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Bird-friendly glass becomes mandatory in New York city

Date: 25-Feb-20
Author: Liam Taylor

The New York skyline is iconic for its beauty, but these buildings can be deadly for birdlife.

The New York skyline is iconic for its beauty, but these buildings can be deadly for birdlife.

They say life isn’t easy in the city, but that’s putting it lightly for avian populations living in the big smoke. For birds, cities are giant obstacle courses that are invisible and deadly.

That’s why New York City council passed legislation last week requiring that all new buildings be installed with bird-friendly glass below 75 feet (about 23 metres). The mandate will come into effect at the end of this year and, while not applying to existing building, will include retrofits.

New York lies on the migratory flight path of over 100 species of bird, many of which fly at low altitude (under 75 feet) while searching for food and shelter. The new legislation requires new buildings to install fritted glass, which is infused with small bits of ceramic to make it more visible to birds, on lower levels.

The move came following the passing of similar bills by San Francisco in 2011 and Oakland soon after in 2013. The New York proposal came after NYC Audubon, the American Bird Conservancy, and the New York division of the American Institute of Architects collaborated for months to ensure legislation would be effective.

The fritted glass also offers other environmental benefits in the form of increased energy efficiency. The glass works to reduce a building’s solar heat gain coefficient, lowering energy requirements for cooling.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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