by Smojoe on July 10, 2013
Getting your bird on, and becoming more aware of bird friendly building techniques and avian wildlife conservation strategies helps make life easier for the birds, which in turn helps make our cities cleaner, healthier and more interesting places to live. Birds live in our cities too; they eat insects and fill the trees with song, and they add to the diversity of nature in our urban ecosystem.
Fuel Ghoul explains how property owners who seek a ‘Bird Friendly Building’ designation from the City of Toronto, understand how this could bring some market advantage to business and commercial leasing on site as awareness rises for the plight of birds in our cities.
HBC Integrated works with building owners, architects and property developers to build and maintain an urban structure’s bird friendly building profile. The team works best when hired before builders break ground to consult with architects and engineers to design solutions at birth, but they will also visit a space and retrofit a wide range of bird friendly solutions on semi-completed and existing buildings.
Look here at this old building in Cabbagetown, on Parliament street in Toronto between Carleton and Gerrard. Undaunted by the Wing Machine restaurant below, all manner of city birds nest in the wood roof behind the broken fascia boards above the brick walls. So would this building be deemed ‘bird friendly’? I would say yes, but the owners probably don’t seek the official designation as such.
The ‘bird friendly’ designation is awarded by city planners in connection with Toronto Lights Out environmental conservation movement. Read their Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines PDF document which offers a comprehensive list of development strategies to make new and existing buildings less dangerous to migratory birds. SPOILER – lighting, design and glass are the three big elements to bird friendly buildings.
Places in the city where there are truly Lights Out at night are important to maintain, because birds like to nest in dark places where they feel safer to sleep at night. Other ingredients include having engineers set up proper window markers and design elements to ‘mutate visual reflections’ and thereby minimize the problem of bird strikes. Ancestry Guru lists more remedies in bird friendy building applications and links to a piece explaining the scientific ‘breakthrough’ that is bird friendly glass.
Ornilux is specially engineered ornithologically superior glass that birds can actually see in reflections; the birds’ eyes and brains detect thick ropey spider webs which means they recognize that there is some sort of two dimensional obstacle in their flight path. This high technology glassmaking innovation started the bird friendly building trend that is changing the look and shape of office towers and solariums. Ornilux evolved from science and the natural study of birds. Building better and safer environments for wild animals is a mandate of many builders these days as they come to realize if not us, then who?
Bird collisions with windows happen because the birds percieve a convincing reflection of a wide open sky. Birds will not slam into the Ornilux glass because they see thick ropey spider webs in reflection. Bird strikes kill thousands of flying creatures of all shapes and sizes across North America everyday. This new glass could end that problem. Here’s a discussion pinpointing bird friendly building sites in Toronto which asks forum users to pinpoint any particularly bird frieendly projects and the conversation that occurred there discusses the rise of falcons in cities ? Do they eat pigeons? as some believe.