Austrian firms build largest CLT panel in the world

Record-breaking 650-square-metre CLT panel

In the Austrian province of Vorarlberg, a timber construction is currently being built with a record-breaking 650-square-metre cross laminated timber (CLT) panel, announced Timbatec. The TS3 technology makes it possible – a development by Timbatec together with the ETH Zurich and the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

TS3 technology is a quantum leap: it frees timber construction from its small structures and makes it a real alternative to conventional reinforced concrete. TS3 is a process that can generate large areas from wood – without the previously used beams. These large surfaces can replace reinforced concrete in most areas.  

The process

TS3 connects wooden components at the front. This was considered impossible for decades. Ten years of research by Timbatec, together with the ETH Zurich and the Bern University of Applied Sciences, were necessary to find the solution: A process using a two-component polyurethane casting resin. This resin joins the wooden elements rigidly together. In the Handl project in Vorarlberg, Austria, the panel faces were pre-treated with the TS3 special primer at Binder’s CLT plant in Unternberg and immediately afterwards provided with sealing and segmenting strips. The 3.5 metre wide slabs, some of which weighed over five tonnes, were loaded just in time and driven directly to the construction site in Pians in an escort vehicle.

The CLT boards are placed on the wooden supports with a grid of 7 x 7 metres. For the assembly, an additional empty scaffolding was also created. Thus, an application technician can seal the joints with the two-component adhesive, which was specially developed for TS3. After only a few days, the scaffolding could be removed again. The result was the largest CLT panel in the world.   

Mounting the CLT panels on an empty scaffold

The building owner   

Markus Handl Beteiligung GmbH is an Austrian family business based in Pians / Tyrol and is a real specialist when it comes to supplying the upscale hotel and restaurant industry in Tyrol and Vorarlberg with meat and sausage specialities. With the focus on the homeland, they hit the nerve of the time, because more and more people are longing for originality, naturalness and authenticity. It stands to reason that Handl is relying on the natural building material wood for the new construction of this major project.

The cooperation 

Timber Structures 3.0 AG (TS3) and Rothoblaas SRL have joined forces for the first time in the Handl project. The Spider by Rothoblaas is installed with the supports and a grid of 7 x 7 metres. TS3 ensures the flexurally rigid connection of the individual CLT panels with its patented potting technology. The X-Fix from Schilcher Trading & Engineering GmbH was used as an assembly aid (green on the plan). The project responsibility lies with HTB Baugesellschaft m.b.H. For the calculation of the statics the participating companies were supported and accompanied by the ETH Zurich and the University of Innsbruck.