Our commitments are aimed at helping the local, versatile and ecological building material wood to achieve a breakthrough in the growing markets. In doing so, we rely heavily on know-how transfer, because local processing and production bring the greatest benefits to the country.
SPECIALLY DESIGNED WOODEN STRUCTURES IN THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN
The beginning - it all started with a fact-finding trip by the Bhutan Forestry Authority (BFA) to Switzerland in 2012. One of the delegation’s ports of call was the Häring Group member Roth Burgdorf AG. This was followed by a return visit to Bhutan. Impressed by the architectural potential in cutting-edge timber engineering, the BFA sought to order a pilot construction from Switzerland to provide an attractive multi-purpose hall for its new Royal Academy. Instead, Häring suggested employing locals to construct the hall from native wood – true to the Group’s sustainability ideal.
The potential of usable forest in Bhutan is immense: With 28,000 square kilometers, the forest area is two and a half times as large as in Switzerland, but the share of harvested biomass is ten times smaller than in this country. For the timber industry, there is neither a suitable processing chain nor a larger market.
In 2015, we built a production facility for glulam in Bhutan. In addition to investments, we also take care of the training of local specialists - thus creating long-term perspectives.
In 2017, together with the local team, we succeeded in producing glulam beams from local wood in the middle of the Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level and in setting up a canteen for the Royal Academy.
Since 2020, a multi-purpose hall with curved beams has been under construction. In this context, Häring welcomed a delegation from the Royal Academy to Switzerland and presented our plants in Eiken and Burgdorf. The aim was to prepare the joinery and erection work for the new multipurpose hall - but above all to ensure that glulam can be a material- and energy-efficient construction method in Bhutan.
The Royal Academy is a campus for students from the seventh to the twelfth school year. The target for the full expansion is a capacity of 700 students, but at the moment it is more likely to be 400 in the medium term. Another stated goal is to admit around 60% of students from poor backgrounds. The first 60 students started classes on March 6, 2016; they come from all 20 districts of the country. According to its principles, the Royal Secondary School strives for the holistic development of young people-intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. Just as important as good school performance is the fostering of character. The values to be taught are based on the culturally formative Buddhism and are: Sincerity, Community, Generosity and Compassion.