Home >> European Summer School on Construction History in Munich (CH.ESS 2013)

The Role of Timber in Construction – between Tradition and Innovation

In 2013, the 3rd European Summer School on Construction History focused on the role of timber in construction. Timber was, besides masonry, the most important construction material from the very beginnings of construction up to the 19th century. We find timber structures in foundations, log cabins, wall framing, floors, and roof trusses, but also in bridges, machinery (hydraulic machinery and lifting gear), temporary structures such as scaffolding, centers for arches and vaults, and repair works. A large legacy of historic timber structures has been preserved, predominantly timber roof trusses. However, few people are aware of this legacy. Modern repair works require in-depth knowledge of the historic constructions, their joints, history of damage, visual and non-destructive investigation, modern structural analysis and minimally invasive rehabilitation techniques. All these topics were covered during the summer school. Also, timber construction is closely related to the origins of modern engineering, since there is a long European tradition of both learned treatises and practical manuals in carpentry, which constitutes one of the main sources of modern engineering literature.


Partner universities:

University of Cottbus (BTU Cottbus), Germany >>

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium >>

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium >>

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom >>

Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany >>

Politechnika Wroclawska, Poland >>

Università di Bologna, Italy >>

Technische Universität Graz, Austria >>



Participating teachers >>

Participating PhD students >>

Participating bachelor and master students >>



A considerable part of the summer school took part outside the lecture hall, in immediate contact with the actual monuments. Below, find a short introduction into each object:

Alter Hof, Munich >>

Abbey church, Fürstenfeldbruck >>

Parish church, Schwaz, Austria >>

Parish church, Dachau >>

Former abbey church, Weyarn >>

Museum of vernacular architecture (Schliersee or Glentleiten) >>

Former railway bridge, Kempten >>

Road bridge, Hiltensweiler (half of the group) >>

Road bridge, Föhlschmitten (other half of the group) >>

Zollinger hangar, UniBwM >>

Frauenchiemsee island >>



University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich at Neubiberg (UniBwM, "Universität der Bundeswehr München")