Several innovative timber building systems were developed in the past few years, among which dowel-laminated timber, CLT with interspaces and prefabricated timber wall elements, whose design requires also verification of the lateral load-carrying system. Therefore, shear wall tests on these three building systems were carried out. Timber frame shear walls were also tested to compare load-displacement behaviour, failure modes and energy dissipation capacity. The four investigated systems exhibit similar shapes for load-displacement curves albeit reaching different stiffness and capacity values. Based on the test results, 2D models of shear walls and a case study building were developed in order to investigate the seismic behaviour of the discussed timber building systems. The hysteretic behaviour of the shear walls and of the case study building was assigned to non-linear hysteretic springs. The building models were then subject to accelerograms whose intensities were increased until the near-collapse state was reached. Via these nonlinear dynamic simulations in the time domain, design behaviour factors valid for force-based seismic design were established. ... mehrBased only on a few common tests on shear walls, a general statement regarding the seismic behaviour of novel systems can be given using this procedure. The three investigated innovative timber building systems proved to be suitable for the use in seismic active areas and can cover the same application range as conventional timber frame buildings.