Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering Library Biel/Bienne

The Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering Library in Biel/Bienne is a specialised academic library in the field of wood engineering. It is a member of the NEBIS network and open to the public. A library ID is required to borrow media. We are happy to advise you on any questions regarding research, media acquisition and the use of NEBIS and its electronic resources.

Opening hours in September

Monday            09:30 - 12:30     14:00 - 17:00
Tuesday            09:30 - 12:30     14:00 - 17:00
Wednesday                  -                14:00 - 17:00
Thursday          09:30 - 12:30     14:00 - 17:00
Friday               09:30 - 12:30                -

The collections and a reduced number of workspaces are freely accessible - while maintaining the hygiene and distance regulations.


Christmas/New Year

Monday, 23 December 2019 – Friday, 3 January 2020

Lecture-free period

Monday, 10 – Friday, 14 February 2020
09:30 am – 13:00 pm
closed on afternoon

Easter Week

Thursday, 9 April 2020
09:30 am – 13:00 pm
Freitag, 10 – Monday, 13 April 2020


Thursday, 21 Mai 2020

Whit Monday

Monday, 1 Juni 2020

Summer closure

Monday, 20 Juli – Sunday, 9 August

The library

Collections focus

Everything about wood in German, plus some French and English materials.
Our stock is freely accessible. All media except reference holdings can be borrowed.
Access to bibliographical and full-text databases and online journals licensed by the consortium coordination office of the University.

Facilities and services

Loan and information counter
Research advice
28 workstations
7 research stations
Wi-Fi access (bfh-open for external users)
Daily newspapers, weekly press for use inside the library

Using our resources

NEBIS Research

The libraries of the AHB are members of the NEBIS library network. NEBIS, the network of libraries and information sources in Switzerland, comprises around 140 libraries of universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions from all linguistic regions of Switzerland. The NEBIS catalogue lists around 10.5 million titles: books, series, journals and other media. Most documents can be ordered online.

Users must be registered with a NEBIS library to borrow any media.

New Library Catalogue from December 2020

The BFH libraries, which are currently split across two separate library networks (NEBIS and IDS Basel Bern), will be merged on a new platform together with over 500 other libraries. The GoLive of the new, nationwide library system is scheduled for December 2020.

The project to build the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP), which has been running for several years, will not merely unite the BFH libraries on one platform.  At the same time, over 500 university libraries and other scientific libraries across the nation will be migrated to the new SLSP platform. The GoLive is scheduled for 7 December 2020. The changeover will lead to the following adjustments for users.

New catalogue and new search interface

The majority of BFH libraries today are part of the NEBIS network – their users will find that the new SLSP search interface looks familiar. For users of the HKB Music Library and the Sports Media Centre at Magglingen the changes will be greater. The libraries will provide all users with appropriate information and support.

Login with edu-ID

The changeover requires all library uses to re-register. 

  • No more separate login
  • Users log in with their Switch edu-ID, which they either already have or which they set up before registration.
  • Registration will be possible before the changeover in December.
  • Existing library cards remain valid. The barcodes can be entered in the new system.

Data in the Netherlands

The data of library uses will be stored on a server in the Netherland. Therefore, the authorisation for the transfer of the necessary personal data will be required at the time of registration.

SLSP courier

Up to now only the libraries in the NEBIS network were able to offer users the possibility to order media from other libraries and collect them from their own. The HKB Music Library and the Sports Media Centre at Magglingen are pleased to offer this service as well from December 2020.

For external users this service will be subject to a fee whereas for members of BFH the costs will be covered by the BFH libraries

Replacement of the old library system

The replacement of the old library system will take place in stages. Borrowing media will probably be possible until a few days before the GoLive in December. Other processes such as recording and modifying catalogue data will be stopped by late October, and new media cannot be incorporated after that. The NEBIS lending network will probably discontinue its service by mid-November. From then on, orders can only be placed for collection on site or by postal dispatch (if offered). Reserving media on loan will no longer be possible.

