Except Integrated Sustainability
Except Integrated sustainability.
Flourish in a changing world.
Multi-disciplinary consulting, innovation and development organization working on advanced sustainability projects around the globe.

Tom Bosschaert

MSc MArch


Tom Bosschaert
Tom Bosschaert
Tom Bosschaert

Enjoys:  Lush forests, XKCD, complex challenges

Areas of expertise:

  • Integrated Sustainable Development & Project Management
  • Systems Analysis & Strategy
  • Architecture 
  • Urban Design, City & Community Planning

Professional Titles & Liaisons:

  • Master of Science, Industrial Design Engineering (TU Delft)
  • Master of Architecture & Urban Planning (Yale University)
  • BREEAM-NL Assessor

Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands


  • [javascript protected email address]
  • Phone  +31 10 7370215
  • Twitter: tom_bosschaert

Tom is the founder and director of Except, and the visionary force behind its development. Starting Except at the age of 19 in 1999, his vision was to find systemic solutions for our societal challenges by combining science, business, design and communication. His vision shows that we can flourish globally when we integrate environmental, societal, economical and technical aspects at the same time. In the past decades Tom developed  over 500 projects pioneering projects for cities, buildings, business, policy, and industry. 

Tom has been increasingly recognized as a leader in sustainability thinking, the circular economy and systemic innovation. In 2014 he was elected number 38 of most influential sustainability  professionals in the Netherlands by  the national newspaper Trouw, and ranked  number 21 on the Dutch Sustainable Real Estate awards.  In 2017 his initiative, the   UCo center for sustainable entrepreneurship  in Utrecht    opened, bringing together over 150 sustainability pioneers in the first energy neutral, circular and  healthy listed heritage building in Europe.

Tom develops the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) methodology that lies at the core of Except’s operations, about which he published the first complete book after 10 years of work in 2019. SiD combines systems thinking, complexity analysis, iterative design thinking and co-creation in multi-disciplinary teams. With SiD Tom leads transdisciplinary teams  to develop pioneering solutions that breach the frontier of what's possible. These include solutions for the circular economy, natural capital, smart urban redevelopment, bio-based economy, and resilience research and development.

Tom is frquently invited as a keynote speaker on systemic sustainability, design, and innovation for international conferences and as a guest lecturer in universities around the world.  He has worked in Australia, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Singapore, Phillipines, Belgium, Italy,  and the United States. He teaches as a guest-lecturer in various universities and publishes articles regularly.

Project highlights
As director and designer, he's driven Except's bio-based architectural and urban designs, such as the Merredin Algae plant, Shanghai vertical agriculture tower systems and the urban redevelopment of large and small cities around the world. This includes  their energy systems, ecosystem services, resource metabolisms, business models and the health and happiness of their people. In 2016 he launched the concept of Catalytic buildings. He spearheads developments ranging from software for supply chain optimization to sustainable agriculture systems such as Polydome.

After his Master in Industrial Design Engineering from Delft, Tom studied Architecture in Australia at the University of Western Australia, and obtained his Masters in Architecture & Urban Planning from Yale University. 


Sustainable Food in the Desert

Sep 01, 2020, Serenity Farms: A New Model for Sustainable Food Security in Arid Regions

Food security is a critical issue worldwide, particularly in arid regions, where unfavorable local production conditions mean a dangerous dependency on food imports. In Saudi Arabia, nearly 80% of all food is imported, making the country and others like it extremely vulnerable to shocks and systemic disruptions to the global food system. Industry-changing Serenity Farms offers Saudi Arabia and similar regions a sustainable and profitable way to produce food locally, creating jobs, and using only sunlight and seawater.


How IKEA Is Creating a Self-Learning Supply Chain

May 28, 2019, Peer benchmarking tool speeds up sustainability across paper and print industries

Rotterdam, 7 oktober 2016, “I never fully realized IKEA’s true power until we did this project,” says Matthieu Leroy, Sustainability Specialist at IKEA Media Production. To improve the green procurement of paper and print for its 200-million-copy catalogue, Media Production of the furniture giant from Sweden teamed up with Except Integrated Sustainability. Together they worked with suppliers, Trade Extensions, and Deloitte on creating the world’s largest sustainability-driven Self-Learning Supply Chain.


Natural Capital & new innovation strategies

Feb 24, 2014, How to accelerate natural value systems

The land we grow our food on, water that flows through it, animals and plants living in this environment, and the oceans - the birthplace of life. This, and more, is our natural capital; the value represented by our ecosystems, species, and everything in between that we rely on to persist on this planet. All of our natural systems are declining fast, and this threatens our future. It puts at risk the continuation of any business with a complex supply chain, and jeopardizes the resource availability of any nation.

