Swiss wood protects the environment



Wood construction is gaining significant market share throughout Switzerland. There are good reasons for this: Wood, preferably from Switzerland, is by far the most climate-friendly building material. The timber calculator from KBOB provides the proof. A good example is the new Raiffeisen Arena.

The renewable raw material requires only solar energy and water for its production. Harvesting and processing require very little energy, and the material even stores the greenhouse gas CO₂. The situation is very different with steel and concrete. These building materials emit huge amounts of CO₂ during production. If you want to contribute to climate protection, you build with wood - or even better, with Swiss wood. After all, the transport routes are a major factor in the eco-balance.

A good example of the use of regional wood is the Raiffeisen Arena in Pruntrut. The construction timber was cut from the surrounding community forests. In this lighthouse project, Timbatec was responsible not only for the statics but also for the timber supply chain.

Transport distances are significant

One cubic meter of cross laminated timber made from Swiss wood emits 177 kg of CO₂ during production, transport and disposal. If the wood comes from Hungary and is processed in Austria, emissions of 433 kg CO₂-eq/m3 are to be expected. This is a difference of 256 kg of greenhouse gas emissions per cubic meter. However, the cross-laminated timber solution is better than reinforced concrete - regardless of the origin of the wood. After all, wood stores one ton of CO₂ per cubic meter of building material.

Vergleich Holzherkunft

Anyone who wants to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of wood products and other building materials themselves will find good working tools at

Local wood in public buildings

Every building owner is free to demand wood construction from the beginning. Regardless of the required tendering procedure, this does not violate any WTO principle. It is not permissible to demand Swiss wood or wood from the region in the invitation to tender - even if it would make sense from an ecological point of view. 

However, there are ways in which wood from the surrounding area can be used despite a public tender: The provision of the wood by the building owner, so-called in-house procurement, is one of them. Another particularly interesting aspect is that the degree of processing is optional. This means that whole logs, sawn timber or even glued products can be provided.. 

Two possibilities of inhouse procurement

Direkte Verwendung von Holz aus den eigenen Wäldern Indirekte Verwendung von Holz aus den eigenen Wäldern
Bei der direkten Nutzung ist sichergestellt, dass das in den eigenen Wäldern geschlagene Holz auch tatsächlich für einen bestimmtes Bauprojekt genutzt wird. Jeder gefällte Baum wird für eine bestimmte Verwendung geplant und seine Rückverfolgbarkeit ist jederzeit gewährleistet. Bei der indirekten Nutzung wird gleich viel Holz geschlagen, wie für ein bestimmtes Bauprojekt verwendet wird. Dieses Prinzip ermöglicht einem Waldbesitzer, seine eigenen Ressourcen zu nutzen. Das Holz wird nicht direkt für den bestimmten Bau verwendet, aber die gleichen Holzmengen werden auf dem Schweizer Markt gehandelt.

Early decision necessary 

For the planning process, it is crucial that the decision to use regional wood is made early. Timber can only be cut in winter, so planners and builders need to know as early as fall which trees will be needed for the project. At least a rough planning of the cross-sections including reserves and the approximate proportion of hardwood and softwood is indispensable at this stage.

Nutzung eigenes Holz

Lignum has published helpful information on public procurement and tenders using Swiss wood. (Lignum Comapct Tendering with Swiss Wood - German)



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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