Innovative wood products from hard-to-sell raw wood assortments

In order to ensure that hard-to-sell raw wood products can be put to good use, the Wyss Academy for Nature has launched a project with regional partners, industry representatives and BFH to look for and test new, economic potential applications.


  • Lead school(s) School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
  • Institute Institute for Digital Construction and Wood Industry IDBH
  • Funding organisation Wyss Academy for Nature
  • Duration (planned) 01.07.2022 - 15.12.2024
  • Project management Prof. Norbert Winterberg
  • Head of project Prof. Norbert Winterberg
  • Keywords Raw wood assortments, raw wood, raw wood demand, wood demand, regional forestry, processing wood industry

Initial situation

The demand for wood is greater than ever before, yet certain raw wood products from the forest are difficult to sell, especially poor qualities like beetle kill wood and wood species such as beech and pine. The sub-project “Utilisation of raw wood products that are difficult to sell ”, initiated by the Wyss Academy for Nature in collaboration with Lignum BE and Bern University of Applied Sciences, aims to find new ways to make sensible use of raw wood products that are difficult to sell. The aim is to contribute to sustainable development in the Emmental-and Bernese Oberland.


Following a kick-off workshop in August 2020, an industry survey in 2021 and interviews with experts in May 2023, a collection of ideas emerged, from which the project management selected four ideas for further consideration.


These four ideas are: wood-fired power generation, biochar, barbecue charcoal and blue laminated wood / blue cladding wood. Wood-fired power generation plays a significant role in the use of renewable energies and can serve as a supplement to photovoltaics. Biochar is obtained through the pyrolysis of biomass and has the potential to reduce CO2 levels and increase soil fertility. There is growing interest in alternative, sustainably sourced products for barbecue charcoal. Blue laminated wood / blue cladding wood has a unique appearance and is primarily used in the construction industry in concealed areas.
A business case was derived from these ideas. It focuses on a rough economic assessment of these ideas and highlights the most relevant risk factors for implementation.


The four product ideas will be presented in autumn 2023 to a committee consisting of the Office for Forests and Natural Hazards, Wyss Academy for Nature and Lignum Holzwirtschaft Bern. A decision will then be made as to which idea should be pursued further.