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Research GELIFES

New ‘Herdershut’ on Schiermonnikoog reaches highest point by addition of bird observation post

24 February 2021

The University of Groningen is currently building a modernized, sustainable version of the ‘Herdershut’ biology research field station on the island of Schiermonnikoog. Contractor Pranger&Rosier and the local construction company Dijkstra have now placed the observation post at the top of the building, which means the highest point has been reached. This is good news for the bird researchers of the UG, because once the improved teaching and research facility is completed in mid-2021, they will be able to look out over the dyke and study over 300 species of breeding, wading and migratory birds that spend time on Schiermonnikoog every year.

The replacement construction work is progressing well, despite the harsh winter we have had. The walls and roof structure of the complex timber frame puzzle were put together in a matter of weeks. The special prefab construction with a slanted façade and roof sections with different angles that slide into each other turned out to fit perfectly in one go. In the coming weeks, the building will be further wind and water-proofed, and the façade will be finished with a pattern of limba wooden boards. Limba is a low-maintenance and sustainable type of wood. The contractor will present the new building in late July, after which the University can start furnishing the sleeping quarters and teaching and research rooms.


The new building will not be connected to the gas supply. The total energy demand will decrease by two-thirds thanks to optimum insulation, a low-temperature heating system with heat pumps and 50 solar panels on the roof. In addition, the building can be split into two, making it possible to turn off part of the energy and heating system in winter when only part of the building is used. Partly thanks to this, the complex has an energy performance coefficient of just 0.2.


The new field station (500m2) consists of two sections that slide into one another, with a wooden finish. There will be 13 sleeping quarters, a living room, a kitchen and good sanitary facilities, providing a comfortable place to stay with good disabled access. A modern teaching room and two lab rooms will make the building suitable for researchers and students of the UG.

More information

More information about the construction of the Herdershut can be found on:

Construction Herdershut
Last modified:05 March 2021 4.50 p.m.
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