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About the authors

Thomas Rau portret.Beeldbank ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat.jpg

Thomas Rau

Architect & Visionair

Thomas Rau is an architect, entrepreneur, innovator and recognized thought leader on sustainability and circular economy. His office RAU has been recognized for being at the forefront of producing innovative CO2 neutral, energy positive and circular buildings as a norm. Thomas was elected as Dutch Architect of the Year 2013 and awarded with the ARC13 Oeuvre Award for his widespread contribution in both promoting and realizing sustainable architecture and bringing awareness of the circular economy through international delivered lectures, TV documentaries, Ted talks and Publications. In 2016 he was nominated for the Circular Economy leadership Award of the World Economic Forum. In 2021 he received the Circular Hero Award by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure.

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Sabine Oberhuber

Consultant & Economist 

Sabine Rau-Oberhuber, is an economist, together with Thomas Rau she co-founded Turntoo, one of the first companies in the world focusing on the transition to a circular economy. Sabine is a renown expert on circular economy, together with her team at Turntoo she assists companies and institutions in the development and implementation of circular business models and management strategies and facilitates the transition to a circular economy. She studied economics at the Freie Wilhelms University in Münster (Germany) and received her Master of Management from the ESCP (EAP) European School of Management in Paris, Oxford and Berlin. 

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Since 2010

RAU Architects

Since 1992


Since 2017

Turntoo is known for breakthrough innovations such as the Light-as-a-Service (Circular Lighting) model developed with Philips Lighting, or washing machines on performances basis with Bosch, which have become iconic projects for the circular economy.

Turntoo regards the necessary transformation taking place on four levels: the design of products and supply chains; the financial and business models involved; the data and IT infrastructure supporting the transition and the mental transformation leading to a new way 

RAU architects is seen as a pioneer in circular buildings. RAU designed the first circular building as a raw materials depot in the municipality of Brummen in 2013 and the first circular net energy positive building for network provider Liander in 2015.  The recently finished headquarter of Triodos Bank is the first fully circular, re-constructible office building made of wood. 

Rau and Oberhuber iniated Madaster, a central registry for material, the cadastre for materials. Madaster is an open online platform for material passports. For its potential for systemic change Madaster won the Digital Top 50 Award for Social Impact 2018, which is awarded by Google, McKinsey and Rocket Internet.

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