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5-storey timber extension to Austrian hospital

The district hospital in Schwaz, Austria decided to use wood for the 5-storey extension to their main building – setting an example towards circular and sustainable construction while minimizing noise and strain for both patients and employees.

Project partners proHolz Tirol & rtd services in front of the construction site
Project partners proHolz Tirol & rtd services organised the guided tour.

On Tuesday 29th of June 2021, our project partner proHolz Tirol organised a guided visit to the building located 30 minutes from the state capital and Build-in-Wood Early Adopter City Innsbruck. 40 local and regional professionals (from the areas of architecture, planning, training, production and execution as well as property developers and political representatives) attended the event, learning about:

  • the process, that led to the decision of timber construction

  • about challenges and advantages regarding the construction site.

  • how the hospital staff feels about the new building

The tour was jointly organised with the Interreg (Austria-Italy) project BIGWOOD.

Staff pleased with efficient construction process

The new extension will not host patients but offices and staff rooms, e.g. for doctors to rest during quiet night shifts. According to Thomas Zangerl, the construction project manager of the tirol clinics, there is great demand by the hospital staff to be assigned one of the offices in the new timber wing. Since the hospital was subject to on-going renovations and construction works for an extended period, the staff is now very pleased with the efficient and comparably quiet and clean construction site of the new extension.

All images by © Markus Huber-Danzl

Early commitment to timber

Visualisation of the timber extension block

The hospital opted for timber at a very early stage in the planning process and put in the effort to write a very detailed tender. As result, they received five offers in high quality and a high specification grade. In this project, wood is not only used for the construction of the building, but also indoors, in the ceilings and walls, partly visible.

500 tons of CO2 stored

Approx. 480 cubic meters of cross-laminated timber (CLT) were used for the new construction of the multi-purpose hospital building. In Austria, this amount of timber grows back within ~8 minutes and stores almost 500 tons of CO2. This makes the timber building a valuable carbon sink.

Learn more about how timber buildings function as second forests in this video:


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