As the trend for greener buildings is growing, the need to design building facades aimed at preventing bird collisions is increasing.
Numerous studies have been made relating to bird collisions in cities around the world. It’s a fact; millions of birds die each year due to collisions against glass facades. As more and more glass is being used in the construction industry and new glass solutions are being developed, we need to be more conscious of the impact on the environment as well as on wildlife.
The problem with most glass is that from the outside of the building it is highly reflective. This causes birds to see the sky, trees, etc. reflected, and think this is reality, causing them to fly directly into the glass. Simple things such as having plants close to the windows or the lights on at night can attract birds, and deter them from their path.
This may sound quite drastic, however worry not, there are some glass treatments that can be used to make glass safe for birds. Several studies demonstrate that treating the outside surface of glass is particularly effective for bird deterrence. Acid-etched glass is an excellent option to reduce bird collisions. Different full surface finishes or patterns meeting the appropriate design criteria and applied to the outside face of the glass yield the best results in preventing birds from colliding against the glass.
As of today, many states/cities such as Minnesota, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto have legislations in place supporting bird friendly strategies.
There are many solutions for designing attractive buildings, and keeping birds safe. For more information about bird friendly building design, please visit http://www.abcbirds.org/ or www.flap.org.