Dark-eyed Junco

Designing for Urban Wildlife

Who among us hasn’t mistakenly walked into a large clean wall of glass? For humans, the result is most often a short period of embarrassment. However, for our feathered friends, colliding with a pane of glass can have deadly consequences. The high number of bird-glass collisions in urban areas is both cause for concern, and incentive to develop building materials which allow us to more harmoniously coexist with urban wildlife populations.

One example of a building material developed with wildlife conservation in mind is bird-friendly glass. To reduce the number of avian fatalities in urban centers, glass manufacturers are actively developing exterior glazing which creates visual ‘noise’, alerting birds to the presence of a physical barrier. One method of accomplishing this is to produce glass imprinted with a UV pattern detectable by birds, but not humans.

Applying materials and processes which help to ameliorate the quality of life for non-human inhabitants of the city is one of the many ways that architects and designers can actively work towards developing more sustainable urban environments.

bird-friendly glass

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