm Consultants on developing new strategies for moving towards an "economy of abundance."

The resulting multimedia platform, Dandelion, is a tool for knowledge sharing, active international and interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as information navigation and organization. It aims to resolve the information management bottlenecks that are, in many cases, the main roadblocks to sustainable development. We are now working with Storrm CS to further develop the Dandelion concept.


Project: Sustainable Conversion of Existing Buildings

One of our greatest challenges for achieving long term sustainability is to convert existing building stock to a sustainable state. Physical upgrades are often complicated by managerial, economic, and other intangible limitations that need to be resolved concurrently.

The Dutch Government Building Agency (Rijksgebouwendienst) commissioned Oneplanetarchitecture institute (OPAi) in cooperation with Except to conduct a study on this topic. We initially investigated 30 buildings in order to develop a functional tool for effectively communicating about and managing building conversion projects. The tool was subsequently applied to five example buildings.


Project: High Performance Permaculture Systems

We are conducting research for InnovationNetwork and SIGN on developing a new agricultural method for greenhouse food production.

We aim to design a greenhouse production system that has a radically reduced resource footprint, and even environmental benefits, while remaining financially attractive. The method focuses on combining permaculture design principles with a range of high-tech greenhouse developments. We're excited to be working with a great number of partners on this project, which is slated for completion later this year.

  Other Projects...
  Meanwhile, we are continuing our work with de Zwarte Hond Architects on describing and establishing the architecture company of the future (sounds good, doesn't it?), and we are co-operating with the Conscious Company on teaching a new set of Corporate Social Responsibility workshops, most recently for Smurfit Kappa Group. We're also working on a long term trajectory with a large chemical manufacturer in Germany regarding sustainable chemicals guidelines, and working on light& smart sustainable transport methods and infrastructures.
Except goes Creative Commons

We believe that working towards a sustainable society requires a high degree of cooperation and information transparency. To give our fundamental support to this idea, Except has switched from a closed, traditional Intellectual Property (IP) system (with copyrights and patents) to Creative Commons rights management.

This means that our work and projects can now be copied and used by anyone with only minor restrictions. We hope that this will lead to our work being used wherever it is most valuable. All of our new projects have already been released under Creative Commons, and older projects are being retroactively converted. We hope you'll join and enjoy the open-source information community with us.

  The Except Principles
  We've always worked according to strong principles. The Except Principles have now been formally written out and become part of our contracts. These are performance-based and qualitative principles that capture some of our core ideas about what it means to work sustainably. They are available for viewing on our website.
In other news...

... Michiel van der Vight has joined Except, and was a key member of the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid core team. Michiel's remarkable qualities and communication skills have proven to be a great asset in project management and development.

Rebecca Blum, Kerry Harwin, and Stephanie Carlisle have also joined us this summer from, respectively, Barcelona, India, and the USA, to work on a variety of autonomous projects. But those are still secret, so you'll have to come by in person if you'd like to find out more about those...


The Rotterdam Collective is still going strong. We're now nearly full, and many Ro-Co projects are underway. We are in the process of designing the first rooftop food garden in Rotterdam (to be located on our spacious roof). Every Thursday we continue to host our weekly dicussion and movie nights, (19:00, at Roodkapje) and there are many exciting projects to come. You're always welcome to visit us in the Collective in our haven of plants in the center of Rotterdam.

Greetings from Rotterdam,
the Except Team



  Rotterdam, 5th of February '10
Hello everyone, and our best wishes for a great new year from Except.

It's been over six months since our last update, and we thought we'd share some of the exciting things happening here lately. There's so much news worth sharing, we broke it down into three parts for you...

New Offices & People:
One of the exciting new developments is our new office right in the center of Rotterdam - we are re-using a building that has been sitting empty for more than a decade. We're moving there in the next few weeks, and we're in the process of designing and building most of our own furniture from waste materials, our own LED lighting solutions, and more. The Except offices are co-sited with the Rotterdam Collective, our next big news item.

