Except is a collaborative enterprise, consisting of talented and motivated sustainability experts in over 20 disciplines.
We’re immensely proud of our unique team, realizing that without our diversity, experience and dedication, we could never work on such a variety of pioneering projects.
Because of our global reach we have representation in various countries, including the United States, the Netherlands and Mexico. Most of our experts speak multiple languages and are available on an individual basis.
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. 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.
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. Tom has worked and lectured in Australia, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and the United States. He teaches as a guest-lecturer in various universities and publishes articles regularly.
Tim rediscovered his love for sustainability early 2009, and started his own enterprise, following a diverse, partly international career in the chemical/multinational sector. During this period, Tim held a wide variety of positions in technology, operations management, product & resource management, sales, marketing and customer service management. Today these translate to a broad range of expertise, from strategy to execution.
Tim likes trying new, unorthodox ways and partnerships to overcome initial resistance to innovation. He even practices this at home where his children are allowed to refuse a new dish, but only after trying it first.
“We need to focus on what new directions may work, even though we usually have plenty of experts that think it won’t. If we want to get up to speed with sustainability, we need to act more collectively with the general interest in mind. Two areas of common interest, exactly why I enjoy working with Except !”
Tim has two Bachelor degrees, one in chemical engineering and one in business economics. He also completed the CSR Management executive program at Erasmus School of Accounting & Assurance in Rotterdam.
Jacob is Except's resident genius scientist. As an industrial ecologist, Jacob knows everything about energy and material flows, urban metabolism, impact and life cycle assessment, and the circular economy. As an engineer, Jacob has particular love for building systems and sustainable building practices. Jacob always always wants to know everything there is to know about a subject. When he was little, his favorite word was “why?”.
That condition never got better. He is fascinated by nature, architecture and technology. He would like to get to know as much as there is to know about sustainability and translate that into concrete solutions for improving the world.
Jacob has a humanist’s understanding of social policy coupled with an engineers’ appreciation of practicality. In the last four years he helped to increase the understanding of the interaction of office workers with their thermal environment, in his role as a researcher at the TU Eindhoven in the department of Building Physics and Services. Comfort through user involvement is essential to make buildings better and more sustainable. Technology is there to help people in making doing the right thing easier.
This practical side is also visible when Jacob designs and builds furniture. The best furniture is esthetically pleasing, is useful and makes life easier. Additional advantage is that woodworking and building is a relaxing activity, and therefore it’s no surprise that a large portion of Jacobs house is filled with his own creations.
Jacob has a PhD in building physics from Eindhoven University, a Master’s degree in Industrial Ecology from Delft and Leiden Universities, and a Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering.
Antonia is an architect with many different passions. Her dream is to create interactive architecture that focuses on people and the natural environment, making them involved actors instead of just passive users. Her main goal is to design towards sustainability and not only energy-efficiency. With that in mind she challenges herself to always look from different perspectives in order to design solutions that embody economical, ecological and social sustainability.
Born and raised in 1700 year old Split on a Dalmatian coast, she has developed a sensitivity towards cultural and natural heritage since childhood. At the age of 19 Antonia moved to Italy where she graduated in Bachelor and Master degree in Architecture at the University of Florence. During her studies she has developed an interest in Urban Sociology and ever since is passionate in research about the interaction between the built environment and people’s behaviour.
Antonia joined Except initially as an intern during her 2nd level Post-Graduate Course “Sustainable Design of the built environment” and was part of the 1st Except Academy, a learning platform for interns. As an associate she continues to support the academy team, eager to further strengthen her skills and help others do the same.
As an architect she believes that design is not only about the form and aesthetics but rather about the added value it generates for the environment and the society. She wants to contribute to re-building cities where people are engaged and active part of the change. In everything she does she always asks herself: why are we doing what we do and how are we contributing to the environment we live in.
Luca is an expert in Environmental Building Engineering, who, after years of study and research brings his expertise and knowledge to Except.
As a child it was Lego that inspired Luca to build. After some years of studying, research and work, it was nature that became his biggest source of inspiration. Luca strives to achieve energy optimization and reduction of environmental impact, while maximizing human living comfort. With that ambition in mind, he directed his education and the first years of his professional career towards green buildings. After a Bachelor in Environmental Engineering in Italy, he worked for a consultancy company that supplied building energy modeling software. Passionate about the achievements of the Danish government, he decided to leave his country to study a Master in Building Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark, where he undertook the Energy Saving study line. This allowed him to work for the Solar Decathlon 2014 and for the International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy.
After one year of working as a researcher in Denmark, Luca felt the need to move forwards, he wanted to work on more tangible projects, together with others, on making the construction system more sustainable. The combination of smart building components and efficient services offers a promising way forwards. At Except, he has the possibility to understand the connections between those factors, as well as the opportunity to analyze buildings as a living organism, and the urban fabric as its ecosystem. He is now part of the 2nd Except Academy and works as a freelance consultant.
Born and raised in Italy, he has developed a sensitivity towards cultural and natural heritage which he combines with engineering knowledge. He believes that innovation is just the state of the art of tradition; one does not preclude the other, they are rather complementary.
Jeroen is an all-round professional in the built environment with experience in management. At Except, he is responsible for the office strategy. Hands-on experience with a creative company provides him with the necessary know-how to make sure everybody can focus on the things they want to do, and help them with the things they don’t.
Jeroen has a background as an urban designer, having studied Urbanism at the Delft University of Technology and having worked as a designer at an office for urban planning and landscapearchitecture. During the former, he developed a passion for general DTP-work, and designing reports and presentations in particular. During the latter, he was appointed as de facto office manager, while maintaining his expertise in edit and layout work. Jeroen not only has a feeling for creative processes, but also for numbers and spreadsheets, a combination of which comes in especially handy for his role as office manager for Except.
Libera is a curious and ambitious urban designer and researcher, with international experience, specialized in innovative solutions to improve urban metabolism & circularity.
In Except's team, Libera brings a sharp eye for strategic choices in spatial and urban challenges, mixed with experience in circular and re-use scenario's. Libera is looking for optimal ways for sustainable urban developments dealing with resource scarcity. She believes that cities can do more with less, working towards circular growth. Libera specializes in the regeneration of degraded urban areas.
Libera holds a five year degree in Architecture with Honours and a Ph.D. in Urban Design and Planning in recycling of Wasted Landscapes as a resource for contemporary cities. Besides her work at Except, Libera is a guest researcher at the TU Delft where she researches urban regenerations through urban metabolism and towards circular economies. Since graduation, she has researched new life-cycles for damaged landscapes in metropolitan areas, at the Department of Architecture (DiARC) of the University of Naples Federico II. At DiARC, Libera tutors students as an expert in Urbanism.
Brian is a designer and researcher. His area of expertise within Except is to analyze and synthesize information connecting business, technology and humans in order to develop new sustainable products, services, experiences and value propositions. His background combines technical design skills with creative thinking and a business mindset. He holds a BSc in Product Design at Politecnico di Milano University and an MSc in Design Strategy at Delft University of Technology with a specialization in Technology for Sustainable Development.
When he was three years old, Brian went to the mountains for the first time and discovered nature. He decided to become a paleontologist, explore the world and look for fossil dinosaurs trapped inside rocks. At the age of sixteen, he left his home in Rome, living, studying and working across eight different countries including Italy, The United States, Spain, Honduras, The Netherlands, India, Colombia and South Africa. He likes doodling with a black pen, writing down his thoughts, reading about the lives of real people who did something noteworthy, playing the acoustic guitar, rock climbing and, above all, exploring, seeing faraway places and talking to diverse people in order to get to know the world.
