flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Specifying Responsibly to Save Birds’ Lives

Sponsored Content Glass and Glazing

Specifying Responsibly to Save Birds’ Lives

Realizing sustainable, bird-friendly glass design


By Vitro Architectural Glass | October 1, 2021
A new addition at The National Aviary in Pittsburgh showcases acid-etched, solar control low-e glass to provide views, bird safety and energy performance. Photo courtesy of Vitro Architectural Glass
A new addition at The National Aviary in Pittsburgh showcases acid-etched, solar control low-e glass to provide views, bird safety and energy performance. Photo courtesy of Vitro Architectural Glass

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

Last year, the Bird-Safe Buildings Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Meanwhile, the National Glass Association (NGA) leads a bird-safe glazings advocacy effort. Some municipalities, such as New York City, even require bird-safe glass on certain building types.

Saving Birds Lives While Saving Energy

Industry standards are emerging in relation to bird-friendly glass. Glasses today are often evaluated against the 2″ x 4″ rule, based on the idea that birds will not attempt to fly into spaces they detect as being less than 2 inches high and 4 inches wide. Glasses can be assigned “threat factors,” which measures the potential risks a glass can pose to bird populations. 

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh showcases acid-etched, solar control low-e glass to provide views, bird safety and energy performance. Photo courtesy of Vitro Architectural Glass
The National Aviary's acid-etched, solar control low-e glass. Photo courtesy of Vitro Architectural Glass

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

Meanwhile, increasingly stringent energy codes and a global drive for sustainability demand excellent energy performance in glass products. 

A Sustainable, Bird-Safe Solution

The partnership between Walker Glass and Vitro provides a bird-safe glazing solution while saving energy. AviProtek® E bird-safe low-e glass helps architects and building owners satisfy new regulations for bird-friendly building design, achieve their environmental goals, earn LEED® credits and meet solar-performance targets.

 AviProtek® E glass has received numerous accolades 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 California building legislation requirement (AB262) enacted in 2020. AviProtek® E also has a Health Product Declaration (HPD), which contributes to LEED points in the Materials & Resources (MR) Category. 

An Alternative to Ceramic Frit

While ceramic frit is commonly used to satisfy bird-safe glass requirements, acid-etched visual markers — such as those used in AviProtek® E bird-friendly glass — are generally more effective when optimized for energy efficiency. By placing acid-etched visual markers on the first surface of an insulating glass unit (IGU), which is preferred to prevent bird collisions, a solar control, low-e coating can be applied to the second surface—which is ideal for optimizing performance. 

Ceramic frit is not optimized for the first surface of IGUs. When ceramic frit is placed on the first surface, the low-e coating must be placed on the third surface, potentially compromising energy performance.

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

Related Stories

Products and Materials | Jan 31, 2024

Top building products for January 2024

BD+C Editors break down January's top 15 building products, from SloanStone Quartz Molded Sinks to InvisiWrap SA housewrap.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 13, 2023

75 top building products for 2023

From a bladeless rooftop wind energy system, to a troffer light fixture with built-in continuous visible light disinfection, innovation is plentiful in Building Design+Construction's annual 75 Top Products report. 

Sponsored | MFPRO+ Course | Oct 30, 2023

For the Multifamily Sector, Product Innovations Boost Design and Construction Success

This course covers emerging trends in exterior design and products/systems selection in the low- and mid-rise market-rate and luxury multifamily rental market. Topics include facade design, cladding material trends, fenestration trends/innovations, indoor/outdoor connection, and rooftop spaces.

Products and Materials | Aug 31, 2023

Top building products for August 2023

BD+C Editors break down 15 of the top building products this month, from frameless windscreens to smart fixture mount sensors.

Glass and Glazing | Aug 25, 2023

Vitro Architectural Glass Lowers Embodied Carbon Further, Releases NEW Environmental Product Declarations

Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) has published updated versions of its Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for both flat and processed glass. These updates reaffirm that Vitro’s glass products contain less embodied carbon than the industry standard for architectural glass products and indicate a lower embodied carbon value than previously reported in 2017 editions of these EPDs.

Fire-Rated Products | Aug 14, 2023

Free download: Fire-rated glazing 101 technical guide from the National Glass Association

The National Glass Association (NGA) is pleased to announce the publication of a new technical resource, Fire-Rated Glazing 101. This five-page document addresses how to incorporate fire-rated glazing systems in a manner that not only provides protection to building occupants from fire, but also considers other design goals, such as daylight, privacy and security.

75 Top Building Products | Aug 7, 2023

Enter today! BD+C's 75 Top Building Products for 2023

BD+C editors are now accepting submissions for the annual 75 Top Building Products awards. The winners will be featured in the November/December 2023 issue of Building Design+Construction. 

Building Materials | Jun 14, 2023

Construction input prices fall 0.6% in May 2023

Construction input prices fell 0.6% in May compared to the previous month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices declined 0.5% for the month.

Cladding and Facade Systems | Jun 5, 2023

27 important questions about façade leakage

Walter P Moore’s Darek Brandt discusses the key questions building owners and property managers should be asking to determine the health of their building's façade.  

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. 

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021