News developments in TS3 technology

14.06.2021 TS3 technology (Timber Structures 3.0) enables large surfaces to be made using wood. The long-term test rig that was set up at BFH in Biel in 2018 has delivered important results for the successful development of the technology. A follow-up project was launched at the beginning of the year. Now the test rig is being dismantled. True to the principles of the circular economy, a new object is being created from the cross-laminated timber slabs: two box-girder elements for heavy-duty bridges built with TS3 technology.

Using TS3 technology, wood can replace traditional reinforced concrete in many projects, which protects the climate and makes investors happy. It took ten years of research in collaboration with Bern University of Applied Sciences and ETH Zurich to find the solution: highly stable column heads made of timber and the face-bonding of timber components using pouring-to-solid technology.

Successful market entry for TS3 technology

The long-term test rig was officially inaugurated on 16 May 2018. In the same year, construction work began in Grossaffoltern on the world’s first apartment buildings to incorporate TS3 technology. Since then, 15 projects with around 6,000 square metres of floor space have been realised – not only in Switzerland, but also in Austria, Canada and the USA. These include flagship projects, such as the world’s largest continuous cross-laminated timber panel, created for the flat roof of the new Handl production building in Tyrol in Austria. Or the Fasanenhof apartment building in Frenkendorf, which is currently being completed with a total of 15 apartments. Another 10,000 square metres are due to be added in the current year.

Further research projects

The CTI Timber Structures 3.0 technology research project, which included the long-term test rig, was successfully completed at the end of June 2020. Information on the research project:

In order for TS3 construction projects to be created even more efficiently and cost-effectively and for the technology to establish itself successfully on the market, further research and development work is needed. As a follow-up project, the Innosuisse research project “Achieving market readiness of the biaxial load-bearing timber flat deck system in timber construction” was launched on 1 January 2021. TS3 will be researching and optimising the TS3 system over the next three years in collaboration with Henkel & Cie AG and Schilliger Holz AG, as well as the research partners ETH Zurich and Bern University of Applied Sciences. Innosuisse is supporting the research institutes with approximately CHF 700,000. The implementation partners are making the same contribution.  

Two work packages are being processed at Bern University of Applied Sciences. In the first, under the title “Pour to solid (PTS) to market”, the Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture (IHTA) is seeking to optimise the construction-site suitability of TS3 under the direction of Prof. Dr Steffen Franke. In the other, Prof. Dr Klaus Rehm is working on the further industrialisation of the technology at the Institute for Digital Economy in the Construction and Wood Industry (IdBH).  

At ETH, Prof. Dr Ingo Burgert’s Institute for Building Materials is researching the interaction of the wood-adhesive system, and Prof. Dr Andrea Frangi’s Institute for Structural Analysis and Design is developing a biaxial load-bearing box-girder floor that will be integrated into the TS3 system. Together, the work packages will lead to an increase in load-bearing capacity, a broadening of the scope of application and ultimately also to an increase in efficiency in the application of the TS3 connection.


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