Study States Case to Install Bird-Safe Glass in New Commercial Buildings

Muhlenberg College report lays out cost-minimal solution to reduce number of birds crashing into glass.   December 27, 2022

By Dave Lubach

Over the years, stories from cities with high-rise commercial buildings of birds crashing into windows and falling to their deaths thinking they can fly through buildings pop up frequently. One of the more memorable stories of this occurrence took place in Minneapolis when the Minnesota Vikings opened their new stadium in 2016, which happened to be built in a migratory flight path. 

A study from the Acopian Center for Ornithology at Muhlenberg College revealed that installing bird-safe glass is a low-cost option when constructing new buildings.  

“Installing bird-safe glass in new commercial buildings will save hundreds of millions of birds that die every year hitting commercial building windows,” says Dr. Daniel Klem, Acopian Center director and a bird/window collision expert. 

Bird-safe glass options include frits, ultra-violet glass, painted patterns, etched patterns, and photovoltaic glass types. 

The report supports the idea that building code reforms should require bird-safe glass in new commercial construction, and lays out the claim that the additional costs are minimal. The study notes that the monthly debt service on a medium-sized office building ($32,800) will only increase by $125 with the addition of bird-safe glass. 

Dave Lubach is managing editor of the Facilities Market. 


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