The Natural Capital (NC) movement attempts to halt and reverse this trend by embedding the value of natural systems into economic systems. This article talks about how Natural Capital works, what the pitfalls and opportunities of such a system are, and how we can accelerate implementation in government and business.


Renaissance van stadsontwikkeling

Oct 31, 2013,

This article was published in Cobouw, Monday October 21st 2013. Only available in Dutch.

Overal in Nederland kraken wijken en steden in hun voegen; ongeschikt voor de hedendaagse samenleving en niet in staat om zichzelf aan te passen. Een patroon dat al langer zichtbaar is in economieën als Frankrijk, India en Brazilië. Probleemwijken, leegstaande kantoren door faillissementen en arme populaties nemen toe. Er is maar één conclusie: het oude vastgoedmodel is failliet. Rondom de wereld stijgt de vraag naar veerkrachtige en bloeiende wijken, maar hoe ontwikkel je die?


The cog in the machine

Feb 07, 2013, Object vs System thinking

In recent years, global environmental policy has become almost a single-issue arena: most companies and policy makers are seemingly fixated on climate change. Though the fate of our climate is undeniably an extremely important issue, in the context of achieving a sustainable future as a whole, it is just one piece of the puzzle, which cannot even be addressed without adopting a broader perspective.


Urban Evolution: the case of Schiebroek-Zuid

May 06, 2012,

Our world is littered with the physical remnants of past ideologies calcified in the form of buildings, plazas, and streets. One of the most ubiquitous of these is the result of the conversion of the early Modernist utopian vision into cheap, rapid-to-build housing estates carrying the promise of a “modern” life for everyone. The postwar reconstruction effort saw these housing estates efficiently stamped out all over the Western world.


The Real Cost of Nuclear Energy

Aug 26, 2014, Unseen aspects changing the debate

Nuclear energy has recently seen national policies and public opinion turn in its favor. Governments around the world, including Italy and Sweden, are lifting bans on new plant construction. Not alone in the developing world, India and China are pursuing ambitious expansions of their nuclear power programs.

According to a 2010 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, 20 countries without nuclear power plants are expected to have nuclear power on line by 2030 (1). Headlines such as “Nuclear’s Great Expectations” (2), “Power up! The rise of the nuclear option” (3) and “Going Nuclear” (4) attest to a paradigmatic shift from looking at nuclear (fission) energy as a 20th century problem towards seeing it as a 21st century solution. In the Netherlands plans to construct two new nuclear power plants are in an advanced stage, seemingly undeterred by the Fukishima events.


Solar Updraft Tower Upgrade

May 21, 2012, Improving vertical updraft towers for renewable energy

This article documents research on increasing Solar Updraft Tower efficiency by introducing multiple uses, agriculture, urban applications and co-generation of solar energy.


Tools for Walkable Cities

May 21, 2012, Pedestrianization as a strategy

Urban transportation issues can be alleviated by encouraging and enabling a higher degree of pedestrianization and bicycle use. This survey looks at a number of small scale pedestrianization tools for daily urban life, providing access for elderly, handicapped and those traveling with goods. These details, often missed in large scale transport plans, are essential to make walkable cities and allow the reduction of automobile use.


Methods for Urban Traffic Reduction

Jul 14, 2012, Effective tools for traffic management

Traffic is a major concern in all urban areas. This article outlines effective tools to reconsider how people move through cities, and find effective solutions to reduce traffic.



IKEA Foundation Agricultural Livelihoods Systemic Strategy

Nov 17, 2020, Using Systems Thinking For More Impactful Grantmaking

Over the course of two co-creations sessions in June and July 2020, the IKEA Foundation Agricultural Livelihoods Team worked with us to identify focused and impactful granting areas through systems thinking. The mapping tools and strategy framework we developed together can support the team with tangible, flexible steps to channel the complexity of agricultural livelihoods into clear, decisive action and impact.


Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid

Feb 25, 2021, Redevelopment of post-war social housing

We developed a sustainabile conversion and development plan for the post-war social housing area Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam.  The project provides a flexible and exemplary roadmap for converting the neighborhood into a self-sufficient and sustainable area. It applies innovative energy solutions, urban farming, social and economic programs, secondary currencies, and adaptive redevelopment strategies.

This project was commissioned by housing corporation Vestia and agricultural research network InnovatieNetwerk.


