The «Building materials test institute» started work in 1880 in the cellars of Zurich's polytechnic university, the forerunner of the university ETH Zurich. In 1928, the Swiss Federal Fuel Testing Institute was incorporated, as was, in 1937, the textile testing organization «Swiss Test Institute, St. Gallen», which had been founded in 1885. The establishment was named the «Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research for Industry, Construction and Commerce» in 1938, but had already long been known by the acronym EMPA. It is the leading institution in Switzerland for testing and approving of materials, products and solutions in many sectors including the construction industry.

In 2010 EMPA was constructing a new facility for testing of noise and vibration isolation in lightweight constructions. In order to guarantee correct measurements, disturbing influences from a nearby railway track had to be eliminated. Therefore the responsible engineers required a high-quality vibration isolation solution.

Extraordinarily demanding requirements

A natural frequency of the bearing system below 13 Hz had to be ensured over the full load range, where loads resulting from the heaviest load case were 7 times higher than the dead weight of the structure.

mageba’s solution fully met the requirements

After studying all requirements mageba’s team of engineers established that the heavy loads arising in combination with the limited space available would require a solution with individual point bearings under the structure’s floor slab. LASTO®ISOBLOCK, a highly stressable and permanently elastic bearing in Natural Rubber (NR) quality was chosen to minimize the impact of disturbing influences from the nearby railway track and from neighboring structures.

To achieve the required levels and to permit maintenance access beneath the platform, mageba specially designed an adjustable steel support structure to hold each bearing.

Proven quality and track record

LASTO®ISOBLOCK bearings are produced in accordance with the European standard EN 1337-3, and have been under surveillance over several decades. Their dynamic properties are tested by independent laboratories on a regular basis.

The theoretical calculation model of the LASTO®ISOBLOCK bearing corresponds well at its actual behaviour in use.

The measurements by EMPA after completion of the project confirmed the fulfillment of all requirements with great success.

All from a single source

Services provided by mageba for this project:

  • consulting services to owner and structural engineer in preliminary design phase

  • calculations and design of bearings

  • production of elastomeric bearings and supporting structures

  • installation on site

More information

Key data


Vibration Isolation



Project size

100 m2