An iconic, century old structure in Toronto needed an expansion. It also needed windows since its location right on the lake offered a tremendous view.

According to several studies and news reports, millions of birds die each year in North America after colliding with a window structure.  It is a serious issue, but understanding of it has been gaining steam over the last several years thanks to greater awareness, education and new glazing products like the AviProtek® line from Walker Glass.  Having a product line available that can allow developers and architects the peace of mind that they will not be harming our feathered friends has been a great advancement and The Boulevard Club became one of the latest projects to utilize these ground-breaking materials.

With any new product there are learning curves.  Plus add in the pressure of a legendary structure and you have a recipe for an adventure.  Fortunately the glazier on the job, Vision Aluminum was more than ready.

“We are always up for a new challenge and The Boulevard Club was another unique opportunity to show our company’s capabilities. The club has been around since the early 1900’s and has a rich history in Toronto’s lakefront development. To some this may be intimidating, but we treat every job as essential as the next,” said Thanasi Tromboukis, Co-Owner, Vision Aluminum.

When it came to Vision’s responsibility on the project, they made sure to seek out the most optimal product choice for the mission.

“Originally the glass was to have a bird frit coating on the 1st surface of the sealed unit.  Our company turned to Trulite Industries (our glass supplier) for the most feasible product. We came to a conclusion and recommended Walker’s AviProtek® E with acid-etched markers on the outside surface and PPG solar control low-e coating on surface 2 given that its properties are wear, scratch and stain resistant as opposed to the aftermarket coating. Collectively this benefited the club giving it a lower maintenance cost on the glass.  We had no complications, the great thing about Walker’s acid etched glass is that there is no aftermarket film applied to any exposed surface that makes it easy to handle and install,” Tromboukis said.

In the end, the installation of the glass went without issue and the Boulevard Club now has a distinctive and stunning addition featuring glass that has many more functions than allowing light in.

“The club is a great and unique structure, seeing the final project come together was rewarding and will always be memorable for our company. It was a pleasure and great experience working with Teeple Architects, Bird Construction, and everyone else. I truly believe the members, staff, and owners of the club will be thrilled with the final product,” Tromboukis concluded. 

Is Bird Friendly Glazing Here to Stay?

While it may be newer to some, glass with bird friendly properties is a part of mandates in many areas including Toronto where its usage has been a part of municipal building guidelines for quite some time.  However quite a large amount of structures that were built before products like Walker’s AviProtek® came available are up that chose no options to avoid bird strikes.  Professionals like Tromboukis though are now on board with making sure the birds are looked out for.

“I think it’s very useful, there are over 1 million registered glass structures in the city and it’s estimated that 1 to 10 birds will collide into each of these structures on an annual basis, it’s a leading cause of bird deaths in the city and any method of preventing it I’m all for.”

Project: The Boulevard Club, Toronto, ON

Architect: Teeple Architects

Fabricator: Trulite Canada, Vaughan, ON

Glazier: Vision Aluminum, Vaughan, ON

Bird Friendly Glass Manufacturer: Walker Glass, Montreal, QC

Bird Friendly Products Used: AviProtek®E Pattern 216 on surface 1 with Solarban60 on surface 2

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