BIM at the largest timberconstruction nationwide


Where once stood a reputable factory for locomotives now arises a new inner-city borough. The first of its buildings will be executed in timber and is named “Crocodile”. Covering around 30,000 square meters of floor space, it definitely will be one of the largest nationwide. Therefore Timbatec is working with Building Information Modelling (BIM) throughout the entire project.

The carpenters are currently turning 8,000 cubic metres of wood into a six storey building. Thereof 5,500 cubic metres of cross laminated timber (CLT) and 1,500 cubic metres of glulam along many other timber components are manufactured. This requires an additional 76 tons of steel and fasteners for their assembly. In autumn 2020 the first occupants will move into the “Crocodile” building.   

The Digital Twin 

Building projects of this size require thorough and strategic planning. For this very purpose the prime contractor Implenia decided that the “Crocodile” will be constructed in BIM from the ground up. On account of that, architects and engineers amongst many parties involved continually fed BIM with information during the drafting process. Which resulted in a nearly final digital version of the house even before the groundbreaking ceremony.   

Although this greatly simplifies the actual construction phase, as collisions can early be detected and eliminated, it generates a more challenging and costly planning process than usual. Furthermore it also massively facilitates the maintenance of the building.


Straightforward Adjustments 

A major project such as the “Crocodile” naturally involves many different parties, and therefore result in constant adjustments of plans. It is thanks to BIM that those are easily integrated as it is built on parameters. Meaning that cohesive components are put together in one unit that will not automatically be co-modified when executing adjustments on another unit.

So basically if the architects move a wall or beam, the engineers can immediately recalculate its statics and readjust if necessary, as a structural calculation program software and the building’s structural elements have yet been linked with BIM.   

 Looking ahead, Timbatec hopes to also help creating a direct link between the architectural drawings and the structural calculation programs and are therefore taking part in many leading projects such as “Digitalisation in timber construction” by Lignum. Due to parameterisation in BIM it is already possible to detect collisions straightaway.  

BIM, more than a 3D plan 

For a simplified interfirm cooperation it has been decided to work with the software “BIM-collab” in particular, as it allows everyone involved to easily locate collisions as well as mark pending matters, which then will automatically get the status “issue”, for it to be easily found again later on or from different parties.   

 These very issues can also be accessed as QR-codes, which can reduce misunderstandings. So for example one of these QR-codes could be sent to the carpenter on site and as he scans it, it will show him the very timber element in front of him and the attached to-do list. Also as soon as he worked through that list he can tag it as done and therefore immediately sends an automatic confirmation/message to the site manager.   

The benefits of timber construction 

Draughts(wo)men in timber engineering are already used to construct their plans in as well as ordering material based on 3D-files. For this very reason Timbatec is looking forward to integrate/introduce BIM to the timber construction industry. 

Further information to the “Crocodile” you can find on



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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