Tweety may not have been on the U.S. Green Building Council committee developing the latest green building pilot credit, but his representatives were.
Photo by Timothy Hursley
|The GSA Field Office in Houston, Texas is a LEED-certified building that is bird-friendly.|
Bird conservation groups across the U.S. may breathe a sigh of relief for their feathered friends, as the USGBC Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) rating system tests out a new green-building credit for “bird-friendly buildings.”
Building designers, architects and developers will be able to earn credits for utilizing design strategies that reduce bird collisions.
In the U.S., building collisions are responsible for an estimated 1 billion bird deaths each year.
The American Bird Conservancy noted that birds tend to perceive reflections in large glass panes as continuous space and fly with gusto toward the building exteriors during the day. At night, birds are attracted to lighted areas and may become diverted from natural migration paths toward city environments, the organization said.
The “Bird Collision Deterrence Pilot Credit” is being tested in the LEED Pilot Credit Library to ensure fairness and effectiveness, the USGBC said. The pilot library is a program in which new building technologies and concepts are tested and evaluated.
“Incorporating design strategies that reduce the impact our built environment has on wildlife is a logical extension of the philosophy upon which we’ve built the LEED rating system for the past decade,” said Brendan Owens, vice president, LEED technical development, USGBC. “The LEED Pilot Credit Library allows us to expand the range of issues LEED addresses while staying true to our mission.”
The technologies and strategies described in the credit address such issues as indoor and outdoor lighting design and operation, building façade requirements, performance monitoring, and threat factors, the USGBC said.
The credit emphasizes creating “visual noise,” that birds can perceive and thereby avoid hitting glass. This means modifying glass reflectivity, color (including UV), texture or opacity, the council added.