Egyptian Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (ISAI)

Nov 23, 2020, Creating sustainable food in the Egyptian Desert

The Integrated Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Egypt (ISAI Egypt) has been started as a response to the pressing need for both ecosystem restoration and regeneration, as well as the need for sustainable food production in arid and semi-arid regions. It is initially aimed at the context of Egypt, in collaboration with the government’s ambition to realize 100.000 feddan (42.000 ha) of sustainable agriculture.

The project is an initiative of a joint venture between Foresight for Development and Innovation (Egypt) and Except Integrated Sustainability (Netherlands), supported by the Ministry of Environment, Arab Republic of Egypt, the Sovereign Fund of Egypt.


Regen Festivals

Aug 03, 2020, Traveling festivals regenerate nature and communities

Around the world energetic and capable young people are done with talking and want to do something to support the overall health of this planet. The regeneration festival provides visitors with an alternative to the increasing growth of hands-on festivals, offering learning, active regeneration, music, culture, relaxation, and a chance to nourish the earth, the community, and themselves. For the planet and disadvantaged communities the regeneration festival provides a consistent format and business model to finance and operate nature and community regeneration.


Herenboeren International

Aug 03, 2020, 80 farm challenge

Herenboeren farms (Gentry Farmers) are a revolutionary model for community owned and managed sustainable farms, developed in the Netherlands. The farms close resource loops and use circularity and agroforestry principles to establish long term, community owned and operated, sustainable farms. This project aims to scale up the Herenboeren farms from its eight existing farms to 80 in various European countries, and through this provide a massive boost to agroforestry practices in Europe.  Except is working with Herenboeren to engage this internationalization program.


System Transition Wood Construction NL

Nov 10, 2020, Establishing a wood-based construction industry

This project realizes a shift in the construction sector towards significant usage  of wood as a construction material. By applying a systemic whole supply chain transition approach, it hopes to achieve a 30% increase in the use of wood in housing and office buildings in the Netherlands. It mobilizes 50-100  partners, from governments, companies, asdvisories, and NGO's, to achieve a carbon saving of  5% or more of the total national carbon footprint per year.


A Better IKEA Catalogue

Jun 28, 2021, Changing the world's print industry

For Inter-IKEA we boosted the sustainability performance of IKEA's catalogue by optimizing the entire supply chain with one small but smart big data tool. The tool includes data dashboards for purchasers, suppliers and retailers, affecting the entire life cycle of the catalogue.

The big-data supply chain tools resulted in massive sustainability gains in energy, waste, water and more, right from the first year, and increasing each year after. Because of the catalogue print volume, this project positively affects the world's entire print industry. Its yearly improvements now ripple out beyond to adjacent industries.

Read the project case study below on the project's process, strategy, innovation products, and further improvement processes.


The Future of Sterkenburg

May 23, 2019, Medieval castle Sterkenburg innovates a new future

Historic sites struggle to find business models that protect and optimize their cultural heritage in a rapidly changing world. The owners of the medieval castle of Sterkenburg in Driebergen decided to take up this challenge, looking for new ways to reignite its economic and social value. They engaged a multidisciplinary group of sustainability experts from Except Integrated Sustainability, who developed a special program to help historic sites unearth their opportunities. The resulting roadmap delivers concrete, immediate cost savings in the short term, and new ways for the castle to play a role in both today’s, and tomorrow’s society.


Serenity Farms

Sep 15, 2020, Sustainable food production in arid regions

Serenity Farms is a concept for a sustainable 110ha greenhouse facility for profitable food production in arid climates. The first site is to be located on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, under the vision of the Reza Investment Company. It will be the largest sustainable greenhouse operation in the world. The only water it uses is salt water sourced from the red sea, and is powered entirely by the sun. The core of Serenity Farms is a high tech food production solution that provides fresh fruits and vegetables for 170.000 people.  


ReGen Villages Oosterwold

Nov 19, 2020, Masterplan for a self sustaining neighborhood

For ReGen Villages, we developed a globally unique masterplan for a self-sustaining housing neighborhood of 203 houses in the Netherlands. Designed on a 25 hectare site in an area called Oosterwold, just 20 minutes from Amsterdam, it exemplifies affordable, regenerative, and self sustaining living. 


Sustainable development Catharijnesingel Utrecht

Jul 09, 2018, Full spectrum sustainability strategy for urban infrastructure

In collaboration with KWS-Infra and tender office GAIM, Except organized  an innovation session  for a sustainable approach to the demolition of a part of the Catharijnesingel in the center of Utrecht. The approach reponds to the sustainability goals set by the municipality of Utrecht.