After several years of work we finally launched our collaborative office, the Rotterdam Collective, in cooperation with with Richard Boeser of Sparpweed. The Rotterdam Collective (Ro-Co) establishes a large inter-disciplinary workplace focused on environmental and social projects. The Ro-Co features shared workspaces and facilities and hosts consultants, graphic designers, event managers, programmers, architects and many more in a truly collaborative setting. The official Ro-Co opening is scheduled for March 1st at 18:30. Join the mailinglist at www.ro-co.nl to be updated about upcoming events such as the film series, opening party, and more.

We have some new people joining us at Except. Ariana Bain, MESc, a recent graduate from the Yale School of Forestry, has joined us in the role of Industrial and Urban Ecologist. Also, Matthew Eckelman, PhD. has joined us as Environmental Engineer and Life Cycle Assessment Professional. Both are representing Except in New Haven, CT, USA.

We've been completing our planning work on an advanced greenhouse area in the eastern Netherlands, featuring symbiotic energy, water, and waste systems. The development is in a beautiful setting where people can come and experience the greenhouses, visit a central pavilion, or just explore the expansive natural setting via its integrated bicycle routes. The details are still confidential, but we hope to soon be presenting it on our website.

We recently designed a two-day integrated sustainability workshop for the Zwarte Hond Architects, a sizable architecture firm in the Netherlands. The workshop focused on fundamental sustainability issues and new ways of thinking about this complex topic. It offered new strategies for both management and design teams, and led to new, long-term strategic directions for the office. The workshop is now available both to businesses and government offices. Find more info about the workshop here.

We continue to work with OnePlanetArchitectureInstitute, RAU Architects and Octalix on finding integrated sustainability solutions for old government buildings, including a prison, several 60's office blocks, and a monument from the 17th century.

We have also been working on the development of a new system for evaluating the sustainability of food products for a large US-based food distributor. Among some of our numerous communication projects, we've helped make some materials for Evelop's Railwind project, which provides a strategy for building windmills on top of railroads. See the short promotional video here.

Another exciting project has been our work on a new form of area development and planning called Growth Planning. It's a second generation planning strategy that optimizes economic, cultural and environmental performance in a performative system. Read up about some of the details of Growth Planning here.


Publications, research & events:
Eva Gladek spoke at the IUCN Leaders for Nature Forum as an expert on Life Cycle Assesement and its integration with business strategies, and Tom Bosschaert won 1st prize at the Urban Land Institute's on-site competition.

We are continuing to do research for the Green Electronics Council. Except also became a partner of the Dutch Green Building Council, and joined the VVM, the main organization of environmental professionals in the Netherlands.

Except is also in the final stage of training a BREAAM-NL Expert and Assesor, the new Dutch environmental evaluation system for buildings in the Netherlands. Once finalized, we'll be able to consult and assess BREAAM-NL projects in addition to consulting on the place of such assessment systems within the sustainable development trajectory.

Finally, we published a first peek of our in-house developed integrated methodology Symbiosis in Design (SiD). SiD has been developed to make more integrated sustainable projects possible. It's a set of accessible and powerful tools that organize any development process, be it policy, design, development, or management. The power of SiD lies in its simplicity and ability to be applied to virtually any subject or area, making it perfect for strategic long-term analysis and development. Read more about SiD here.

It's been a busy but thrilling couple of months, and we're planning more exciting things in the near future. Thanks for your continuing support and we hope you'll come check out our new office in Rotterdam soon.

Best wishes,
the Except Team.


  Rotterdam, 15th of June 2009
It's summer, and as we welcome the days of warmth and the arrival of stinging insects, we can also reflect on the first two great quarters Except has had in Rotterdam this year. Despite the economic downturn, we've experienced many positive developments since our last newsletter went out at the beginning of the year, and we believe the next two quarters will be even better. 

We're looking at establishing new offices in the HAKA building in Rotterdam, in conjunction with the city planning department, 2012 Architects, Vestia housing cooperation and others, using our concept of a new way of working together. We hope to co-locate and share resources with a range of individuals and small companies from designers to planners, scientists, artists, psychologists, and more. In this new type of professional work collective we aim to achieve both independence for the members of the initiative as well as increase our ability to address large problems by drawing on the various skills of the members of the collective.

