Earthquake Engineering

Within the field of structural engineering, we deal with matters of earthquake-proof design, analysis and dimensioning of timber and hybrid structures.

The earthquake resistance of a supporting structure must be guaranteed regardless of the building material and construction method. With the aim of making all new wooden buildings earthquake-proof, we facilitate the practical implementation of research findings. This enables us to fill problematic gaps in knowledge and develop cost-effective, practicable and reliable solutions.

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Service portfolio

We support you in the development of cost-efficient, practical and reliable solutions in the field of earthquake engineering.

  • Research projects commissioned by companies and institutions
  • Technology developments tailored to the size of the company (from micro-enterprises to industrial companies)
  • Support in applying for research funding from national and international funding organisations (including Innosuisse, FOEN, Horizon 2020, M-ERA.NET)
  • Consultations on earthquake-compliant structural design, analysis and dimensioning
  • Expert opinions
  • Determination of the bearing resistance, the stiffness as well as the monotonic and static-cyclic ductility of timber joints and components
  • Ambient noise measurement and attenuation tests on existing buildings and new constructions
  • Seismic rapporteur for the Swiss Confederation

We are heavily involved in teaching and continuing education. We supervise students’ projects and theses. We also frequently engage master’s students as assistants in research projects. In this way, we contribute to training the experts of the future.

We have connections with the following academic programmes and courses of continuing education:

We aim to transfer all non-confidential research into practice. To this end, we hold events and lectures, write specialist articles, conduct tours, organise workshops, and present our results at trade fairs.

Areas of expertise

Besides our areas of technical expertise, we maintain strong connections to timber construction companies, timber and civil-engineering offices, standardisation organisations, public institutions and associations. Our strength lies in the application of earthquake engineering in timber construction.

One area of expertise is the combination of specific knowledge in the field of timber and hybrid constructions as well as timber joints with sound knowledge in the field of earthquake engineering (statics, dynamics).

Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture IHTA

Earthquake engineering is one of the key areas of focus of the Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture IHTA. At the IHTA we focus on innovative, resource-saving and energy-efficient buildings. We support you from the design to the constructional implementation to the built environment. Other key areas of focus:


Well-equipped laboratories ensure the proficient handling of service and development orders.

  • Universal testing machines with maximum forces of 2.5kN to 250kN
  • Compression testing machine 5MN for storey columns and other components
  • Test rig with 2 x 400kN, 1 x 1000kN for biaxial tests on wall panels and any configurations
  • Compression/tensile testing machine 600kN for boards and laminations, etc.
  • Various measurement equipment incl. DIC (Digital Image Correlation)

Analysis software:

  • Dlubal RSTAB / RFEM
  • Czervenka ATENA (non-linear calculation of reinforced concrete structures)


A wide range of opportunities for cooperation exists. We are pleased to provide information and look forward to hearing from you: