July 15, 2019
Designing Buildings With Smart Bird-Safe Windows
Birds are a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy ecosystem. As human societies grow, so does our awareness of bird safety and the impact our built environment has on them.
Birds do not see clear glass as an obstacle and don’t see images in glass as reflections. Because of the difference in how they see the world, millions of birds die from collisions with glass each year. As a company dedicated to health, wellness, and sustainability, View listened early on to customers and responded to the high interest in bird safety. View is the first electrochromic company to make bird-safe glass without sacrificing any of the core benefits of the smart windows.
Bird-safe designs are critical architectural and design requirements in modern commercial real estate. Across North America, new guidelines for bird-safe buildings are now the norm. LEED certification, the leading benchmark in green building, has added bird collision deterrence to its credits and reports a significant increase in interest in the program. Many metropolitan areas are making bird-friendly glass mandatory, such as Chicago, Illinois, New York, and Washington DC, in the United States and major metro areas like Toronto in Canada.
According to the American Bird Conservatory (ABC), adding visual markers to glass is the best way to create a bird-safe environment. To do this, View developed windows with markers and conducted extensive studies. It was essential to ensure the birds avoided flying into the glass while ensuring the views from the windows were not compromised. View created dozens of different designs that were thoroughly tested, resulting in two different bird-friendly patterns, both approved by the ABC with an Avoidance Index of 80 and above. View also offers custom patterns to meet customer requirements or local regulations.
Daytime isn’t the only time the need for wildlife consideration arises: the Audubon society notes, “Many birds, particularly songbirds, migrate at night, navigating by the moon and stars.” Mostly flying at altitudes below 2,000 feet, and even lower on foggy and rainy nights, they often become disoriented by brightly lit windows in tall buildings. All View Smart Windows can be tinted at night to avoid light from escaping the building and thereby eliminating the light spillage for the building.
Our bird-friendly glass is only one aspect of View’s smart windows. They are designed to automatically change their tint based on weather, and internal occupancy conditions. View’s intelligent windows have been proven to reduce eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness for people inside, and decrease building energy consumption. With credits for both energy efficiency and bird-friendly glass, View helps innovative companies quickly obtain LEED status.
You can see View’s smart windows in action, with the bird-friendly pattern, at innovative sites such as San Francisco International airport Terminal 1. You can also see our windows at locations across North America.