The ASTM Glass Committee is in the process of developing a new standard with the goal of keeping birds away from potentially fatal encounters with building exteriors. The new working ASTM International standard, ASTM WK47853, is titled “Test Method for Bird Collision Deterrence Material Threat Factor.”

The committee estimates that as many as a billion birds are killed every year after colliding with glass on buildings, including many single-family homes, in the United States alone. ASTM WK47853 will be used to test various materials for their potential to be detected by birds.

Additionally, ASTM WK47853 will allow manufacturers to provide a quantified material characteristic for consideration by designers and consumers, according to the committee. The material threat factor rating will measure how likely it is that the material being tested will be detected by approaching birds.

“The American Bird Conservancy has begun a program to test such products for a material threat factor rating via a tunnel test method,” says ASTM member Stefan Knust, director of sustainability, Ennead Architects. “These performance ratings are necessary to demonstrate compliance with LEED Pilot Credit 55, ‘Bird Collision Deterrence.’”

Knust notes that because the American Bird Conservancy is not recognized as an international testing laboratory and because of the demand for testing, it is necessary for the standard to be established through ASTM.

Knust is co-chairing the WK47853 task group with Christine Sheppard of the American Bird Conservancy. The Subcommittee C14.08 on Flat Glass, which is part of the ASTM Committee C14 on Glass and Glass Products, is developing the standard. The group currently is looking for participation from those with interests related to bird-friendly construction, including those with expertise in avian vision and glass manufacturing, to help develop the standard.