Birkenstock is building a central chemical laboratory at its production plant in Bernstadt. The laboratory is scheduled to start operating at the end of the next year. The German shoe manufacturer has invested around €4 million in the construction, which signals a clear commitment to the company's location in Bernstadt, Germany. Unlike Birkenstock's two final assembly plants in Görlitz and St. Katharinen and its shoe bedding production in Steinau-Uerzell, the production site in Bernstadt concentrates entirely on the production of components, like rivets, buckles and shanks. More than two-thirds of all the company's chemical laboratory analyses relate to Bernstadt, as materials like leather, textiles, metals and synthetics are used to produce components there. Birkenstock has already invested about €3 million in a new “social building,” with dressing rooms, sanitary facilities and showers for the roughly 650 employees who work at its production site in Görlitz, Germany. The building will also include a cafeteria and lounge with an accompanying outdoor area. Because of its strong growth, Birkenstock had already set up additional parking slots for its employees in 2017. The new social building will cover 1,200 square meters and was designed by O+M, an architectural firm in Dresden. Birkenstock's production site in Görlitz is the company's biggest site anywhere in the world. It will have several vacancies to be filled in the near future. The new social building should be finished by spring 2019.