Build The Impossible

Build the Impossible Logo

Rothoblaas' International Design Contest


“Building the impossible” is now possible thanks to the development of new technologies which have given new impetus to timber as a structural material.

Working with timber is meaningful, possible and sustainable.

Building using such a noble material helps dispel myths about the supposed weaknesses of timber compared to more traditional materials such as reinforced concrete and steel, reducing the ecological footprint of the building sector.

Engineered timber (glulam, OBS, LVL, CLT, etc.) has, over time, made it possible to bypass many limitations in the construction field and contributes to the development of construction with a very low "carbon footprint". When used correctly, timber is able to store a larger amount of carbon dioxide than is emitted for the collection, processing, transport and assembly operations that will turn it into a home.

The purpose of the BUILD THE (IM)POSSIBLE competition is to give international visibility to innovative architectural projects that extend beyond the construction methods used until now.


The evolution of building systems, innovation and progress need two categories of players:

1. Designers and builders

Anyone implementing innovations, designing and constructing buildings that field-test the new possibilities, clashing with the regulatory, urban planning, logistical and budget constraints of a real construction site. These are the industry professionals (designers or builders).

2. Students, researchers, academics

Who, working on paper, hypothesises, plans and dreams big but without necessarily implementing the project. These are students, PhD students, researchers or university professors.

Two finalists will be selected for each category and there will then be a winner for both.

Peter Lang

Peter Lang

- Rothoblaas -
Creator of the competition


The competition includes the implementation and enhancement of innovative design proposals in terms of both design and collective interest in environmental sustainability.

The theme of this second BUILD THE (IM)POSSIBLE is the post-and-beam construction system, for which we have recently developed the revolutionary ALUMEGA connection.

Today, designers and constructers who, like us, are in love with wood, have a solution with extraordinary strength characteristics available to overcome today's construction and sustainability standards. Innovative connection systems for timber beams make it possible to design post-and-beam buildings that are increasingly efficient, economically competitive and able to replace traditional materials (steel and reinforced concrete).

Now it's your turn: imagine, design and participate in the second edition of BUILD THE (IM)POSSIBLE.

Alumega Rendering



Take your constructions to the next level

ALUMEGA is the connector that standardizes beam-to-beam and beam-to-post joints for post-and-beam systems, even with large spans.


The project that wins the first prize will be an inspiration for other future projects that we hope will aspire to sustainable solutions of community interest.

Winning the competition means, first of all, coming into direct contact with the international community specializing in the timber construction sector: the projects will be evaluated by leading figures in the sector.

Participants submitting the two most interesting projects in both categories will have the right to participate in the final selection of the BUILD THE (IM)POSSIBLE jury and will receive:

  • the standard Mass Timber Seminar International 2024 package, including board and lodging
  • a contribution towards the travel expenses of the finalists who will attend the Mass Timber Seminar International 2024 during which the winner will be decided

In addition to the above prizes, the winners will benefit from the following promotional activities:

  • 1 banner on the homepage of the Rothoblaas website for two weeks
  • Section of the website dedicated to the competition where the detailed description of the project will be available for one year
  • 1 Facebook post and 1 LinkedIn post on Rothoblaas pages
  • 1 press release at the end of the competition with sending to one of the newspapers in the winners' country of origin
  • Entry ticket and visibility at FORUM HOLZBAU INNSBRUCK 2024, one of the most important events in the world of timber construction

For more information on food/accommodation packages available for the Mass Timber Seminar click here.




You can register from 17/10/2023. The deadline for registration and submission of documents is 30/08/2024.


From 01/09/2024 to 15/09/2024 the jury will meet for the preliminary selection of projects. Two finalists in each category will then be determined and invited to participate in the Mass Timber Seminar International 2024 in Rothoblaas. An evaluation system will be used for selecting the finalists, which involves scoring them according to set criteria. The jury will prepare a written document explaining the reasons for selecting the finalist projects.


From 15/09/2024, the finalists will be invited to attend the Mass Timber Seminar International 2024 at Rothoblaas headquarters where they will have 10 minutes to present their project.

On that occasion, industry professionals attending the seminar will be able to see the selected projects and choose the best in both categories through an evaluation system that will be explained on site. From that moment on, the winners will have international visibility through Rothoblaas' communication channels, until the online and offline publications mentioned in the "AWARD" section are available.

During steps 1 and 2 the competition will be promoted at the most prestigious international trade fairs in the timber construction sector. 


The evaluation of the finalist projects will be entrusted to a jury of 5 professionals in the field of timber construction, with no connection to Rothoblaas. During the evaluation phase of the candidate projects, the judges will be supported by two internal Rothoblaas supervisors.

The choice of the winning projects is left to the audience of industry professionals who will participate in the Mass Timber Seminar International 2024.

Univ. Prof.- Dr. Eng. Ario Ceccotti

Univ. Prof.- Dr. Eng. Ario Ceccotti

Civil engineer, member of the Drafting Panels of Eurocode 5 and Eurocode 8, ENV versions, has pioneered the way for a better seismic design of timber construction, culminating with the outstanding shaking table test on a seven story CLT SOFIE building in Japan in year 2007.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Hans Joachim Blaß

Prof. Dr. Ing. Hans Joachim Blaß

Director and partner at BE Ingenieure GmbH, Karlsruhe. Winner of the Marcus Wallenberg Prize in 2010 for his path breaking work regarding innovative and reliable structural timber connections and reinforcements which have high load transfer capacity and can be efficiently applied at construction sites and within industrial processes.

Univ.-Prof. i. R. Michael Flach

Univ.-Prof. i. R. Michael Flach

As a structural engineer, he has planned numerous exceptional spatial load-bearing structures in wood, three of which were awarded the European Glulam Award. As a professor, on the other hand, he has been able to place a special emphasis on the design and development of highly efficient and resource-saving load-bearing structures.

Prof. Dr. Jan-Willem G. van de Kuilen

Prof. Dr. Jan-Willem G. van de Kuilen

Full professor of Wood Technology at the Technical University of Munich, Parttime appointment at Delft University of Technology for Biobased Structures and Materials. Developer of a 100% timber guard rail for highways.

Senior Prof. Eng. Maurizio Piazza

Senior Prof. Eng. Maurizio Piazza

Professor of Construction Technology at the University of Trento (DICAM). Has extensive research and consultancy experience in the field of timber, steel and concrete structures, in particular related to to seismic design, consolidation and fire resistance of structures.

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