It has been said that no good deed goes unpunished. Proving that old adage correct is the news that for all the good that green building practices are doing, all that additional glass being used is apparently killing massive amounts of birds, who are flying into these buildings in record numbers. This, of course, doesn’t play so hot with environmental movements, who you might know are usually in favor of protecting nature. What’s even worse, all of those rooftop gardens we’re putting on tops of those skyscrapers to green our cities even further? That’s just making the problem all the more terrible, as birds are being drawn toward the greenery and then almost immediately meeting their maker as they fly away. Fortunately, there is now a secondary movement going on to help combat the issue:
Toronto and Chicago have adopted bird-safe design recommendations, penned by avianophile architects, that encourage features such as “fritted” or patterned glass and “visual noise” – such as ceramic rods placed over the glass – to separate windows from bird life.
Other examples include the Minneapolis Central Library, where rows of birch trees were planted within 3 feet of glass facades to keep birds from crashing into them. The Illinois Institute of Technology‘s student center in Chicago has a “dot matrix” pattern in its glass that makes it less transparent and reflective to birds, according to design guides.