A Wooden Yard for the New Motorway



The mass of the future plant yard of the A16 motorway is impressive: 150 metres long and 30 metres wide. This wooden building, which will be built in the valley basin of the Vallée de Tavannes, is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2016. Half of the building is currently standing, the erection ceremony is planned for the end of July.

At the end of this year, the new A16, the Transjurane, will go into operation. The road connects the French motorway network with that of Switzerland. The A16 starts at Boncourt on the French-Swiss border and leads via Porrentruy and Delémont into Seeland. The route between Biel and Loveresse in the Bernese Jura is already open to the public.    

A new plant yard is currently being built near Loveresse for the maintenance of the southern section of the Transjurane. It offers space for trucks and snow ploughs, for a salt warehouse as well as for offices, cloakrooms and workshops.    

The Werkhof, which is currently being implemented, was the result of an architectural competition held by the Canton of Berne. The canton has requested a wooden construction. The winner was the project "Linéaire" by Zurich office mbaa Markus Bachmann Architekt.    

The Werkhof is built as a large, linear hall and combines all uses under one roof. It is located in the middle of the plot, well accessible from all sides by a bypass, thus enabling efficient operations. The Werkhof is designed as a timber building in the energy-saving Minergie-P-Eco standard.

Precision Work in Demand

Timbatec has been awarded the contract for timber construction planning and fire protection planning. One of the challenges for the timber construction engineers: the large dimensions of the construction project. The Werkhof is 150 metres long and 30 metres wide. "You have to have a strategy to compensate for the tolerances that arise during execution," says Lukas Rüegsegger of Timbatec, "because even slight inaccuracies add up to several centimetres over a length of 150 metres. If the timber construction elements manufactured to the millimetre do not fit the prepared concrete supports, this is not only aesthetically unattractive, but also a static problem.  

Timbatec has planned the panels in such a way that building tolerances can be accommodated in the panels between the main columns. This prevents a summation of the inaccuracies. Especially in the area of the salt storage hall, the wooden building structure is interlocked with the solid construction walls, which requires very precise work by the construction and timber construction contractor. The wooden supports must fit into recesses in the walls of the salt hall, which have little room for movement. In order to guarantee the accuracy, the recesses were measured by a surveyor with a tacheometer and the formwork was checked before concreting.

The Canton of Berne relies on Swiss wood

Another special feature: the client requires Swiss wood for the entire timber construction. According to Rüegsegger, this is anything but a matter of course, since most of the wood used in this country is currently imported from abroad. Timbatec is therefore committed to the use of Swiss wood and, where possible, requests wood with the Swiss timber origin label in its tenders.



Thun Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Niesenstrasse 1, 3600 Thun

Tel: +41 58 255 15 10


Zürich Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Ausstellungsstrasse 36, 8005 Zürich

Tel: +41 58 255 15 20


Delémont Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Avenue de la Gare 49, 2800 Delémont 

+41 58 255 15 40 


Bern Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Falkenplatz 1, 3012 Bern

Tel: +41 58 255 15 30



Headquarters Vienna (A) 

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers GmbH
Im Werd 6/31a, 1020 Wien 
Tel: +43 720 2733 01



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