Investigations on the Sustainable Resource Use of Swiss Timber
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

In Switzerland, the advantages of timber buildings for the climate are broadly discussed. In the following paper, a comparative sustainability assessment of four building alternatives is presented. Especially the contribution of implementing Swiss timber versus the implementation of imported timber is highlighted. Additionally, the timber-hybrid building structures are compared to a pure reinforced concrete structure. The timber-hybrid structure, with Swiss timber, has clear ecological advantages with only half the greenhouse gas emissions and half the non-renewable energy consumption compared to the reinforced concrete alternative. Comparing the Swiss timber alternative to the imported timber alternative, there are clear ecological advantages, as well. In terms of economic and social sustainability assessment criteria, the reinforced concrete alternative has the lowest production costs and the lowest labor intensity (measured in terms of full-time equivalents). Additionally, the paper includes an analysis of biogenic CO2 emissions and CO2 storage within the timber building alternatives. Finally, an up-scaling to the national level is attempted, showcasing the ecological and economic advantages of promoting the use of locally produced timber.


timber resource use

ecological and social assessment

comparative sustainability assessment


Claude Leyder

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

Michael Klippel

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

Olin Bartlomé

Swiss Wood Innovation Network (S-WIN)

Niko Heeren

Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Sarah Kissling

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

Yutaka Goto

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Byggnadsteknologi

Andrea Frangi

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)


2071-1050 (ISSN)

Vol. 13 3 1-34 1237


Tvärvetenskapliga studier





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