Brian believes that the designer should be an active agent of change in the transition towards sustainable development. He has worked on various international development projects for small social businesses and large NGOs in Latin America and in Asia. He also worked as a strategic consultant within sustainable service and business innovation projects for company clients. As a researcher at the Product Innovation Management Department of Delft University of Technology he has investigated which factors underlie successful implementation of design projects in emerging markets. He explored how sustainability objectives can be used as a catalyst for business model innovation, combining principles from Design Thinking and Sustainable Entrepreneurship.
As an outside the box strategist, Gertjan helps organizations to adapt their business models and develop and implement new ways to create value. Gertjan applies a 'systems approach' to support the efforts of public and private organizations to grow towards creating more sustainable business value that cohabits with the environment and society they operate in. Cross-linking disciplines, perspectives, values and knowledge and initiating co-creation as well as applying his over ten years of experience as an entrepreneur, make Gertjan a versatile innovator.
Fascinated by technology and the wondrous possibilities it brings, he is often involved in the application of disruptive technologies in his work. Technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, all enable change and are among Gertjan's favorite instruments and discussion subjects. As a constructive dreamer he often wonders what a sustainable human centric business model for the world would look like.
Emma is an architect and spatial designer with an inquisitive nature. She uses her expertise as a creative and conceptual thinker to create a wholesome and sustainable environment. With her skills as an architect, she turns these into a reality. She is resourceful, overflowing with ideas, and a strong team player. Her enthusiasm flourishes when new concepts emerge from multidisciplinary cooperation, and she enables their spatial realization.
Emma is fascinated by how society shapes its environment. With Except, she finds the shared ambition of creating sustainable foundations for society. During her studies, she discovered buildings aren't always the solution for sustainability issues. She did her internship at the Governmental Planning Agency (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving) to learn more about urban metabolism, and did a course at the SFYN Academy to learn everything about food systems.
Emma has a Bachelor in Built Environment and a Master in Architecture at the Rotterdam Academy for Architecture. During her Master studies, she worked at several offices, learning all about practical applications during all phases of the building process. Her idealistic approach drove her to also tackle social issues. She graduated on her project 'Space for democracy, temporary parliament at sea'.
Nele’s love for sustainable and eco hotels, farms and B&Bs has taken her across the globe. Her dream is to revive the old-fashioned hospitality sector one project/city/country at a time. Nele received her Bachelor’s degree in the heart of the hotel world – University of Nevada Las Vegas. After spending 3 years in Las Vegas, she helped build an Estonian casino company into an international corporation.
Nyenrode Business Universiteit awarded Nele an International MBA degree, after which she explored sustainable tourism in Peru, Greece and her native Estonia.
As a talented project manager Nele works with multinational teams across borders and time zones.
As an Industrial Ecologist, Monica applies a systematic approach to deliver solutions for sustainability problems. This implies integrating engineering, environmental and social science perspectives for identifying, designing and evaluating solutions to sustainable development.
As an engineer, she is passionate about researching and applying the latest practices and technologies about sustainable agriculture, while understanding the ecosystem services and the relationship between organisms and their environment.
While pursuing one of her passion in life – traveling, she observed first hand the need for sustainable development and the inequalities that the world is facing, especially in developing countries. Therefore she continued her environmental education, and studied Industrial Ecology (IE), the scientific field of sustainability, and dedicated her career to building more sustainable societies.
Using the IE approach, the behaviour of complex integrated human/natural systems is mapped and understood, and the sustainability issues are examined from multiple perspectives: societal, environmental, economic and technological.
In Except Monica discovered a dynamic team sharing her passion and dedication for sustainability, that uses an innovative approach in accelerating the frontier to sustainability. At Except, she is creating tools aimed at improving the operation of multinational corporations, performs energy and material flow analyses, and creates strategies for complex challenges.
She applies the same passion for sustainability in her personal life, where during her volunteer work with WWF she brings awareness for local communities on how to live a more sustainable life. She also works closely with educational institutions in providing knowledge through events and presentations for the next generations of sustainable minds.
