Every year, several hundred million birds die from impact on glass surfaces. Bird impact is therefore a major factor in the decline in the global bird population. Bird impact takes place regardless of species, sex, birds' age, geography or seasons. It is a permanent threat to the birds. The reflective and transparent properties of the glass make windows and facades dangerous for birds. They see the reflection of the vegetation and the sky in a window and fly towards them. Birds sometimes consider glass surfaces as possible escape routes out into the open. They do not perceive any obstacles and fly directly into the glass. The results are fatal. The challenge for modern architecture is to find an effective solution to the problem of bird impact on glass surfaces without compromising its beneficial properties such as transparency and openness. The use of ISOLAR ORNILUX® bird protection glass improves the perception of the glass surfaces by the birds. They recognise glass as an obstacle in time and can avoid the so-called impact of a bird at high speed.
Effectiveness proved in experiments
A method for testing has been developed at the bird sanctuary of the Max Planck Ornithology Institute in Radolfzell, which can prove the birds’ ability to recognise a number of types of glass tested experimentally. Wild birds were released into a flight tunnel in a comprehensive series of tests, and then they flew towards two panes of glass protected from impact by a net. They could then choose between control glass and the test glass.
Scientific evaluation of the series of tests have shown that the birds particularly avoided a number of test panes of ISOLAR ORNILUX® glass which they viewed as an obstruction. The results were then checked by repeating the tests. Further confirmation of the test method and the results has come from open land tests over many years and by means of monitoring completed projects.
Light transparency in harmony with nature
ORNILUX® is the world’s first bird protection glass which does completely without any non-transparent structures. ORNILUX® is an insulating glass which can be used in all windows and facades in the same way as conventional thermal insulating glass.
Anchoring sustainability and environmental awareness in architecture
“Green building” has become the household word in the construction industry. The inclusion of bird protection measures also reflects the “green thinking” in architecture and shows that architects, planners, investors and builders meet up to the responsibility of the construction of modern buildings. Functionality, efficiency and aesthetics need not be in contradiction to life-friendly architecture.
A collaboration with the renowned organisation American Bird Conservancy (ABC), based in Washington D.C. / USA has been in place since 2011.