A Better Building: Biomimicry Glass Working with Nature to Reduce Bird-Window Collisions

Dec 03, 2014 | Stegner Center


One of the most innovative and interesting features of the new College of Law building is its incorporation of a new bird-safe glass to reduce bird-window collisions. Researchers estimate that hundreds of millions of birds are killed each year due to collisions with glass windows. The front of the new College of Law building is a grand multiple story atrium designed to bring in natural light and connect with the surroundings. To not negatively impact local birds, the College of Law is using ORNILUX® Bird Protection Glass for the atrium’s large window facade.

ORNILUX® Bird Protection Glass is manufactured by Arnold Glas and is one of many innovative products relying on biomimicry. Biomimcry is a growing practice of studying and applying natural models and processes to address problems. For example, to reduce bird-window collisions, Arnold Glas looked to Orb weaver spiders who build their webs with ultraviolet (UV) silk. The reflective properties of the UV threads protects the web by alerting birds to its presence. Birds fly around the web and do not destroy it. The ORNILUX® Bird Protection Glass has a UV-reflective coating that mimics the ultraviolet thread patterns found in Orb spider webs. Though the UV reflections are not visible to us, birds see the window as a web and are deterred from flying into it.

In addition to using innovative biomimicry, the atrium’s glass is on the cutting edge of energy performance and efficiency. The College of Law building will be the first building in the country to use a new ORNILUX® Bird Protection Glass with higher thermal performance. Using this glass is in line with the College of Law’s project design standard.

For additional information on how ORNILUX® Bird Protection Glass was developed, please visit http://www.ornilux.com/Attachments/CaseStudy_Ornilux_MASTER.pdf.