Freek’s experience in designing learning trajectories helps Except to deliver high-quality and tailor-made programs that develop participants' capacity to accelerate change. He brings to the team a science-based understanding of sustainability and a drive to connect this to the heart and hands of people.
Freek approaches his decade of experience in facilitation and coaching from a personal perspective, developing and strengthening positive change from within and in connectivity with each other. His facilitation focuses on the person behind the question, strengthening them, and connecting to their highest potential. He has internalized these lessons through hands on experience with founding an NGO, sustainability and strategy consultancy, and interim project management. He is frequently hired as a sparring partner, catalyst, facilitator and advisor for process design and delivery and the development of theories of change. A guiding principle in this is to make it work - together.
Jon is a biotechnologist by choice, and curious by nature. He is always searching for how, and why, a system works like it does -or doesn’t. He enjoys mentally taking things apart to analyze the pieces, to figure out how the thing works, whether machine, human behaviour, natural phenomenon, or societal complexity. As a biotechnologist he often returns to the natural world to find how nature solves a problem, and applies that to systems designed by humans.
The area where technology touches biology fascinates Jon. He is in his element solving these complex interactive systems. From a young age he was enchanted by the ingenious complex systems that are found in nature. Determined to figure out how it all works, he dedicated his studies to biotechnology. He adopted a broad knowledge base, and learned that interdisciplinary approaches help solve the toughest of problems, and that context and creativity are essential. Jon pursued a Bachelor in Biosystems Engineering, and got his Master’s degree in Biotechnology at Wageningen University. Both studies focused on mathematics and systems design and understanding, based on a wide variety of biological and natural processes.
The world, and everything beyond, is fascinating, and Jon aims to understand it all. But until then, he has dedicated his work to enable society, and human life, to become sustainable on this earth. In the process making sure there is a world left for himself to explore.
Leonie is a passionate organizer of positive projects, keeping a clear and focused view on the goal ahead. Her open and curious personality takes her to inspiring people and places, giving her a broad perspective and colorful imagination. She likes to connect different worlds to bring optimistic and real solutions to the table. Leonie loves to tease people and groups, add fun, with a factor of consciousness, to create a learning curve and make up a smarter team.
Her fascination with people, teams, and organizations resulted in a BA Social & Organizational Psychology, and a Training 'Zijnsorientatie'. Besides her studies she was always active in different associations, from boardsports groups (like surfing) to social entrepreneurship organizations, often taking on a motivational and organizational role. With her interest in nature and sustainability she had a longing to add something in this area for years, and this longing is now met with her work in the Except team.
Pierce can make you a house from a napkin, if you ask him to. He’ll make sure it’s culturally relevant and makes a striking theoretical argument as a bonus. Pierce can take charge of anything ranging from that napkin to a space station, which comes in handy every so often.
Pierce’s all-round skills as an architect on various scales helps Except prepare for any spatial challenge, including project development in various parts of the world.
Pierce has a masters degree from Yale University and a bachelor of Architecture from Ohio State University, and won the 2008 AIA Henry Adams medal. He has worked for Pelli Clarke Pelli architects, NBBJ and ROTO studio, and has worked in the United States and Turkey on Institutional, Cultural and Residential architecture, as well as Urban Design.
James’ insight in spatial problems on various scales helps Except to solve complex problems concerning the built environment. He brings to the Except team landscape design experience gained in large-scale projects in South-east asia and throughout Europe.
As a teacher and researcher at the ETH in Zurich he spreads and develops his knowledge, and as Project Landscape Architect he is in charge of landscape and urban design challenges.
James also waters the Except office plants, and talks to them in Dutch and Swiss German.
James has a bachelors of architecture with honours from the University of Western Australia, and a master in landscape architecture from the ETH in Zurich. James has worked on landscape design and architecture projectecs in Australia, Asia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Great Brittain.