Waddenworld UNESCO Experience Center

Aug 14, 2018, World Heritage Center Wadden Sea Lauwersoog

Together with partners  Groningen province, the municipality of De Marne, Staatsbosbeheer and Seal Center Pieterburen, Except developed the concept for the World Heritage Center for the Wadden Sea in Lauwersoog. The concept has the ambition to bring 250.000 new visitors to the region, that will experience and become aware of the intrinsic value of the Wadden Sea and the Lauwersmeer.

The center boosts the local economy by generating more visitors and income for the region. It is an international example of sustainability, and its achievements add to its global fame. Following our concept, in 2018 the center was financed with € 29 million and an architectural design was made by Dorte Mandrup. 


No Time To Waste (2018)

Sep 24, 2019, Jump-starting the LC Packaging sustainability journey

LC Packaging serves customers across the globe with packaging products to protect, preserve and transport goods. Except was requested to assess its baseline sustainability performance.

At product level we examined reusing Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) and found a significant CO2 emission reduction potential. At corporate level we investigated energy and water use, waste generation and CO2 emission. See below for our main findings.


Schiphol-Oost Pioneer Park

Aug 14, 2018, Vision and strategy for sustainable transformation of a business park at Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was born at Schiphol-Oost, over 100 years ago. Today it is a business park that could use more atmosphere and vision. With limited identity, it does not distinguish itself from other business parks in the surrounding area. In collaboration with Schiphol Real Estate (SRE), Except developed a vision and strategy for Schiphol-Oost for the coming 5 to 10 years. The vision transforms Schiphol-Oost to an innovation-garden for the entirety of Schiphol, named Pioneer Park.


Natural Capital is Business

Jan 31, 2017, How to bring Natural Capital into the boardroom?

Natural Capital plays a title role in our economy. To help you clarify the relationship between your economic activities and Natural Capital, Except and NXTE developed the Natural Capital Quick Scan. The scan delivers instant insight and suggests dozens of ways to mitigate risks and pick up on opportunities.


Schiphol Catalyst Office Innovation

Jan 05, 2019, Boosting sustainability and health of Amsterdam Airport CBD

We’re working with Schiphol Real Estate and more than 70 stakeholders and experts on boosting sustainability and performance of the Schiphol Central Business District with the concept of a Catalytic multi-tennant office design.

The project realizes an integrated sustainable and self sufficient area, that is a healthy and inspiring place to work, with a footprint of over 20.000 m2 in an unprecedented sustainable and future proof building.



Arkna Eco-Park Masterplan

Nov 23, 2019, Self sustaining tourism community in Estonia

In Rakvere, Estonia, we developed the masterplan for the 671 Ha self-reliant Arkna Eco-Park. The park is built on a historical site tracing back to 1527, and becomes a primary tourist destination in the country, including a Polydome sustainable agriculture system.  

We worked with  Arkna Eco-Park to build a complete masterplan template for years to come, including its marketing strategy, identity, logos and brochures, closed loop metabolism, food system, event program, and design guidelines.


IKEA Catalogue Supply Chain Dashboards

Aug 25, 2020, Intuitive Dashboards Enable Sustainable Decision Making

The IKEA catalogue with more than 200 million copies is the largest annual print run in the world. IKEA Media Production has worked diligently to improve the catalogue’s sustainability performance. To find new ways to boost its performance, IKEA Media Production engaged Except. Together we applied a new systems-thinking approach and found powerful ways to raise performance.

With implementation partners Trade Extensions and Deloitte we created new visual big data tools in less than a year. Together we realized a sustainability-driven learning supply chain that is now helping transform the biggest paper and print suppliers worldwide.


MSC Datahub

May 02, 2016, Data-ecosystem concept for the Marine Stewardship Council

We worked with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on a new data management program to allow them to grow to thousands of sustainable fisheries around the world, sustainably.

The MSC is a growing organization in an increasingly data-driven world, seeking to improve, expand and streamlining its data-facilities to handle the growth of their certification program. Together we developed a vision and concept using systemic analysis, a co-creation session on-site with 13 MSc employees and 6 partners and stakeholders. The concept demonstrates an innovative data hub as precondition for growth and healthy future operations.