The BFH libraries will inform you in due course about the further procedure and about any steps you will be required to take.

To find thesis from the Wood Division of Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) in Biel and the Higher Technical School of Wood Biel, proceed as follows:

  • Select the ‘Advanced Search’ mode of NEBIS catalogue.
  • Fill in the search mask according to the template below.

  • To find thesis in the library from the catalogue record, take note of the study programme, the year of publication and the name of the author.



Info.verbund Deutschschweiz [Information Association of German-speaking Switzerland] Basel/Bern, University of Zurich, Lucerne, St Gallen, NEBIS/ZB Zurich



Réseau des bibliothèques de Suisse occidentale
Fribourg, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Valais, Vaud



A catalogue of the holdings of all Swiss university libraries, the Swiss National Library, many cantonal libraries and other institutions.



Swiss National Library NB, contains everything published by Swiss authors or in and about Switzerland.

Lean Library - Find scientific literature more easily and faster

The browser extension Lean Library leads you directly to the full texts offered by your BFH library.
For BFH members only.

Universities of applied sciences e-resources (swissuniversities)

The universities of applied sciences have jointly licensed specialist databases and other electronic resources for various subjects. You can access them from the BFH network or externally via a VPN (virtual private network).



e-Norm (Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung SNV)

Citations for 2.1 million standards from the SIA (only standards, neither Merkblatt/cahier technique, nor Dokumentation/documentation), SN (INB/SWISSMEM), ISO and Electrosuisse collections. Full-text access to tens of thousands of standards.
Access from within the BFH network or via a VPN.
An additional login is required.



To support the green path of Open Access the BFH has set up an institutional repository called ARBOR (Applied Research Bern Open Repository).
A repository is a publicly accessible document server for all types of publications. ARBOR promotes free access to BFH research findings and increases visibility and citeability.

More information about Open Access at the BFH


EBSCO Business Source Premier

A database licensed by the BFH Department of Business.

Articles can be downloaded BFH-internally.



A database licensed by the BFH Department of Business.

Articles can be downloaded BFH-internally.


Information services: wood

Another database for the same subject area



The database for academically sound, varied material research.

An excellent teaching tool in the fields of construction and architecture.

Lean Library - Find scientific literature more easily and faster

The browser extension Lean Library leads you directly to the full texts offered by your BFH library.
For BFH members only.


Bauwelt Fundamente

Online access to the ‘Bauwelt Fundamente’ series, the only collection of German-language texts and sources about the theory and history of architecture and urbanism.

It comprises over 130 issues from a period of more than five decades.


A list of publications licensed within the consortium.

Full-text versions can be downloaded in PDF format.


The EZB (Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek) contains login data for all eJournals that can be accessed from the BFH campus.

Members of Bern University of Applied Sciences are free to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access the databases externally.


ETH platform for Swiss specialist journals.

Offers free access to full articles (e.g. architecture and civil engineering journals:

Tec21, Werk, Bauen & Wohnen, Hochparterre, etc.).


Building inventory of the city of Bern, freely accessible district inventories of the municipal office for the preservation of historical monuments (Städtische Denkmalpflege) of Bern, published in full in PDF format (excludes the old town).


DigiBern is an online portal by the University Library of Bern containing graphical maps and digital texts about the history and culture of the city and canton of Bern:

DigiBern was launched in 2002.


An architectural Wiki containing basic knowledge

Borrowing and using media


The stock of our library is freely accessible. All media except reference holdings can be borrowed.

You require a library ID to borrow any media.

The NEBIS Research catalogue offers a free online registration form.

Select BFH-AHB-BI (Biel) as the main library.

Afterwards, please come to our counter and present your ID so that we can approve your account.

Members of BFH can use their BFH card as ID.

If you already have a NEBIS or IDS ID, you do not need to register again.

Loan periods

Loan periods vary depending on the type of medium and the specific NEBIS library.

The standard period is 4 weeks.

Some materials have shorter loan periods; some cannot be renewed.

