American Bird Conservancy (ABC), working with Washington College in Maryland, says it has doubled its capacity to test and rate glass and other materials for their ability to deter bird collisions. “The move will help ABC meet high demand for testing from glass manufacturers—a vital component of the organization’s work to reduce the threat of window collisions for birds,” according to a news release.
A glass testing tunnel at Washington College’s Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory in Chestertown, Maryland began operations last fall. The new tunnel is one of just two facilities in North America that can test glass and issue a “bird-friendly” rating, called a Material Threat Factor.
This rating system makes it easier for governments to enact bird-friendly policies and for architects to design buildings that are safer for birds. Windows are among the deadliest threats that migratory birds meet on their journeys, killing up to a billion in the U.S. each year.
Glass can be made safer for birds by adding visible markers that birds can see. “The challenge is finding a balance between human aesthetic preferences and birds’ need for a visual hint that glass is solid—a challenge made more difficult because humans’ forward vision is superior to that of most birds,” ABC says. “The good news is that most bird-friendly patterns are barely noticeable to people.”
Multifamily Housing | Mar 24, 2023
Washington state House passes bill banning single-family zoning
The Washington state House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would legalize duplexes or fourplexes in almost every neighborhood of every city in the state.
Legislation | Mar 24, 2023
New York lawmakers set sights on unsafe lithium-ion batteries used in electric bikes and scooters
Lawmakers in New York City and statewide have moved to quell the growing number of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries used in electric bikes and scooters.
Multifamily Housing | Mar 24, 2023
Multifamily developers offering new car-free projects in car-centric cities
Cities in the South and Southwest have eased zoning rules with parking space mandates in recent years to allow developers to build new housing with less parking.
Building Tech | Mar 14, 2023
Reaping the benefits of offsite construction, with ICC's Ryan Colker
Ryan Colker, VP of Innovation at the International Code Council, discusses how municipal regulations and inspections are keeping up with the expansion of off-site manufacturing for commercial construction. Colker speaks with BD+C's John Caulfield.
Adaptive Reuse | Mar 5, 2023
Pittsburgh offers funds for office-to-residential conversions
The City of Pittsburgh’s redevelopment agency is accepting applications for funding from developers on projects to convert office buildings into affordable housing. The city’s goals are to improve downtown vitality, make better use of underutilized and vacant commercial office space, and alleviate a housing shortage.
Student Housing | Mar 5, 2023
Calif. governor Gavin Newsom seeks to reform environmental law used to block student housing
California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to reform a landmark state environmental law that he says was weaponized by wealthy homeowners to block badly needed housing for students at the University of California, Berkeley.
Green Renovation | Mar 5, 2023
Dept. of Energy offers $22 million for energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades
The Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy is offering more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across America. Prize recipients will be selected based on their ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades.
Codes | Mar 2, 2023
Biden Administration’s proposed building materials rules increase domestic requirements
The Biden Administration’s proposal on building materials rules used on federal construction and federally funded state and local buildings would significantly boost the made-in-America mandate. In the past, products could qualify as domestically made if at least 55% of the value of their components were from the U.S.
Airports | Feb 28, 2023
Data visualization: $1 billion earmarked for 2023 airport construction projects
Ninety-nine airports across 47 states and two territories are set to share nearly $1 billion in funding in 2023 from the Federal Aviation Administration. The funding is aimed at help airports of all sizes meet growing air travel demand, with upgrades like larger security checkpoints and more reliable and faster baggage systems.
Multifamily Housing | Feb 21, 2023
New multifamily housing and mixed-use buildings in Portland, Ore., must be ready for electric vehicle charging
The Portland, Ore., City Council recently voted unanimously to require all new residential and mixed-use buildings to be ready for electric vehicle charging. The move amends Portland’s zoning laws to require all new multi-dwelling and mixed-use development of five or more units with onsite parking to provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure.