for architects

bird collision solution joe mazza brave lux-6095
Ceramic rods across the facade of the New York Times building serve many functions– and they make these windows safe for birds. photo by joe mazza / brave lux

Sustainable design brings us healthier, more energy efficient buildings.  With bird-friendly strategies, green buildings will provide subtle visual cues that help birds safely navigate the built environment during their annual migrations. Bird-friendly design contributes to global sustainability by protecting birds on their historic travels along routes that precede the development of modern cities.

Bird-friendly buildings

How can design help reduce bird collisions?

Individual building projects can influence biodiversity and the global environment.  Bird-friendly design incorporates details that help birds see glass.  There are many strategies to reduce reflections–  incorporating visible patterns into the facade or on the glass surface, using glass with UV patterns built in, using landscaping– and avoid the illusion of passageways.  Learn more from any of these excellent bird-friendly design guides here.

How do LEED credits relate to bird-friendly design?

You can now earn a credit for bird friendly design in the LEED process, a LEED credit is available for bird friendly buildings.  Find more information at the US Green Building Council Website about SSpc 55 Bird Collision Deterrence.  

Can building operations reduce collisions?

Yes!  Simply turning out the lights at night will help.  Learn more about lights out programs here.

Has this problem inspired creative design solutions?

Yes!  Creative architects and designers have developed novel design solutions to bird collisions.  Look at the work of Bruce Fowle/FX Fowle Architects (New York Times building) and Jeanne Gang (Calumet Environmental Center)—to name just two.

Where can I find more details about design solutions?

For information about local training programs on bird-friendly design and the LEED credit, email Susan Ask ask ~at~ animaliaproject ~dot~ org.  AIA credit is available for training; this training is also offered periodically through the USGBC-Illinois Chapter.

Find bird friendly design guides, here.