You can see your return dates in your user account.

After the first four weeks, loans are automatically renewed twice.

Afterwards, you can manually renew your loan online up to three times.

Loans can only be renewed if the medium has not been reserved by another user.

You must return the medium after the maximum loan period has expired.

If nobody else has reserved the medium, you can borrow it again.

If you are going to be absent for an extended period of time (holidays, stay abroad, etc.), please return all borrowed media before you depart.

The loan period displayed in your online account or in the NEBIS Research catalogue is binding.

If a document is reserved while checked out, it will only be recalled after that period expires.

The same applies to renewed loan periods.

Any exceptions are at the discretion of the lending library.

Please contact the lending library directly.

The staff of the Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering Library cannot renew your loans on media from other libraries.

Fees and fines

The onus is on you to return your borrowed media on time.

Non-receipt of overdue notices (by post or email) does not constitute a valid reason for late returns.

Overdue notices



1st overdue notice (after 10 days)

CHF 10 per medium

2nd overdue notice (after 20 days)

another CHF 10 per medium

3rd overdue notice (after 30 days)

another CHF 15 per medium


Overdue notices are sent in the post.

The user account will be locked.

If the medium is not returned after the third overdue notice, it will be marked as lost. You will be charged for the replacement and processing fee.

We will send you an invoice for the fines

Fines in case of damage

Full cost of all repairs

Fines in case of loss

Full cost of replacement and a processing fee of CHF 30

Collection and prosecution fees

At cost

Postage fees (per borrowed medium)

Domestic shipment

CHF 12

International shipment

CHF 44


A4, per copy (black and white)

CHF 0.10

A4, per copy (colour)

CHF 0.30

A3, per copy (black and white)

CHF 0.20

A3, per copy (colour)

CHF 0.60

Returning media

You can return borrowed media to the Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering Library or another member library of the NEBIS lending network.

Alternatively, you can return them in the post. Please package all posted materials carefully.

Are you leaving the BFH?

You can continue to use your NEBIS ID

or your BFH card in the library networks of German-speaking Switzerland.

Please update your personal data and your email address, as your BFH email address will be deleted.

Courier service of the NEBIS libraries

NEBIS offers a free courier service between its member libraries. (This does not include libraries that are part of the NEBIS Association but not the lending network.)

The conditions of use of the supplier library apply.

You will receive an email or SMS as soon as your order arrives.

For orders of media from the Zurich Central Library (ZB), please contact us.

Delivery periods

Documents from the ETH library:

around 3 days
Documents from other member libraries:

around 7 days
Please note:

Media that are already checked out or difficult to obtain can take considerably longer to deliver.

Ordering journal articles

You can use NEBIS Research to order journal articles.

Fees for this service vary.

Please consult the fees list of the respective library.

Purchase request

We welcome suggestions for new purchases.

Please make sure to check whether the required document is already contained in the NEBIS catalogue before you submit a purchase request.

To make a request, send us detailed information about the document (author, title, publisher, ISBN) and your user number.

We will look into every suggestion.

You will hear back from us within a week.

If we do purchase the document, it will be reserved for you automatically.

You will receive an email notification and the document will be waiting for you at the library counter.


The onus is on the ordering user to comply with all relevant copyright laws.

All provided documents are intended for personal use only. Commercial use is prohibited.


Individual advice – we’re here for you.

Are you looking for information about a specific topic?

Do you need help with your research?

Would you like to find out about the (online) resources available in your subject area?

We are happy to help.

Please get in touch and make an appointment for a 30-minute consultation.

You do not need an appointment for an introduction to the NEBIS catalogue search or the library itself.

Just drop by and report to the front desk.

If you need help with your research, please tell us your reason for contacting us and state the topic of your work in progress.


For information about literature research, please take the Moodle course ‘Literary research BFH’

To access the Moodle courses, you need to be logged into the BFH network or accessing it via a VPN.

To log in (click ‘Login with Switch-aai’), you need to use your BFH code and password.

You do not need a registration key.