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

Ecosysteem Ontwerp

Service > Integreer natuurkracht

Ecological landscapes as pleasant environments that add value High performance agriculture ecosystems Embedded ecosystems inside university buildings Designed ecosystems can offer entertainment and style

Ecosystems are one of the largest untapped resources to our disposal. By designing and embedding smart ecosystems we can harvest valuable functional uses, increase the performance of buildings and cities, and design more inpsiring environments.

Except develops custom ecosystems for use in urban landscapes, agriculture, buildings and industry. 

Can you 'design' an ecosystem?

Yes, ecosystems can be designed to perform a wide variety of functions by combining the necessary ingredients and materials, and tuning them to their environment. When developed and integrated well, ecosystems can have large beneficial effects on all environments.

Examples of ecosystems we have designed are:

  • Edible rooftop gardens
  • Urban water filtration systems
  • Ecologically activated parklands and urban landscapes
  • Urban redevelopment systems
  • Ecological sound barriers & Indoor climate conditioning
  • Social gathering and education functions
  • Bio-fuel harvest parks
  • High performance organic agriculture (Polydome)

Why use ecosystems for functions?

There are various reasons why you'd want to use an ecosystem to perform functional tasks. The most important reason is that ecosystems always have a large set of positive side effects.

  • Unlike a machine that performs a single function, ecosystems can deliver all their benefits at the same time, and the more they're tapped into, the better they can work.
  • This way they can deliver more value on the whole than mechanical systems.
  • Also, they look amazing, people are strongly attracted to them, and they generally tend to increase the quality of living environments.
  • When designed well, ecosystems last longer, are more resilient and perform better than any other solution.

How do you design an ecosystem?

We design ecosystems by bringing together biologists, ecologists, engineers and designers. Together they research the specific qualities that are needed for the local climate and functional conditions.

Based on this, we make a smart combination of plants, microorganisms, materials and design features to maximize the required qualities. The outputs can range among the following qualities, and beyond:

  • Food production
  • Water filtration and retention
  • (Air) Particulate filters
  • Social functions, gathering and tourism
  • Education
  • Energy generation
  • Material fabrication (medical, construction, etc)
  • Elevated concentration and health benefits
  • Biodiversity increases

I want one!

Yes, we hear you, a lot of people are beginning to understand the power of beneficial ecosystems for their business, home, industry and cities.

If you want to start today, you can start small, for instance at home if you're the hands-on type with, for instance, a polyculture garden.

If you're looking for something more substantial, we can develop ecosystems up to the scale of cities with you to fit your particulate need. 

 Talk to us to find out how smart ecosystems may be a solution for you. Also take a look at Polydome, our custom high performence agriculture design system.



Mooi en Duurzaam Schiebroek-Zuid

Na-oorlogse sociale woningbouw herontwikkeling

Except ontwikkelde deze visie en flexibel plan van aanpak voor het opwaarderen van de naoorlogse sociale woningbouwwijk Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam.  De integrale visie transformeert de wijk gedurende 30 jaar naar een zelfvoorzienend en duurzaam woongebied. Het past een breed scala toe van innovatieve energiesystemen, stadslandbouw, sociaal en economisch programma, en renovatietechnieken.

“Mooi en Duurzaam Schiebroek-Zuid” is ontwikkeld in opdracht van woningbouwcorporatie Vestia en het InnovatieNetwerk.

... 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.

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Centrum: Spiritual Center

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.

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Merredin Health Industries Spirulina Plant

Algen fabriek voor landelijke herontwikkeling

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.


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Portal to Venlo

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.

... read more >

Visie Nationaal Park de Oostvaardersplassen

Structuur voor ontwikkeling park en natuurbeheer

Voor Staatsbosbeheer, de provincie Flevoland en de gemeenten Almere en Lelystad is een visiedocument opgesteld voor de toekomstige ontwikkeling van de Oostvaardersplassen.  Het document beschrijft de  visie en de missie voor de doorontwikkeling van het park en  de de duurzaamheidsvisie voor de aanvraag van de status als Nationaal Park. De visie en missie van het park zijn vertaald naar concrete prestatiedoelen, integraal verwoven met alle ontwikkeldoelstellingen. Geen separate duurzaamheidsdoelstellingen, maar één cohrerente set van ontwikkeldoelen. 

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Arkna Eco-Park Masterplan

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.

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Schiphol Catalyst Kantoor Innovatie

Een gezonder en duurzaam CBD van Schiphol

We werken samen met Schiphol Real Estate en meer dan 70 stakeholders en experts om de duurzaamheid en gezondheid van Central Business District (CBD) op Schiphol te verhogen met een multi-tennant kantoorgebouwe van meer dan 20.000 m2.

Het project realiseert integrale gesloten kringlopen, zelfvoorzienendheid, nieuwe business modellen, en gezonde en inspirerende werkomgevingen. Het gebouw zet een nieuwe standaard voor de prestatie van duurzame, gezonde, en veerkrachtige gebouwen. 


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Roadmap to the BGI Manual

Bridging the knowledge gap in the field of Blue Green Infrastructures

Blue Green Infrastructures (BGI) increase the resilience of urban and rural landscapes, integrating their core functions with natural features and processes. Hurdles exist in the process of translating BGI-related knowledge and data from science to practice, and a tool that facilitates this transfer is still missing. We conducted a research in collaboration with a team of partner organizations (JNCC, IFLA Europe, BiodivERsA, and NRW), to pinpoint key preliminary knowledge to design such a tool, and collected our key findings in a report downloadable on this page.

... read more >


Except Integrated Sustainability

Tom Bosschaert

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

Client & Partners

“Werken met Except was inspirerend en effectief. Ze hebben snel en boven verwachting geleverd. We kijken uit naar toekomstige projecten.”
-- Justin Elicker
Coordinator Gemeenschaps Carbon fonds, Yale University
“Except heeft uitstekende kennis, middelen en een goede werkhouding. Ze leveren realistische oplossingen voor significante verduurzaming van onze regio met innovatieve oplossingen. Het had niet beter gekund.”
-- Greg Powell
CEO Shire of Merredin, Western Australia