Generation House Mooseggstrasse



The Generation House Mooseggstrasse in Langnau is completed. At the inauguration ceremony, Joel Hächler presented a certificate proving the storage of 379 tons of CO₂ within the used timber. This is equivalent to the CO₂ emissions of 29 circumnavigations of the earth in a mid-range vehicle.

The building owners greatly value the regionl and thus demanded anecological choice of materials. It is therefore obvious that the Generation House was built without climate-damaging materials such as concrete and steel. A total of 585 m3 of wood has been used in the building. This equivalents to a solid wood cube with an edge length of 8.4 meters. By comparison, the house has an eaves height of 8.6 m. This amount of wood grows in Switzerland in approximately 90 minutes. As it grows, this wood stores 379 tons of CO₂ thanks to photosynthesis, which is now stored long-term in the Generation House.

Joel Hächler

Joel Hächler at the inauguration

More than ten years ago, Elsi Reimann and Thomas Kaufmann got talking and laid the foundation for today's Langnau im Emmental housing cooperative. What followed where visits to various successful cooperative projects, advances and pushbacksin the search for a suitable piece of land, and planning. Today, the construction project is almost complete and the cooperative members will soon be able to move into their apartments. There were three main questions leading the owners throughout the entire process: «Does it serve people?», «Does it serve the environment?» and «Does it serve peace?» Timbatec can very much identify with these questions. In our work, we also keep asking ourselves whether our building projects are environmentally compatible and ideally suited to the people who inhabit them.

The building  

Those who consider the environment at the project definition stage usually opt for sustainable timber construction. This is also what happened with the Generation House. In the center of the three-story building is an atrium acting as a meeting and access zone. Here, the idea of a caring environment and the non-profit community clearly come to the fore. To make this core zone possible, the surrounding balconies serve as an access and meeting zone. The pergolas serve as an escape route in case of fire. An electrobiological network minimizes electrical radiation in the apartments. This network is installed in the building envelope and between the residential units. The building envelope is also exemplary in terms of energy: the house has Minergie-P standard, uses solar energy via solar collectors and a photovoltaic system for partial self-sufficiency in electricity and heat. In addition, the architecture makes particularly good use of passive solar energy.

Mooseggstr. Aussenaufnahme

The choice of materials

The client's high ecological standards were met with sawn and planked beams; wherever possible glued duo and trio beams were dispensed with. Only in the case of the large glulam beams and the wood-based materials used can adhesives not be dispensed with. In the end, almost half of the wood used is not glued. We further ensured that the processing of all products were kept at a minimum, thus enabling deconstruction. The floor slabs, for example, are made of a simple solid wood beam layer, supplemented with three-layer and OSB planks. The solid wood is merely dried and installed in its natural state. Thus, it can be used without foreign substances such as glue or paint coatings.

The beetle wood  

Storms and prolonged dry spells cause problems for our spruce trees, because spruce forests affected by drought and windthrow are the ideal nest for bark beetles. The small beetle lives under the bark of the spruce and can even cause healthy trees to die if there are too many . To counteract an explosive spread of bark beetles, the so-called beetle wood, the trees damaged by themare continuously removed from the forest. This wood has the same structural properties as conventional timber and can be used without restriction as a material in timber construction. This is because the bark beetle lays its tunnels between the bark and sapwood in the so-called bast, not in the load-bearing wood body itself.

Nevertheless, beetle wood is often avoided because individual feeding tunnels are visible due to discoloration. Not so at Mooseggstrasse. Half of the solid wood cross-sections are made of regional beetle wood. This is sustainable, in solidarity with the regional forestry industry and in the spirit of climate protection. It therefore serves people and the environment.



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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