Bird safe glass: an innovative 1st surface solution

Glass causes a major threat to birds due to its transparency and reflectivity. When vegetation is reflected in the glass, birds are not able to distinguish between a real tree and its image. See how Walker Glass can help you to prevent birds from hitting windows.

Something Can Be Done

Bird Friendly Glass Products

AviProtek® – 1st Surface Solution

AviProtek® is Walker’s bird friendly glass solution with the acid-etched designs on the number 1 surface of the glass. Etched patterns are located on the outside (1st) surface which provides the greatest chance for birds to identify the glazing surface and avoid collision.

AviProtek® E – Low-e Coated

The AviProtek® E bird friendly glass solution combines acid-etched visual markers on the 1st surface with Vitro’s Solarban® high performance low-e on the 2nd surface, creating the most effective bird friendly glazing solution while saving energy at the same time!

AviProtek® T – Transparent

Walker has partnered with Pilkington to offer AviProtek® T, a highly effective yet discrete bird friendly glass solution using Pilkington NA’s pyrolytic coated glass. Walker Glass etches patterned contrasts on the pyrolytic coated outside surface that are visible to birds but barely perceptible to humans.

How many birds are killed by colliding into windows?

According to leading scientists up to 1 billion birds are killed every year due to colliding into windows.  Dr Daniel Klem who has been studying this phenomenon for more than four decades, shares his experience and knowledge on the subject in his white paper titled “The building industry and bird conservation”.   

What do birds see when they look at building glass?

Glass is a major threat to birds as it is invisible to them. Birds are deceived by the “transparency” and “reflectivity” properties of glass and that is the main reason why so many birds are killed. Birds are trying to reach vegetation or the sky which are either located on the other side of the glass structure or reflected on its surface.  There are ways to reduce the number of collisions by creating a pattern on the first surface of the glass. The testing methods and the discovery of the 2×4 rule are discussed in the “Technical design of bird friendly glass” document. 

Do tall buildings affect birds’ behavior?

Birds are attracted to light. Tall buildings reflect light, and/or are lit up at night, which attracts them to areas where they would not naturally want to be. Once they are at ground level, they are in great danger as they cannot see glass and will potentially fly directly into windows where they are either injured or killed. There are legislation measures that exist to help prevent birds from colliding into glass buildings and more details can be found in “Legislative measures”. The city of Toronto, was the first to incorporate bird-friendly guidelines into its green building standard.  

Are bird collisions happening only during migration?

Contrary to popular belief, bird collisions are not just a problem during migratory periods… but all year round! During migration the volume of birds increases by about 40% depending on the region. Therefore, twice a year, more collisions occur but the issue still remains all year long. Something can be done to significantly reduce the number of collisions. Many bird safe glass products exist, however, the most effective solutions are those that have visual markers (patterns) on the exterior surface of the window. 

How to prevent birds from hitting windows?

In order to prevent bird window collisions on glass facades certain well researched* “rules of thumb” need to be adhered to – most notably the “2 by 4” rule: two inches or less of horizontal space or four inches or less of vertical space should be left untreated. Research has also confirmed that visual markers are more effective for birds when they are on the outside surface of the glass, giving birds a greater chance to identify the surface from all angles and in varied weather conditions. Many regulations that are put in place today refer to the 2×4 rule and to this first surface treatment.

* The above design parameters are supported by the leading research scientists in the field such as Dr. Daniel Klem.

How to prevent birds from hitting windows?

In order to prevent bird window collisions on glass facades certain well researched* “rules of thumb” need to be adhered to – most notably the “2 by 4” rule: two inches or less of horizontal space or four inches or less of vertical space should be left untreated. Research has also confirmed that visual markers are more effective for birds when they are on the outside surface of the glass, giving birds a greater chance to identify the surface from all angles and in varied weather conditions. Many regulations that are put in place today refer to the 2×4 rule and to this first surface treatment.

 

* The above design parameters are supported by the leading research scientists in the field such as Dr. Daniel Klem.

See examples of Bird friendly Acid-etched Window

More information on bird glass protection

Dr. Daniel Klem, professor of ornithology and conservation biology at the Muhlenberg College has dedicated his professional life to studying bird deterrence. Below you will find documents authored by Dr. Klem about bird safe glass. This material will provide you with a solid understanding of this deadly phenomenon.

  • A background paper targeting architects that explains various architectural design
    considerations when planning for bird friendly design. Download
  • The current and prospective legislation across North America, as well as the trend of including bird-friendly design in buildings for reasons of sustainable development. Download
  • The purpose of this paper is to provide guidance in creating bird safe glass, and the appropriate test methods needed to evaluate the design of bird friendly glass. Download

Bird Friendly Articles

The Origins of Bird-Friendly Glass

Bird collisions with glass are as old as the product itself (according to historical data, it was likely made as early as 290 C.E.). But until the late 1900s, no efforts were made to reduce the incidence of often-deadly strikes on a large scale.

Bird Safe Glass at the National Aviary

Bird friendly glazing is here to stay. With codes changing and the bird deterrence topic in glass industry news, it is becoming very clear that the health and welfare of birds is a clear priority when architects are designing structures with glass.

Technical design of bird friendly glass

Authored by Dr. Daniel Klem, world-renowned ornithologist and expert in the area of bird deterrence. Billions of birds are killed annually striking clear and reflective sheet glass worldwide.

AviProtek® T
Transparent Bird Friendly Glass

AviProtek T is an innovative first surface solution that is barely noticeable to the human eye, yet visible to birds.

Communicate with our Experts

Please feel free to get in touch should you have any questions!

AviProtek® T
Transparent Bird Friendly Glass

AviProtek T is an innovative first surface solution that is barely noticeable to the human eye, yet visible to birds.

Communicate with our Experts

Please feel free to get in touch should you have any questions!