Illinois’ new bird-friendly law calls for reducing the “transparency” of government buildings | Chicago News

Everyone has heard the sound — the unmistakable sound of a bird hitting the glass. Think about what that means in terms of scale. Everyone I’ve heard that.

In North America, nearly 600 million birds are killed each year, not only in skyscrapers, but also in collisions with buildings. According to the Audubon Association, homes up to the fourth floor account for 250 million of the total 600 million.

Among the main causes of these deadly collisions are artificial light at night (turning the bird) and glass due to both transparency and mirror-like reflections.

With the pen stroke of Governor JB Pritzker, Illinois has become the latest organization to enact legislation aimed at stopping the genocide.

under Bird Safe Building Law, Newly constructed state buildings need to be incorporated Bird-friendly design.. The same rules apply to the renovation of state buildings where more than half of the façade has changed significantly, with a few exceptions.

Wildlife advocates supported the move.

“By making simple adjustments to the new Illinois construction project, the new law will help mitigate the unnecessary deaths of countless migratory birds each year,” said Christine Murphy of the Great Lakes of Audubon in a statement. increase.

According to the law, up to 40 feet above ground, 90% of the exposed façade of the target building must be made of a material other than glass or “glass with elements that prevent bird collisions”. I have.

These elements include, among other things, nets, screens, or patterned glass. Birds need these visual cues or physical barriers to warn of the presence of glass.

The law requires similar restrictions on glass for buildings over 40 feet, but only applies to 60% of the façade of buildings. The Bird Safe Buildings Act also covers lighting, and lighting should be minimized or reduced as needed.

Migratory birds often collide with Chicago buildings and are injured or stunned. (Courtesy of Chicago Bird Collision Monitor)

The plight of the made bird 2019 Global HeadlineWhen one study found that North America had lost more than a quarter of its net bird population (about 3 billion birds) since 1970.

Climate change is by far the greatest threat to birds, but man-made structures have played an important role in bird decline.How to improve building risk factors was the subject of a recent webinar hosted by AIA Illinois (American Institute of Architects State Branch). The discussion brought together panelists with expertise in the areas of bird protection, building design and glassmaking.

Carl Giometti, project architect at Perkins & Will and former president of the Chicago Ornithological Society, explained the spillover effect of the death of a bird on the environment. 1 person Blackpoll Warbler Nearly two acres of devastated northern forests, thousands of insects (including mosquitoes), countless seeds undispersed, and wildlife (small bird-eating birds of prey) at the top of the food chain when killed in a building crash There is a shortage of food (including mosquitoes). ..

He said these ecosystem considerations need to be part of the building’s site impact analysis.

Progress has progressed in several ways as the declining bird population has been alerted. Cities are increasingly adopting a “light out” policy for large buildings during the migration season. Studies have shown that bird collisions can be reduced by more than 80%. And native plants, which provide food and rest for birds in stripped natural habitats, are gaining popularity in landscaping.

But moving birds closer to dangerous buildings invalidates these positive steps, said John Roden, senior director of the Audubon Society’s bird-friendly community.

Glass is still used in many façades and problems remain.

Annette Prince, director of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, said her organization met with various glass makers a few years ago to raise the issue of bird clashes and explore options. According to her, the two companies were willing to make bird-friendly changes to their products, but only if there was an off-the-shelf market. Probably due to a government order. Otherwise, the cost was too high, potentially adding 15% to 20% to the material price tag.

That’s where Illinois-like legislation comes into play, Prince said. Demanding architects to design bird-friendly buildings and contractors to procure bird-friendly glass helps manufacturers create markets where costs need to be reduced.

Experts agreed that federal standards would go further.

The current fragmented approach by states and municipalities — a combination of law and other means such as zoning and building code changes — is a mixed bag, the height of the building and what percentage of the building it targets for maximum impact. There is no consensus on whether or not. The façade should be bird-friendly glass.

John Just, Architectural Manager at Walker Glass, based in Montreal, said:

The National Glass Association is developing a standard for bird-friendly applications, which will be released by the end of the year, but at this point it relies heavily on best practices.

Dead birds collected by the Chicago Bird Collision Monitor were handed over to the Bird Department of the Field Museum. (Josh Engel / Field Museum)Dead birds collected by the Chicago Bird Collision Monitor were handed over to the Bird Department of the Field Museum. (Josh Engel / Field Museum)

For Jometti, who spans both birdwatching and architectural communities, the promotion of bird-friendly glass does not have to result in bird victory and architectural loss.

“We don’t want a brick box,” he said. “It’s a design opportunity.”

Bird-friendly glass can be used as a decoration or as a focal point, says Jometti. It can also get people to talk and even generate positive PR for building owners.

The ultimate goal is to reach the point where bird-friendly design is just design.

Roden said he wanted a paradigm shift to make bird-friendly elements as common as accessibility considerations.

We have made the building safer and more comfortable for humans, advocates said, now it’s time to do the same for our feathered friends.

“Bird migration is one of the wonderful natural sights of Illinois,” said Murphy of the Great Lakes of Audubon. “But when a bird hits a building, these incredible journeys that can cover thousands of miles are often shortened.”

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 | [email protected]

Illinois’ new bird-friendly law calls for reducing the “transparency” of government buildings | Chicago News

Source link Illinois’ new bird-friendly law calls for reducing the “transparency” of government buildings | Chicago News

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