Elst forest villa renovation

Mar 29, 2016, Energy and water neutral circular house renovation

For the Beije family we developed a high performance energy and water neutral villa renovation concept. It sits at the edge of the forest in Elst, part of the Veluwe national park area. The 400m2 villa is mostly reconstructed by the hands of the family themselves, utilizing natural and local materials, among which a straw roof. The villa's design makes optimal use of the existing structure and surroundings. It results in a sleek and subtle, comfortable and high-performance modern living experience in a superb setting, and a future-proof long term investment for the family.



Oct 19, 2021, High Performance Sustainable Polyculture Agriculture

Polydome is 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.

Polydome is an answer to a part of the world food crisis. 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 sustainably provide a varied food supply for a large population. Scalable. Profitable.

Polydome has been extensively researched by Except and over 12 partners in the industry. Concept overview and technical details are published in a free open source book, downloadable below.


Utrecht Community (UCo)

Apr 13, 2021, National center for sustainable entrepreneurship

The Utrecht Community (UCo) is a national center for sustainable entrepreneurship in the city of Utrecht. UCo  brings together 180 pioneering sustainable entrepreneurs and SMBs, and facilitates them  in an exemplary sustainable and inspiring building. UCo is a place to develop, discover, and accelerate together, 5 minutes biking from central station. Except developed UCo independently, and opened its doors in 2017. 


IKEA Catalogue Story of Print

May 08, 2017, Interactive Story Telling Tools Promote Stakeholder Engagement

IKEA Media Production engaged Except to showcase the sustainability achievements and ambitions of its 200-million-copy catalogue. Together we created a storytelling infographic for the IKEA customer-facing staff, and a data-packed dashboard for internal stakeholders such as store co-workers, catalogue responsibles, PR, social media, communication, sustainability and marketing managers and teams. The tools have been introduced to thousands of employees, permeating learning and awareness.


Polydome Arkna

Dec 19, 2017, Feasibility Study and Business Plan

Atlas Natural Capital

Mar 01, 2018, Improving online resources for natural capital

The Dutch online Natural Capital Atlas offers hundreds of maps that portray ecosystem services in the Netherlands. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, initiator of the Atlas, wants to further develop the website with users. We guided a consultation process with municipalities and companies to identify their needs, and wishes. Results are a crystal clear list of directly implementable recommendations for accessibility, categorization, expanded data needs,  interactivity and functionality.

Download the report (in Dutch) with our findings at the bottom of the page.


Leaders for Nature: Shared Resources, joint solutions

Aug 10, 2016, From awareness to action with the network of IUCN

On 17th April 2015, IUCN organized the Leaders for Nature forum in Eindhoven. Except supported IUCN in a year long trajectory to prepare and guide the Forum in a new format. This included concept development, stakeholder involvement and preparation of the challenges.

The preparations resulted in 10 challenges brought in by the network of Leaders for Nature. Over 150 participants from business, NGOs and government joined the forum. Guided by Except, teams worked on the most pressing natural capital challenges.


Trade mission Detroit

Mar 01, 2018, Launch of Detroit Urban Regen

In cooperation with the Dutch Foreign Office we  organized the trade mission to Detroit of May 2015 for over 25 organizations. The program established new permanent business partnerships of Dutch agri- and horticulture, and innovation companies with their American business, governmental and community development counterparts. Detroit, a  former powerhouse of the automotive industry, has suffered  from deindustrialization, a decline in population, an increase in crime, and general  decay. Yet, Detroit is a city full of resources and opportunities.

The event launched Detroit Urban Regen which aims to  revitalize  the city using smart agricultural solutions and creating a new biobased industry.  22 written pledges of commitment where secured, adding to the existing 15 international partners for Detroit Urban Regen.


Amsterdam Bike Tunnel (IJfietstunnel)

Jun 19, 2017, Fast, comfortable and dry on your bike to North

This project presents an alternative bicycle route between the center of Amsterdam and the north, currently only connected by overcrowded ferries that cross the IJ channel. This info is only available in Dutch for now, sorry.

De pont naar Noord zit al jaren bomvol. Dure plannen voor fietsbruggen, nieuwe tunnels en zelfs kabelbanen worden gemaakt. Maar, er ligt al een tunnel onder het IJ. De IJtunnel is uitstekend om te vormen tot een fiets-voertuig tunnel. Een simpele, betaalbare oplossing die veel voordelen voor de stad oplevert. De IJfietstunnel.


Sustainable Urban Districts - 2015 Global Review - WWF

Mar 01, 2018, New strategies from 11 exemplary settlements

Vision on Sustainable Public Transportation

Jun 19, 2017, An action plan for the city region of Rotterdam

How can public transportation contribute to resilient and sustainable cities and communities?

