Except Integrated Sustainability

Our articles

In our daily work we constantly generate new knowledge and insights that we want to share and continue building upon.

These articles contain excursions into new ways of thinking about a sustainable society, as well as tools and reviews. Chime in, and talk with us.

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Natural Capital & new innovation strategies

Jan 27, 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.

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Tom Bosschaert
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Symbiosis in Development (SiD)

May 16, 2009

Sustainability innovation framework 

Symbiosis in Development (SiD) is a framework for developing multi-faceted sustainability innovations, using systems-thinking, network theory, and life cycle understanding. SiD allows a complete systems-based understanding of sustainability, different disciplines to work together, and finding symbiotic solutions quickly.

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Tom Bosschaert
sustainability methodology >

UN Sustainability goal 11: Cities

Feb 23, 2017

Dawn of the urban micro community 

This article was published in the  UN Magazine Forum, as a response to the question on how to approach the UN's 11th sustainability goal  concerning cities. It was published in February of 2017 in the Forum magazine.

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Tom Bosschaert
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Reinventing Cartagena´s fortress

Feb 07, 2015

How to transform deserted fortresses into major assets for the city. 

During the17th century, a fortification system was designed in Cartagena, Murcia (Spain). Several castles, walls and fortresses were built in different strategic places for the defense of the city. Nowadays a few of them have been renovated, but others have been sadly forgotten. They are in dire state due to unfavorable conditions; vandalism, maritime environment and time are harming this piece of city history.

All this while the empty fortresses could be transformed into a major asset for the city.  Curious how? Read on! 

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Marta Suanzes
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To Truly Connect

Jan 20, 2015

A report from Esther Populier 

Sorry, non-Dutch readers, this article will be translated to English soon.

Esther organiseerde voor ons de bijzondere Grid Night 'get connected'. In dit artikel zet ze uiteen waarom persoonlijk contact zo belangrijk is voor jezelf, en nieuwe inzichten die haar programma zo'n succes maken.

‘Echt’ contact maken creëert vertrouwen en op basis van vertrouwen bouw je een succesvolle onderneming, zowel extern naar klanten en peers als intern naar collega’s.

Dat ‘contact maken’ op de werkvloer van essentieel belang is voor een plezierige en vooral succesvolle bedrijfsvoering is zonneklaar. Daarbij maken we onderscheid tussen contact en ‘echt’ contact, waarbij je de ander laat zien wie je bent, soms met alle gevolgen van dien. Maar beter sta je recht en echt tegenover elkaar, dan continue met een masker op te moeten leven, daarmee kan je alleen maar door de mand vallen. Nu is het tijd voor een volgende stap.

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Natascha Schuiling
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Renaissance van stadsontwikkeling

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?

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Tom Bosschaert
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Muddy fingers

Sep 25, 2013

The value of urban farming 

Is farming in your backyard effective? My urban garden doesn’t nearly produce enough food for me and is labor intensive at the same time. Interestingly though, while my own garden takes some perseverance, it is immensely valuable to me in different ways. 

I admit that from an economic point of view my urban farm is hardly interesting. Small urban farms in gardens and on rooftops are, however, ecologically and socially valuable. Their greatest value lies in the awareness and behavior change that follows from tending an urban garden. It's proven so immensely valuable to me as a person that I recommend an urban farm to everyone.

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Walter Faaij
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Melting ice – melting societies

Jun 14, 2013

Greenland: bellwether of climate change 

Climate change, world politics, oil exploration, huge social challenges and an overcharged ecosystem. Join us in trying to understand the Greenlandic system. A country, vast in terms of land area, tiny in terms of population numbers. The cumulative effect of these trends makes Greenland an example for global sustainability challenges.

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Walter Faaij
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1 + 1 = 3

Jun 03, 2013

Five simple questions for systems thinking 

We continuously try to increase our understanding of the world around us. One typical way of doing this is by creating models that simulate reality. We simplify the world, break a problem down in bite-size pieces, and often leave out the passing of time. A typical example is the supply and demand curve that is used in economics.

But what happens if we accidentally forget to include an important variable or relation? Or what happens when time passes, the relation between some variables change? System thinking tries to take these factors into account. Here we offer five simple questions to help you along in preventing these issues, and more...

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Erik Westerduin
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Labels don't guarantee sustainability (Dutch)

Oct 26, 2012

The importance of organization wide strategy 

This article is currently only available in Dutch. A translation is in progress.

Een certificaat kan helpen om duurzame resultaten te communiceren. Maar als die resultaten niet gebaseerd zijn op een bredere strategische visie en handelen binnen het bedrijf, betekent een certificaat weinig.

Artikel van Except's Tom Bosschaert en Roel Vos van DuurzaamGroepNederland.

