American Bird Conservancy and Glass Company Alliance Join Forces to Prevent Collisions

Media Contact: Jordan Rutter, Director of Public Relations, 202-888-7472 | jerutter@abcbirds.org
Expert Contact: Chris Sheppard, Director, ABC Glass Collisions Program, 646-661-1862 | csheppard@abcbirds.org

A new glass-testing tunnel, used to research bird-glass collisions, will be developed with support from glass companies. The original tunnel, shown here, is housed at Powdermill Avian Research Center in Rector, PA. Photo by Pamela Curtin 

(Washington, DC, April 23, 2019) American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is announcing a partnership with the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) to expand ABC's successful collision solutions rating program. The partners aim to construct a new testing tunnel to evaluate products' effectiveness at preventing bird mortality. The tunnel would be ABC's second such facility.

“One priority for this partnership is to expand bird-friendly glass options for architects and developers, as well as private homeowners,” said Chris Sheppard, Director of ABC's Glass Collisions program. “We have worked hard over the years to create demand for bird-friendly materials. Glass and window-film manufacturers are responding by creating new designs. Now, ABC needs more capacity to evaluate and rate new materials — in order to make more choices available.”

ABC's rating program began in 2009, primarily as a research initiative. It was based on protocols developed in Austria in response to bird mortality caused by collisions with transparent highway noise barriers. ABC quickly realized that architects and glass companies were familiar with rating glass for insulation value and breaking strength. An obvious need existed for a similar system geared to how well a material deterred bird collisions. ABC's first testing tunnel, housed at Powdermill Avian Research Center in Rector, Pennsylvania, was created as a result.

“Demand for testing and rating materials already exceeds ABC's capacity,” said Sheppard. “In recent years, interest in bird-friendly design has grown, as architects and others realize that bird safety does not mean depriving people of light, views, and attractive building design.”

The IGMA is coordinating fundraising efforts for a second tunnel. Donors will receive priority testing of their materials.

The ratings produced by the testing program are referenced in the Green Building Council's LEED Pilot Credit #55, as well as in legislation and proposed legislation across the country, including the federal-level Bird-Safe Buildings Act (H.R. 919) and state- and city-level bills currently in development in places such as Minnesota and Chicago.

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

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