Voluminous and cozy: the timber construction of today.



The "Krokodil" residential building on the Sulzer site in Winterthur sets new standards for timber construction. Read more about the 6- to 8-story wooden building with 254 apartments in today's edition of the NZZ.

Urban living and working space for over 1,500 people is being created right next to Winterthur train station. The "Krokodil", the first building block of the Lokstadt district right next to Winterthur station, was built in record time. In May 2018, the first excavators drove up and dug the excavation - a large hole where the basements for the cellars and underground parking were later concreted.

Bild WTK

Starting in April 2019, the carpenters erected the wooden structure. Now, just 16 months later, the apartments are already occupied. Why wood is the right building material for such residential buildings, and how Timbatec is further developing timber construction, can be read in the report Bericht «Keine Angst vor Riesenblöcken» by Sabine von Fischer in today's edition of the "Neuen Zürcher Zeitung".

New construction process 

The "Krokodil" building, a 6- to 8-story courtyard house, represents the diversity of the site: 254 owner-occupied, rental and cooperative apartments are being built in this timber structure. With around 30,000 square meters of floor space, it is one of the largest of its kind. 


However, the timber construction is not primarily convincing because of its size, but because of the innovation in the construction process implemented by Timbatec. In construction projects of this size, builders normally first concrete the staircase core, followed by carpenters assembling the prefabricated timber components. Timbatec has reversed this sequence: the timber structure is erected first and serves as lost formwork for the liquid concrete. The reversal of the work steps is the logical consequence of today's working methods. Because: The timber builders calculate with smaller tolerances than the concrete builders.

Detail Treppenhaus Holzbau
Treppenhauskern Holz vor Beton

First wood, then concrete: The three-layer panels are both the interior wall and the lost formwork for the concrete staircase core.   

Unlike concrete, wooden elements are prefabricated with millimeter precision. This accuracy is not possible when concreting on site. Timbatec developed the efficient and resource-saving "wood before concrete" method for the "Krokodil" house. The advantages are obvious: significantly fewer steel profiles and screws are needed. Thanks to this method, 1,270 tons of concrete, 24 tons of steel, five thousand heavy-duty anchors and over ten thousand screws were saved for the "Krokodil" house.   

Best Practice timber construction 

Today, timber construction is "best practice" - even for large projects like the "Krokodil". And anyone who wants to make a contribution to climate protection builds with wood anyway. After all, wood is the most environmentally friendly building material in the world. It stores CO₂ in the long term and has an excellent climate balance. One cubic meter of wood binds one ton of carbon as it grows. The active contribution of wooden buildings is impressively demonstrated in large-scale projects such as the "Krokodil" - the certificate from the CO₂ Institute is proof.

Krokodil CO2 Speicher

Wood construction means climate protection: The EU-CH-8400-45352 certificate from the CO₂ Institute proves how much CO₂ has been permanently removed from the environment.

The wood used in the "Krokodil" removes 6,414 tons of CO₂ from the environment. This corresponds to around 42.8 million kilometers of driving or the CO₂ domestic emissions of 1,283 people living in Switzerland per year.      

CO₂-neutral thanks to wood  

The wood used stores around the same amount of CO₂ that was produced during the manufacture of the concrete for the basement floors and stairwells. The "Krokodil" is therefore CO₂-neutral thanks to the wood. By comparison, if the building had been constructed conventionally with reinforced concrete ceilings and brick walls, the production of the building materials alone would have generated over 11,000 tons of CO₂. 

Montag Holzbau

Impressions of the construction phase: The wooden components can be easily prefabricated and assembled.  

Treppenhaus aus Holz

The three-layer panels are simultaneously the interior wall on the inside of the room and the formwork for the concrete staircase core. Unlike conventional construction methods, the three-layer panels do not have to be removed once the concrete has dried.  



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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