Soaring Installations: Bird-Friendly Glazing for Performance and Aesthetics

As cities, states and other municipalities continue to adopt bird-friendly building ordinances, the demand for related glazing products continues to grow. In fact, bird-friendly glass products have seen a significant number of developments over the past few years, providing even more opportunities to create not only an attractive, energy-efficient façade, but one that also meets the need to mitigate bird collisions. Here’s a look at just some of those installations.

Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, New York

Fully opened to traffic in 2018, the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is a three-mile, twin-span crossing connecting Rockland and Westchester counties in New York, that also features the nation’s longest shared bicycle/pedestrian path. In addition to providing a new connection for non-motorized travel, the path has six scenic overlooks, each designed to celebrate the rich history of the Hudson Valley.

The project was designed by Laufs Engineering Design of Long Island City, N.Y. GlasPro based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., was the fabricator, and Craftsman Storefronts & Glass Inc. located in Bay Shore, N.Y., handled the glass installation. All six of the scenic overlooks feature triple-laminated glass with clear SentryGlas Plus interlayers and GlasPro Bird Safe coating. The panels span 120 by 160 inches, helping ensure the safety of bridge visitors, while also helping prevent bird collisions.

Bird conservation is part of the mission for the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. So when the organization unveiled its new Garden Room, with glass walls on three sides overlooking the historic Allegheny Commons, it was imperative that the glass also be bird-friendly. To make the façade safe for birds, architects Perfi do Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel, together with bird experts at the National Aviary, selected AviProtek bird friendly glass from Walker Glass and Solarban Acuity low-E coated glass from Vitro Architectural Glass.

The AviProtek glass has a pattern of fine horizontal lines, etched onto the first surface of the glass so it wouldn’t be obscured by reflections from nearby trees.

Performance and functionality were also considerations for the windows. The insulating glass units incorporate Acuity low-iron glass, with Solarban 72 low-E coating on surface 3, resulting in a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of 0.36.

The new venue provides a space for public programming, meetings and community events, and also serves as a site to educate visitors about ecological concerns relating to the Aviary’s mission.

Audi Queensway, Toronto

Glass is often a predominant feature in the automotive dealerships designed by the Weis Group of Companies, a Toronto-based firm that focuses on automotive retail and service design, production and construction. That was the case for the Audi Queensway dealership, which called for the use of bird-friendly glazing. To meet those needs, AGNORA, based in Collingswood, Ontario, used its NeraD Diptec digital ceramic printer to provide digitally printed bird-friendly glass to help meet the dealership’s design requirements.

The project features 167 insulating glass units with a ceramic print dot pattern. The units were fabricated with 6-mm tempered Saint Gobain Cool-lite XTREME 60/28 II on the outboard, with the printed bird frit on surface one. For the inboard, the units feature 10-mm tempered Pilkington clear glass. Meritt Glass Ltd. In Guelph, Ontario, was the contract glazier.

JCCC Fine Arts + Design Studio, Overland Park, Kan.

The new Johnson County Community College (JCCC) Fine Arts + Design Studio was the debut application for a new specialty glass product. Bendheim supplied its Lumi Frit, a first surface fritted glass, for the building’s exterior. The project was designed by BNIM Architects; JPI Glass was the contract glazier.

According to Bendheim, the JCCC glass exterior is the first application of its kind in North America, featuring its clip-in ventilated glass cladding system and the new Lumi Frit surface one pattern-fritted glass, which features a fine white dot pattern on the first surface, laminated to SatinTech etched glass on surface four. Also, by interrupting continuous reflections, the fritted glass becomes visible to birds, mitigating the risk of accidental bird strikes, especially when the pattern is designed to the 2×4 bird-friendly rule.

The new JCCC building opening coincides with the college’s 50th anniversary. It offers studio and classroom spaces for 3,000 fi ne arts, contemporary arts, and design students. On the interior, magnetic glass dry-erase boards, also from Bendheim, provide multi-functional, durable glass surfaces.

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