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Tom Bosschaert
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The SiD definition of Sustainability

Aug 05, 2012

New opportunities in renewed understanding 

Sustainability is one of the most important words of the last few decades. It is the main driver of many programs and initiatives in society, and arguably the most important challenge of our century. As a sustainability innovation and development organization it's important for everything we do, and the vision and foundation for all our work. But what is its real meaning, and how can we use it to get to where we want to?

This article discusses why knowing what 'sustainability' means exactly is so important. We discuss problems with old definitions, explain the new SiD definition of sustainability, and what it empowers us to see, do and discover.

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Tom Bosschaert
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The Future of Air travel

Jan 17, 2012

How will we fly in 2050? 

This article is meant as an impression of how air travel could develop beyond the next generation of aircraft. The functionality of air travel as it is today is very important but also very convenient. Keeping that functionality is very important for future generations. It is a very big challenge to achieve that.

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Jacob Verhaart
sustainable economies >

The cog in the machine

Jan 09, 2012

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.

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Except
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Urban Evolution: the case of Schiebroek-Zuid

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.

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Except
cities / built environment >

The Real Cost of Nuclear Energy

Oct 10, 2011

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.

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Except
energy >

Panoramic Photographs

Aug 21, 2011

Our images from across the globe 

In our work we travel the world quite a bit, from remote deserts to modern metropoli. This page shows a selection of some of the panoramic photographs we have made in a wide variety of places.

 

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Tom Bosschaert
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LED & Artificial Light Guide

Feb 07, 2011

How to choose the best lamp for your purpose 

This guide explains the various lighting technologies for indoor artificial lighting, with explanations on light quality, efficiency, longevity and various health and usability factors included. The guide contains detailed information on the most common lamp types such as incandescents, fluorescents and LEDs.

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Tom Bosschaert
energy >

Except: LightWave 9.6 Radiosity Guide

Apr 20, 2010

The newest radiosity guide for LightWave! 

We’ve enjoyed providing this knowledge to you after years of testing and working with the great radiosity engine of LightWave. Much of our work on our artist impressions use Lw’s native GI system. Be sure to check out our other guides and freebies!

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Tom Bosschaert
communication & tools >

LightWave 9.x Anti Aliasing Guide

Apr 20, 2010

Complete reference guide to LightWave's Anti Aliasing system 

LightWave 9.2 introduces a new AA system that is extremely powerful, versatile and flexible. This comes with a price, namely that it can be confusing to set up, many settings, and ambiguity as to what they may mean in what context.

In this guide I’ll try to clarify the individual settings, and what cases each might be used. You’ll find that once you understand these principles, the AA system is actually quick to set up and very powerful, albeit with a learning curve.

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Tom Bosschaert
communication & tools >

2010 Global Priorities

Jul 09, 2009

Critical focus points 

2010 is here. In this section are outlined the issues Except recognises as being among the top priority of sustainable development for the next few years. They have been categorised using Symbiosis in Design's ELSIA method, which ensures a comprehensive coverage of issues. 

We've categorised major negative as well as positive priorities. At Except we believe these problems can be solved while creating or maintining a high quality level of life for all people and ecological systems on earth.

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Except
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Solar Updraft Tower Upgrade

Jul 06, 2009

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.

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Tom Bosschaert
energy >

Symbiosis in Development: ELSIA

May 16, 2009

Categorization system 

ELSIA is a categorization tool to index the different areas of interest for integrated development. It replaces the People, Planet, Profit system to offer a more structured approach that yield more complete and insightful results.

ELSIA is part of the Symbiosis in Development sustainability methodology.

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Except
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Energy and cost analysis double and triple glazing

Jul 14, 2008

Is better insulation always better? 

This small investigation performed in 2008 analyzes various glazing types as to their performance in energetic, cost and quality areas. It focuses on the following three questions

  • The energetic performance of glass types (does triple glazing reduce required heating energy?)
  • The environmental impact (are the extra energy and material for fabrication less than its savings?)
  • Cost (is it financially beneficial to invest in triple glazing?)

Since the release of this analysis in 2008 several new glazing types have become available that changes the situation in some cases. We can perform evaluations to investigate the best options for a particular case.

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Tom Bosschaert
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Large Scale Urban Agriculture

Jun 06, 2008

Supplying (plenty of) food for the city 

This essay explores the possibility of large scale agriculture in an urban setting, and options to increase the world’s supply of agricultural capacity, reduce food related transportation, assist in waste and water filtration loads of cities, and other possibilities. It discusses technical, economic and social ramifications of urban agriculture.

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Tom Bosschaert
(urban) agriculture >

Tools for Walkable Cities

May 08, 2008

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.

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Tom Bosschaert
cities / built environment >

Methods for Urban Traffic Reduction

May 06, 2008

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.

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Tom Bosschaert
cities / built environment >