With a team of Public Transportation stakeholders and experts in the city region of Rotterdam we developed a vision on how this can be done. The vision came into being through several intense collaborative sessions, and is used to engage new stakeholders and move the agenda forward towards the most sustainable public transport system in the world.

Download the vision booklet below (sorry, only in Dutch).



May 04, 2020, System modeling and simulation software

Symoto is an online software application that enables the development, simulation and monitoring of large scale material and energy cycles, such as urban metabolism, industrial symbiosis and the circular economy.

Symoto enables organizations to save vast amounts of time modeling and simulating systems, perform in-depth dynamic analysis and boost stakeholder communication.


Meat Sector Roadmap

Mar 01, 2018, Towards an integrated circular sector

We developed a roadmap of the Dutch meat process sector, production and processing companies and their suppliers, together with DNV. The road map shows opportunities for optimal use of all energy and material flows in the product chain of chicken, pork and beef, and maps their sources. The maps bring insight to all stakeholders involved, and enables decisions on improving entire sections of the production chain at once.


Carpet sector roadmap

Feb 28, 2018, Mapping the carpet sector towards 2030

Together with MODINT and DNV we mapped the Dutch carpet sector and developed a road map to a circular carpet industry in 2030. We used system mapping and visualization techniques to bring at-a-glance insight to the stakeholder meetings. With this insight we plotted interventions to transition the industry towards a circular and bio-based industry within two decades.


Food for the Urbanite

Jan 14, 2016, Role of urbanites in the food system

Opportunity Map Waste Water

Oct 10, 2014, 12 sustainable waste water opportunities.

The Opportunity Map Wastewater Processing is a visualisation of the twelve most important sustainable opportunities within wastewater processing. Users will see and discover sustainable opportunities in their municipality or region and find examples to help them.  

The result is an opportunity map that was presented at the Hier Opgewekt congres to the state minister Wilma Mansveld. It was made for the Roadmap Wastewater management towards 2030 with: The Association of Regional Water Authorities, Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten and Det Norske Veritas (DNV). 



Infographic: Wind and Local Economy

Mar 01, 2018, Creating support for wind energy

For Eneco Wind we visualized the local impacts of wind turbine development in a visual infographic. The graphic is used by Eneco Wind in conversations with local stakeholders, and helps to guide the conversation to address all topics and impacts. Using the graphic to guide the conversation, all parties become well informed before deciding on wind turbine development.

By providing honest and complete information Eneco Wind aims to increase support for wind energy from local stakeholders. 


Crystal Forest Office

Nov 10, 2017, Zero-Energy Warehouse Retrofit

This exciting office-jungle in a glass cocoon is an energy-neutral plug-in retrofit for empty industrial real-estate. It integrates all facilities and luxuries an exciting co-operative office environment can wish for today.

The Crystal Forest is a modular system that can be built and removed quickly on virtually any location, is entirely self-contained, and offers a feasible business case for a wide variety of real estate challenges, including adaptive re-use of industrial hertiage.


Hortus Celestia

Jul 16, 2019, Vertical farm & office tower

The Hortus Celestia is a vertical farm tower, designed for Naaldwijk, the Netherlands. The tower rises 28 stories high above the greenhouse-filled landscape, offering 14 farming floors with embedded expo centers.

The tower functions as a demonstration center for innovative Dutch greenhouse industry partners, and attracts international visitors from around the globe.


Miya's Sushi Fish Menu

Oct 10, 2014, Sustainable fish at a glance

Miya's Sushi in New Haven, CT, has been our favorite restaurant for years, and for good reason. Miya's is a home away from home that produces award winning fusion sushi that places heaven on your tongue, while being the forefront of social and environmental sustainability.

To aid in this, we produced a menu with graphic maps of the unique fish selection of Miya's for internal and external use.


Sustainable Water Innovation Game

May 01, 2015, A social cardgame to connect stakeholders in a fun setting

SWIG is a social cardgame with a sustainable wastewater processing theme. Players get to know each other, learn from each other, and discover as a group to invest in the opportunities that make wastewater processing more sustainable.

We developed the game mechanics in close collaboration with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as part of their Wastewater Chain Roadmap (Routekaart Afvalwaterketen). The game is played with much enthousiasm in DNV's workshops today.


Flemish Metropolitan Dreams

Oct 10, 2014, A new vision for Flanders' housing

Yale Carbon Calculator

Jul 20, 2016, Determine your footprint from travel and events

Except worked with Yale University to develop a customized online carbon calculator for the Yale Community Carbon Fund. The calculator allows anyone to calculate their footprint and directly support projects that offset this carbon.

