Use of hardwood in structural engineering - opportunities and challenges

July 5, 2023, 14:00 - 17:00 h

Empa-Akademie, Dübendorf

Large forces in long-span and multi-story engineering structures of timber construction require the use of high-performance components and optimized technologies to ensure the structural safety of the structures.

Even though hardwood makes up more than 30 percent of the Swiss forest, softwood is used almost exclusively in construction. Yet construction products made of hardwood certainly offer innovative potential, especially in bending beams and columns. However, the high stresses on these components also call for additional considerations in the planning of the supporting structures, for example by attaching greater importance to the aspect of robustness.


At this year's Technology Briefing, we will show you how building with hardwood offers solutions to challenges in the construction of highly stressed timber structures and how the use of wood in structural engineering can be expanded.

Results from research projects and practical examples will show you how, thanks to close cooperation between researchers and industry partners, a marketable introduction and implementation of the new solutions in practice can be achieved.



The event will be held in German

Host: Claudia Gonzalez, Leiterin Empa-Akademie










Prof. Dr. Tanja Zimmermann, Direktorin Empa





Biegeträger aus Laubholz-Brettschichtholz

Dr. Pedro Palma, Scientist, Structural Engineering Lab, Empa





Stützen aus Buchen-BSH mit und ohne Stahlbewehrung

Katharina Sroka, Doktorandin, Structural Engineering Lab, Empa





Träger und Stützen aus Laubholz: Beispiele und Anwendungen in der Praxis

Thomas Strahm, Leiter Engineering, neue Holzbau AG




Coffee Break





Potential von Laubholz im Tragwerksbau

Thomas Ehrhart, Bauingenieur / Tragwerksplaner, Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG





Aspekt Robustheit in der Planung von Holztragwerken

Dr. René Steiger, Research Topic Leader, Ingenieur-Strukturen, Empa






Prof. Dr. Tanja Zimmermann, Director Empa


17.25 Aperitif





























Event language: German


Here you will find the presentations (in German) released by the speakers. If you have questions about content that has not been released, please contact us here:




We would like to thank Lignum, Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG and neue Holzbau AG for their support and contributions to the Technology Briefing.

Cover photo: Michael Portmann, ZBAG/ neue Holzbau AG, Lungern