Innovative history

With approaching 70 years of continuous leading-edge development in the field of post-tensioning, stay cables and related construction engineering, the BBR Network today continues the innovative traditions of its founders.

The three founders of BBR - Max Birkenmaier, Antonio Brandestini and Mirko Robin Ros

Wartime innovation

The BBR story began during the Second World War, when materials were in short supply – the import of steel was difficult and, with reduced energy availability, cement was a precious commodity. Determined to use their ingenuity to overcome these limitations, the three BBR founders explored the savings to be made by using pretensioned reinforcement for concrete beams and lintels. With their invention and patenting of the BBRV cold formed button headed anchorage in 1948, the door to many more technological advances at BBR was opened.

Extending the range of technology

During the 1950s and 1960s, BBR developed a complete range of prestressing and post-tensioning systems, ground anchors and stay cable anchorages, covering all structural engineering applications. Since then, BBR technology has been continually updated to meet market needs - enabling the BBR Network, today, to reflect on a world class project portfolio and seven decades of achievement.

Birth of the BBR Network

From the very early days, construction engineering firms around the world were keen to participate in the success of BBR’s designs and technologies. It was recognized that not only a license to use the designs and sell the specialist equipment was necessary, but also that an effective process for knowledge transfer was needed to support best practice in the use and especially installation of BBR technologies. Thus the BBR Network was born and, today, it operates in over 50 countries.

Seven decades of BBR achievement

1944 Company founded by Max Birkenmaier, Antonio Brandestini and Mirko Robin Ros
1945 BBR's first product, the pretensioned small beam, launched
1948 BBRV cold-formed button headed wire post-tensioning system patented
1952 First major bridge project - Andelfingen Viaduct for Swiss Federal Railways
1960 First bridge built using parallel HiAm wire stay cables, Stuttgart, Germany
1965 Prestressing of nuclear power vessels around the world started
1972 World's first application of BBR HiAm strand stay cables at Olympic Stadium, Munich
1972 Development of BBR CONA PT system
1978 World’s first cable net supported tower – Sydney Tower, Australia
1985 World’s largest bridge project – Saudi Arabia-Bahrain Causeway
1996 World's first bridge constructed using carbon stay cable technology
1997 Longest cable-stayed bridge built in 20th Century – Tatara Bridge, Japan
2005 Launch of latest European approved BBR VT CONA CMX PT series
2008 Introduction of BBR HiAm CONA strand stay cable system
2008 World’s first floating LNG tank – Isola di Porto Levante, Italy
2010 BBR marks 50 years in the stay cable technology arena
2012 Europe’s largest single pylon cable-stayed bridge – Sava Bridge, Serbia
2014 BBR celebrates its 70th Anniversary