Hardwood in timber construction: Blueprint for successful applications

Review of workshop "Using hardwood in timber construction" (DP 1), 28.01.2016, ETH Zurich

​With his intriguing pronouncement "Beech is the Ferrari of timber construction", Prof. Andrea Frangi opened the ETH workshop on 28 January 2016 devoted to the use of hardwood in load-bearing structures and buildings, organised jointly by NRP 66 and S-WIN.

Attended by representatives from industry, research and the administration, the workshop looked at Switzerland’s current position with regard to its use of hardwood and how the particular material properties of hardwood could be put to better use in the future. The contributions to the workshop made two points particularly clear: Firstly, further progress is needed with regard to the material reliability of hardwood, processing techniques and process quality. Secondly, the prospects for greater use of hardwood in the Swiss timber industry already look good, particularly if the necessary sawing and processing capacity can be created and if hardwood, rather than being viewed as a general replacement for spruce, can also be positioned as a highly attractive additional material in its own right for specific areas of application.