The calculator is an intuitive and easy to use website for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from Yale events and operations:

  • Travel and transportation
  • Facility use
  • Waste generation
  • Education



The Except Website

Jul 20, 2016, Communicating the network

You are currently looking at it: a beautiful and functional website for our happy organization.

Developed by our software architects, web designers and communication specialists, it became exactly what we wanted: snappy, cool, informative and with a back-end that helps us streamline internal communication.



House of Energy

Jan 16, 2019, Inspiration Book Energy Neutral Living

Inspiration Book Sustainable Overschie

Mar 01, 2018, Quickscan of potential development options for urban redevelopment

Overschie is a neighborhood in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with unique properties:

  • surrounded by highways and an airport
  • environmentally compromised
  • Public health challenges
  • a village within the city
  • high social capital

Social housing organization Woonstad and the city council of Overschie want to make this neighborhood more sustainable, but where do they start? To answer this question we did a quickscan of the neighborhood to find its opportunities and made a custom inspiration book filled with possibilities to work towards a sustainable city district. Read below for more info, and of course, download the book!


Greenprint Book

Oct 10, 2014, Example book of sustainability in the built environment

Greenprint features over 150 pages of innovations in our homes, cities and daily life. From eco-houses and neighborhoods to streetlamps activated by moonlight, social innovations, urban agriculture and much more. Greenprint shows how sustainability can change your world from the smallest to the biggest scale.


Portal to Venlo

Oct 10, 2014, Sustainable Greenhouse Industry Area Development (2010)

The Portal to Venlo offers the greenhouse industry in the east of the Netherlands a model to develop a sustainable industry. The project re-imagines an existing greenhouse industry area, currently fragmented, inefficient, dangerous for bicycle tourists that cross the area and in general rather unappealing.


Merredin Health Industries Spirulina Plant

Aug 25, 2020, Rural Regeneration Algae plant

The Merredin Spirulina plant, developed in the year 2000, is one of the first projects in which we applied systems thinking and our holistic, systemic approach to innovation, using ecology as a main component.

The result is a highly unusual but stunningly effective business case for a sustainable, ecological industry to revive a desert town in Australia. 

This project is a testament to the strength of holistic, systemic approaches. For this reason, we documented the project extensively on this page, indluing the conception process, business case and design of the plant. For more detail, feel free to contact us.



Centrum: Spiritual Center

Oct 10, 2014, Sacred Chapel in Toronto, Canada

On the steep slope of one of the edges of Toronto’s ravine system we created a place for contemplation, introspection and shared spiritual expression. A place with no prescribed belief, where people of all walks of life can experience what is sacred to them in their own way.

The project introduces a unique ecological approach to its site, significantly contributing to the ecosystem of Toronto’s ravine system.


San Francisco Transbay / Salesforce Park

Sep 09, 2020, World's largest ecological rooftop park

The San Francisco Transbay Center redevelopment project realizes the world’s largest rooftop park in the center of one of the world’s most exciting cities: Salesforce Park. The concept, developed by Except together with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, restructures an existing transport hub into a beacon of beauty, biodiversity, and health.  The project started in 2007 and the park opened in 2019.


Netherlands CO2040

Jan 27, 2016, The country CO2 free in 2040?

What key projects are necessary to make the Netherlands CO2 neutral in 2040? That was the central and massive question put before Except and Posad by the Dutch ministry.

By applying network and system-analysis a surprising single answer was found: a more transparent, decentralized and accessible data-system is needed to make this happen.


the Rotterdam Collective (RoCo)

Aug 21, 2017, Entrepreneurial spirit with social engagement

BKCity Slim Refurbishment

Feb 19, 2013, Sustainable Renovation of TUDelft's Architecture Faculty

BKCity is a magnificent listed monument of more than 30.000m2 functioning as the faculty of Architecture of the TU Delft. Except created a phased plan to make this historic educational building energy and carbon neutral within ten years.

The plan converts the building into a didactic tool that puts sustainability at the heart of education for generations of architects, introducing a unique in-building ecosystem that provides an inspiring environment, functional qualities and cost savings.


The Dandelion Project

Oct 10, 2014, Web 3.0 Visual Information Management & Collaboration

Dandelion is a next generation (web 3.0) software application that binds scientific, social and economic data from all over the world in an immersive visual environment. It's like google on steroids, allowing you to visually fly through three dimensional realms of information, putting it at your fingertips and making it useful.

