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New bird-safer glass gets UK trial

Post Time:Sep 05,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:336

 

A lookout tower on the holy island of Lindisfarne has been fitted with special glass in an attempt to save bird's lives. The tower, opened by the prince of Wales recently, is the first UK location to use the newly developed glazing material.

 

China Glass Network

 

Every year thousands of birds die through colliding with windows, and owners of tall buildings with large areas of glazing, such as city office blocks, have attempted a number of remedies such as silhouettes of birds of prey and stick-on reflective films. A new product from Germany’s Arnold Glas, however, may make large areas of glazing, so attractive from the human point of view, safer for our feathered friends.

Called Ornilux, the glass has been installed in the lookout tower and visitors centre on Holy Island, at Lindisfarne. The new product employs the concept of bio-mimicry in which science and art emulate nature’s best biological solutions to solve humanly created problems.

Birds, unlike humans, have the ability to see light in the ultra-violet spectrum and in nature Orb Weaver spiders incorporate UV reflective strands of silk in their webs, which enables them to be seen by birds, preventing them from flying through and destroying them. Like the Orb Weaver web the glazing has a web of lines coated onto the glass which are barely discernible to humans but reflect the UV light, alerting birds to the presence of glass.

Dave Wyatt, Head of the Arnold Group’s UK operations said: “The project at Lindisfarne is our first use of the bird safety glass in the UK. It’s a system which has been in development for years and through extensive testing we have seen the glazing significantly reduce bird strikes. The glass has already seen considerable success in the US, being used in a number of high profile buildings and winning a number of international awards. We are now keen to see the UK adopt a similarly progressive approach to protect bird populations.”

Euan Millar, director of Icosis, the architects behind the Lindisfarne project, said: “Considering the native bird populations on Holy Island, we were really keen to ensure that the buildings would not just be great for visitors, but also have minimum impact on the natural environment. With so much glass in the tower we were concerned with birds striking the glazing in particular. This specialised glass should help to protect the birds and ensure the native wildlife is unaffected by the new visitor facility.”

Natalie Kopp from Arnold Glas said: “Birds do not see glass and as a result we're seeing billions of bird deaths each year, with glazed buildings being a major contributor to overall decline in bird populations. It’s estimated that in just one day in Europe thousands of birds die from collisions with glass, so we are keen to see developers and architects start looking at ways of being more bird friendly with their buildings.”

The work at the Lookout Tower has been managed by The Holy Island of Lindisfarne Community Development Trust (HILCDT) with funding through a Natural England Environmental Stewardship agreement.

Dick Patterson, an Island resident and now Chair of HILCDT said: “The tower offers a great opportunity to open the eyes of visitors to the wonderful natural environment here. We’re grateful to Natural England for their support in funding this work and delighted to be working alongside them to highlight their role as managers and custodians of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.”

 

Source: http://www.greenbuildingpress.co.ukAuthor: shangyi

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