We live in Minnesota. Yes, the home of huge piles of snow, mosquitoes, and of course, the Minnesota Vikings. As you may know, we are building a new multibillion dollar Vikings football stadium that is the state-of-the-art in stadium design and is already scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2018 and the NCAA final 4. However, an environmental issue came up in the construction as to all the glass on the stadium and what happens to the birds?
Well, we did some research and had a bit of an epiphany ourselves when it comes to song birds and glass. Each year in America, hundreds of millions of song birds are killed when they fly into glass. In our research, we also discovered there are crews of people who clean the sidewalks of Minneapolis at 4:00 AM of dead birds, before the public wakes up to see the carnage.
Really? This is needless, as we find out from our discussions with Ornilux, a manufacturer of bird friendly glass. Glass is transparent to birds and they see reflections of trees or sky in the glass, fly into the glass and are killed. Birds perceive no barrier as they fly into the glass windows. Birds do see Ultra-Violet. Researchers discovered that spiders spin their webs with an Ultra-Violet color to them so birds don’t crash into them and ruin their webs.
The challenge was to incorporate UV into glass, as it would remain invisible to humans, but visible to birds. Ornilux was developed in Germany. They built a 30’ tunnel and put two types of glass at the end of the tunnel. One with UV coating, one without. (they also put nets in front of the glass to protect the birds in flight). Crazy as it is, they tested 17 species of birds and with 80 tests each became certain from the results that birds will not fly into Ultra Violet glass. They manufacture a UV film that is sandwiched between two pieces of glass. That glass is now like the windshield on your car, and is termed ‘laminated’. Laminate glass is a safety glass required on many buildings and also used to make bullet-proof glass.
We’re proud to report that the new stadium will be using Ornilux glass in its construction. It should save countless numbers of birds flying into the glass and being killed by the impact.
And you ask, so Jim, what about the conservatories? Well, as you might expect, this glass costs a bit more, but we now offer bird friendly, Ornilux glass to all of our customers for their conservatories and their beloved song birds.