It enables a boost in productivity for knowledge management, research and social connectivity for anyone involved with research and development.

Dandelion is developed in partnership with the Dutch government and Storrm CS consultants.


Boston Fort Point Masterplan

Oct 10, 2014, Sustainable urban redevelopment

This urban redevelopment project of the Fort Point district in Boston, MA proposes a unique strategy to reduce city-wide traffic congestion, increase livability and property values and contributes significantly to the resilience of the city as a whole.


Desert House in Kalgoorlie, Australia

Oct 10, 2014,

Designed in 2001, this house was beyond its time in providing an affordable, sustainable habitat that could be aggregated in various patterns in a new suburb of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Drawing on traditional moorish and middle-eastern architectural types, the house features a wind tower that helps to extract hot air from the house in a natural way. The orientation towards the sun, passive solar principles, use of geothermal and solar energy provide all the cooling, heating and electricity for the house, make it a very sustainable design before its time, while remaining affordable, and with unique architectural qualities. The house does not have a specific site, and is largely pre-fabricated construction.


Maasterras Sustainability Scan

Oct 10, 2014, Mapping the opportunities of a river city

This project explores opportunities for sustainable development in the planning, policy and urban design of a large urban district in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.


Shanghai Urban Masterplan

Oct 10, 2014, Urban Masterplan embedding Vertical Agriculture

Rome Apartment Building

Oct 10, 2014, New Architecture in the heart of old Rome

The Daadkracht project is the design of a four story mixed-use building in the heart of the old city of Rome, offering three spectacular apartments, shops, and a restaurant. Part of the design is a city park bordering the Tevere river, a church and various other historical buildings.

The project presented a unique opportunity to design the first new non-cultural edifice in Rome after Mussolini. To honour this event, an extensive study into the history of Rome, both its ancient past, turn of the century socio-cultural and political developments and modern developments were used as a driving force behind the design of this building.


Growth-Planning Area Planning & Development

Jul 15, 2012, Next Generation Open Source City Planning - June 2009

Growth Planning introduces an entirely new approach to area planning and urban design. Rather than defining specific programmatic requirements, Growth Planning instead applies socio-economic impulses to the area within certain performance edge conditions. It revolutionzes the task of city design by requiring the urban fabric to organically respond to social and economic stimuli, and allows for increased value, quality, and development over time.

Born out of the necessity to start thinking differently about our built environment due to economic, social and environmental constraints, Except has worked on refining this new form of planning since 2005.


Wesleyan University Teaching Museum

Oct 10, 2014, Sustainability through flexibility

Except designed a new type of museum used for teaching with four distinct collections of artefacts, musical instuments, and prints, located in the center of the Wesleyan University Campus.

The museum has been designed for longevity, with a possible life span of over hundreds of years. Its main quality is its ability to change function over time while remaining a high quality environment for a variety of purposes. It’s flexible, exciting and features solid passive energy systems that continue to work through the ages.


RGD Building Portfolio Scan

Oct 10, 2014, Opportunities for sustainable redevelopment

The RGD manages and maintains all the real estate for the Dutch government. In such a large portfolio, a large number of buildings are suboptimally used. We developed a scan to analyze a specific object, identify potential beneficial uses and plot out a redevelopment plan.


Sustainable Office Interior

Oct 10, 2014, Except's sustainable work space

To demonstrate that a sustainable office interior can be exciting, affordable, and very practical we decided to make our own work space an example of just that.

The Except office in Rotterdam is located in a restored office building, which had previously stood empty for over a decade. Our renovation process brought together new ideas about collaboration, innovative material use, and exciting design.



Mar 24, 2021, Keep the Arctic in the Arctics

This project aims to reduce the temperatures in the Arctics to prevent massive climate disaster worldwide. It organizes the consortium, action plan, research, technology, finance, and legal framework to  move towards global climate mitigation using autonomous cloud whitening vessels  using salt water vapour. 


Climate-Adaptive Urban Garden

Jul 13, 2021, Parking lot transformation in the city center of Roosendaal

Together with the municipality of Roosendaal we worked on a design for a climate-adaptive garden in the center of the city, "Stadstuin van Hasselt". The garden is designed for outdoor education and culture regarding the themes of Water & Climate, Culture & History, and Nature & City Ecology. In the center of the garden lies the Beekdal, which acts as the backbone of the park. This waterway is the lowest point in its direct surroundings and serves as a water reservoir in the case of heavy precipitation. This way it reduces the pressure on the adjacent sewage systems.