- Location: Wels, Austria
- Client: Holding Wels GmbH
- Architecture: AT4 Architekten ZT GmbH
- Structural analysis: DI Georg Hochreiner, Altheim
- Services provided by WIEHAG:
- 90 m clear-span bearing system and roof panels for 14,400 m² of hall space (low energy standard)
- Total of 5,500 m³ wood, of which 2,800 m³ glued laminated timber (spruce)
- Photographs: WIEHAG
The New Wels Exhibition Centre is not only impressive because of its modern, aesthetic architecture. Thanks to the excellent teamwork of the project partners, this technical masterpiece was also built in an extremely short construction period and would have been a challenge even without the tight schedule.
Less than two years passed between the time that the decision to build a new exhibition hall was made and the first time that it was used. WIEHAG received written confirmation of the order to manufacture and assemble the bearing system and the roof and wall panels in October 2006. In record time, the working drawings were created based on AT4 Architekten ZT GmbH's structural and architectural plans, and the individual components (up to 46 m long, 4.50 m high and about 6 m wide) for the arched beams were produced in multi-shift operation – over 5,500 m³ of wood was used in total.
To simplify assembly on site, the bottom and top chords for the support structure, as well as the roof and wall panels, were delivered to Wels with the highest degree of prefabrication – the first of the arched support structures was already assembled on 5 December 2006. To transport the oversized arched beams to the construction site, a specific route had to be planned that could accommodate the special transport vehicles' 40 metre turning circle.
The three arched support structures with a parallel bottom chord and a clear span of 90 m are characteristic of this building. The roof panels prefabricated by WIEHAG were also mounted parallel to the displacement of the 90 metre long support structure for the exhibition hall. A roof area of up to 800 m² was laid each day. In took just over five months to assemble the largest timber building in Upper Austria on the Wels fair grounds, with an exhibition space of 16,000 m² – larger than two football pitches put together. The building could already be used for the first time at the "Energy-Saving Trade Fair" in March 2007.
- Oberösterreichischer Holzbaupreis 2007 [Upper Austrian Timber Construction Award]: "Special award for timber engineering"
- SOLID Bautech Award 2008: Category: "Timber construction"