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Menno Rubbens receives Circular Hero award

lucas van der wee | cepezed

At the start of the Week of Circular Economy, Menno Rubbens of cepezedprojects is honoured as a Circular Hero. "Because he could not do anything else but build circularly, even if he wanted to," according to the jury of the Circular Awards 2022, which was unanimous in its opinion that he more than deserves this award. "It is a nice recognition for the way in which we at cepezed have been realizing projects for 45 years', said Rubbens, who was overwhelmed with this honourable prize.

networker and doer
Menno Rubbens (1966) receives this personal award for his years of dedication to the pursuit of a circular economy. He is an inspired entrepreneur, advisor and above all a 'doer'.
As an entrepreneur, he takes risks himself when he comes up with an unusual - but in his eyes - good circular idea. A good example of this is the Temporary Court Amsterdam, which is currently known as the Circular example project. The relocation of this building will save 2,000 tonnes of CO2. Rubbens brought the right parties together and also took part in the project with his company.
Rubbens is a member of the Transition Team Circular Construction Economy and was involved as a stimulating advisor in circular projects, such as The Green House in Utrecht. Menno Rubbens has given many lectures at home and abroad about the Temporary Court in Amsterdam in particular.

influence on building process
"Back in 2000, before we were talking about the circular economy, Menno Rubbens was already moving away from the linear path. With the vision that there is a great need to have more influence at the beginning of the construction process, he founded the company cepezedprojects", the jury report describes. As project leader at cepezed, Rubbens delivered some 20 distribution centres for the PTT in the late 1990s according to the firm's prefab philosophy. His interest in realizing high-quality industrial buildings in series according to a prefab method and in taking that further commercially, led to the establishment of his company.
"With his knowledge and experience, he removes the barriers between the project developer, architect and builder. He is able not only to initiate and draw up circular concepts, but also to materialise them in practice. He is helpful in thinking along and looks beyond his own company. Always with great dedication," according to the jury members.

vision on circular economy
Asked about his vision of the transition from a linear economy (where raw materials become waste after consumption) to a circular economy, he says: "The systemic change that is needed is to put all sustainability back into the design. So you have to think about detachability, circularity and biobased materials in your design. That will make any project you do tomorrow much more circular than yesterday's."
Add to that: material efficiency, logic, environmental awareness, user-friendliness and the urge to do things 'just a little differently' and come up with innovative solutions. This describes how Menno Rubbens, his cepezedprojects and cepezed have been working for decades.

circular hero jury
The jury of the Circular Hero 2022 consists of: Jacqueline Cramer (University of Utrecht / Utrecht Sustainability Institute, jury president), Jan van Ginkel (corporate director / deputy provincial secretary, ZH / IPO), Glimina Chakor (alderman of the municipality of Groningen / VNG), Meindert Smallenbroek (general director of the Union of Water Boards) and Karin van IJsselmuide (manager social programmes, NEVI).

lucas van der wee | cepezed
lucas van der wee | cepezed
lucas van der wee | cepezed
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