Thomas Rau (1960), founder of Turntoo and RAU Architects, two of the first companies in the Netherlands dedicated to the circular economy, created some of the original examples of circular economy concepts and business models including: the Light as a Service (“pay per lux”) contract, which he developed together with Philips in 2010; a model for renting out washing machines on a performance basis with Bosch in 2012; 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.
For years Thomas Rau has contributed to national and international discussions about sustainability. RAU Architects have been on the forefront of designing environmentally conscious buildings and healthy indoor climates since 1992. RAU has introduced several innovations and set first standards in the field of CO2-neutral and energy neutral building, today energy positive buildings and circular architecture are is norm. With his latest project for Alliander, a 23.000m2 building, producing 1.5mln kwh/pa, he demonstrates that circular and energy positive redevelopments are feasible at scale.
Through numerous international publications, lectures, television and radio interviews, he regularly inspires and engages audiences from various industries and professions across the world. In 2015 he featured in the documentary the end of ownership, by VPRO tegenlicht, one of the most respected and quality documentary series on Dutch national television. The program was one of the best viewed and voted the most appreciated documentary of the season.
Thomas Rau is performing as keynote speaker for large conferences as well as for smaller audiences of boards of directors, policy makers and politicians.
In 2016 he was ranked Top 2 of Dutch key players in sustainability, a ranking published yearly by national daily Trouw. Thomas Rau is one of the few actors in this field to be included in this ranking since its first edition in 2010, since 2013 he ranked amongst the top 6. In 2018 he was ranked Number 1 in the ABN AMRO Sustainable Top 50.
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 in the last 20 years.