We've completed the visionary CO2040 project together with one of our partners, POSAD. This project addresses a question posed to us by the Ministry of Housing, Spatial
Planning and the Environment: How can we make the Netherlands CO2 neutral by the year 2040? Of course that's not an easy task, and thus our recommendation is an integrated, strategic approach and methodology, exemplified by five projects in the built environment. A beautiful booklet summarizing this project is available and fully downloadable in PDF form on theproject page (in Dutch).

In the last month, two public lectures were given by Tom on Except's sustainable design vision. The first was at the Zwijger in Amsterdam during "Sustainable Design Day," organized by O2, BNO, and Tuttobene. The other lecture took place just yesterday at the Smart and Sustainable Built Environment conference (SASBE 09). The lectures also included a sneak preview of our new design methodology, Symbiosis in Design, which we will continue to develop this year.

Earlier this year we completed a sustainability vision for a region in the Netherlands as part of the Maasterras urban redevelopment project. The project provided the City Councils of the Drechtsteden, project developers, and planners a tool they can use to develop an integrated sustainable vision of the region as time goes on.  
A preview of the booklet summarizing this project can also be downloadedon the project page, with the full digital document available via email request.

We also recently worked with RAU architects on a radical sustainable community development in Amsterdam, using a planned-growth model of development rather than relying on traditional investment structures. This plan drew on new insights and lessons learned from current economic downfall and focused on performance-based measures to stimulate autarktic development.  This exciting project was completed in close cooperation with RAU, housing cooperations: Stadgenoot, de Kei, Bouwfonds, and Parteon, as well as construction firm Ballast-Nedam.

Meanwhile, we keep working on the design various private homes, communication and visualization projects, and continue to do research. We've also established a new partnership with the TU Delft and became a member of KEI, a knowledge centre for urban regeneration in the Netherlands.

As always, if you'd like to know more about any of our work, you can look through our projects on this site or give us a shout

  Press Release,
Rotterdam, 27rd January 2009

Except forms strategic alliances with key partners in the industry

As a result of its unique structure as a sustainability think-tank, consultancy, and architecture & urban design office, Except has continued to form strategic alliances with international leaders in the fields of architecture, engineering, consultancy, and project development. Except's newest partnerships will allow a better interchange of knowledge across different sectors, furthering the company's core philosophy of broad collaboration and "working better together" to apply the most innovative strategies in the design of the built environment. 

Key partners, chosen for excellence in their respective fields, include:

Transsolar Climate Engineering
  Globally recognized leaders in the fields of systems, building, and environmental engineering, with offices in Stuttgart, Munich and New York.

RAU Architects
  The premier sustainable design office in the Benelux, based in Amsterdam.

  Strategic spatial planners and designers, based in the Hague

  Researchers & developers of integrated sustainable solutions for agriculture and infrastructure, based in Utrecht

  An international knowledge institute for the integrated built environment, based in Geneva

Shinsekai Analysis
  Art, Urbanism & Economic Consultancy: experienced in offering innovative insights on the functioning of society & business

Except's founder and CEO, Tom Bosschaert, explains that while many firms in the industry are facing difficult times,  companies and governments are starting to realize the unique benefits a firm like Except can offer. Integrated, responsible, and socially aware planning and design represents a vast improvement over slow, traditional, linear development models, particularly in economic terms.

  "It's a very exciting time for us," says Bosschaert. "We are performing sustainable, integrated projects on a wide variety of scales – from individual homes to whole city districts. Our new partners broaden our potential for beneficial industry collaboration in these ventures."

Except has recently expanded its operations beyond its established presence in the Netherlands and the USA to Istanbul, Turkey and Zurich, Switzerland  Projects in 2009 include urban sustainability research and consultancy for the city of Dordrecht in the Netherlands, zero energy building designs for private homes, new typology designs for integrated-program urban buildings, investigations on BREEAM, LEED and EPC standards, the development of communication and visualization tools, and various visualization and presentation projects.

For more information please contact us.