Wood as a raw material
Wood – naturally high-tech
We process logs from the region to make natural products – sustainably and using every bit of the wood. In our sawmill, we craft sawn timber to make standard products or to use in individual solutions. Pellets, chips and bedding are the by-products of our work in the saw and planing mill. We also use the wood scraps as a carbon-neutral fuel for our biomass power plant. The generated energy supplies heat for the plant at Erlenhof and also electricity for the regional grid. In doing so, we complete the cycle while also following our vision: we aim to work and produce products in the most climate-neutral way possible.
That’s why we build with wood
Wood – a renewable, carbon-neutral raw material and energy source – has amazing properties:
- Durable: wood is an effective and modern material for construction.
- Versatile: cutting-edge technology is opening up an ever greater number of new applications in both architecture and construction.
- Beneficial: in the Swiss forests, more wood grows back than we use. Local timber boosts the local value chain. It helps maintain the forest and saves energy.
- Comfortable: wood creates a healthy, comfortable living environment and indoor climate.
- Energy efficient: wood generates less grey energy and fewer greenhouse gases than other materials. When the entire lifecycle is considered, i.e. harvest, processing, transport, its energy footprint is unparalleled.
- Safe: the behaviour of wood in a fire is more predictable compared to other materials. It contains water, conducts heat poorly and so burns slowly. New fire safety regulations in Switzerland allow large-volume timber structures of up to six floors.
«In the Swiss forest, an area of land as big as ⅓ of Switzerland sees the growth of almost 10 million cubic metres of wood every year. Five million of these are put to use. Sustainable forest management allows the use of an additional two to three million cubic metres.»
Sound reasons for Swiss wood
- Active climate protection - building a single-family home with Swiss wood absorbs as much CO2 as a Swiss person emits in five years.
- Sustainable use - those who use Swiss wood help maintain and manage the Swiss forest in a sustainable and natural way.
- Renewable resource - the Swiss forest covers over a third of the country. It provides a habitat for animals and plants and a recreation area for people. On average, one cubic centimetre of wood grows every three seconds in the Swiss Forest, making it the most important renewable resource in Switzerland.
- Important economic power - the processing chain of Swiss wood, from the forest to the finished house or piece of furniture, creates and secures 90,000 jobs and generates a value of about 6 billion Swiss francs every year.
- Short transport routes - Swiss wood is processed in the region, meaning there are no long transport distances. This is ecological and reduces CO2 emissions.
- Leading timber construction industry - the Swiss timber construction industry is a global leader in terms of planning, processing and quality. Wood is used to construct long-lasting buildings in all dimensions and multi-storey structures for all categories of buildings.