Responsible identification to save bird life

While glass is one of the most economical, versatile, and beautiful building materials, collision with glass remains a major cause of bird mortality in North America. This has led to an increase in legislation for bird-safe building materials in North America and beyond.

Last year, the US House of Representatives passed the Bird-Safe Buildings Act. Meanwhile, the National Glass Association (NGA) is leading advocacy efforts in bird-safe glass. Some municipalities, such as New York City, require bird-safe glass in certain types of buildings.

Save bird life while saving energy

Industry standards for bird-friendly glass emerge. Today’s eyeglasses are often evaluated according to the 2×4 rule, based on the idea that birds will not attempt to fly into spaces they detect as less than 2 inches high and 4 inches wide. Glasses can be assigned ‘threat factors’, which measure the potential risks that glass can pose to bird populations.

Low Acid Emission Glass and Solar Control from National Aviary. Image courtesy of Vitro Architectural Glass

In the coming years, bird-safe glass is expected to gain preference and find its way into more local building codes and architectural demand is expected to accelerate.

Meanwhile, increasingly stringent energy codes and a global orientation toward sustainability require excellent energy performance in glass products.

A sustainable and safe solution for birds

The partnership between Walker Glass and Vitro provides a glass solution that is safe for birds while saving energy. Aviprotic® Low-e electronic bird-safe glass helps architects and building owners meet new regulations for bird-friendly building design, achieve their environmental goals, and earn LEED® Credits and meeting solar performance targets.

Aviprotic® E glass has received numerous awards over the years and is the only bird-safe glass product available with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). This allows architects to secure an additional LEED point for their projects using Pilot Credit 55 related to bird deterrence. It also meets the requirements of the California Building Code (AB262) enacted in 2020. Aviprotic® E also has a Health Product Declaration (HPD), which contributes LEED points in the Materials and Resources (MR) category.

Alternative to ceramic glaze

While ceramic frit is commonly used to meet bird-safe glazing requirements, acid etched visual markings – such as those used in Aviprotic® Bird-friendly glass – generally more effective when improved for energy efficiency. By applying acid-etched optical markings to the first surface of an insulating glass unit (IGU), which is preferred to prevent bird crashes, a low-emission solar coating can be applied to the second surface – ideal for improving performance.

Ceramic glazes are not ideal for the first surface of IGUs. When the ceramic frit is applied to the first surface, a low-e coating must be applied to the third surface, which may compromise energy performance.

To learn more about the bird-friendly glass of Vitro Architectural Glass and Walker Glass, visit www.vitroglazings.com/birds.

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