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.

Crystal Forest Office

Project > 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.

Innovation in our own backyard

The Crystal Forest was born when we set out to find a new office for ourselves in Amsterdam, found an abandoned historical shipyard, and fell in love. We wanted the most amazing and inspiring office environment for ourselves to work in, and put our best ideas together to make it work. In the process, we realized this makes sense in so many other places, there's empty industrial real estate everywhere. So we put our own office plans on hold for a bit, and started working on a universal concept, available to everyone. And here it is.

Pick it up and move on

The Crystal Forest has a modular structure that adapts itself to any configuration, is disassembled and moved as quickly as it is built. This way the material investment retains its value, even when the future of the industrial site is not clear for the long term.

Happy Green Jungle

The plants don't just look amazing, they're a vital part of the Crystal Forest's operations. Rain water is collected and automatically fed into the planters, nutrients added along the way. The plants filter the air, and condition and humidify it when necessary. Food producing modules based on hydroponic and aquaponic systems are available to slot right in.

Research on nature in office environments show that direct access to substantial, real, nature such as in the Crystal Forest can cut sick-days, stress and physical complains significantly, while improving concentration and satisfaction. And we're all about statisfaction.

Turn-key solutions

Based on our experience with setting up innovation communities and other co-location offices, we've built a turn-key business model for the implementation of the Crystal Forest model. We offer this service, complete down to the internet connection, reception staff, and coffee machines. 

Plenty of factories

In every city there are the remnants of the industrial revolution, as well as emtpy large warehouses from later eras. While they can be impressive and inspiring, these buildings are challenging redevelopment projects, financially, structurally and functionally. The buildings are not originally meant for human habitation. Heating, ventilation, and safe working environments are often costly to realize. In addition, the monumental state of some buildings prohibit typical adjustments to the building, making any redevelopment task a major undertaking.

The Crystal Forest system is designed for just these situations. It is a lightweight, light-impact system that can be slotted into any space easily, as a turn-key plug-in solution. It is an energy neutral, fully fitted out office environment that is ideal for modern co-location concepts, innovation communities, and incubators.

Its lively plant-filled environment is attractive, healthy, and offers a multitude of additional possibilities, including on-site hydroponic farming, education and conference centers, and entertainment purposes.

Your own Crystal Forest?

Interested if a Crystal Forest can fit your industrial location?  They are available from 400 square meters. Contact Arjan Luiten to find out about the possibilities.

Media & Downloads

Reference Projects

Growth-Planning Area Planning & Development

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.

... read more >

BKCity Slim Refurbishment

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.

... read more >

Merredin Health Industries Spirulina Plant

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.


... read more >

Elst forest villa renovation

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.

... read more >


Except Integrated Sustainability

Tom Bosschaert

Email  [javascript protected email address] [javascript protected email address]
Phone   +31 10 7370215


  • Arjan Luiten

    Sustainable Spatial Designer & Architect
  • Erik Westerduin

    Business Developer