F i e l d N o t e s  
ne tall building. One dark and stormy night.  
95 dead birds.” If this May 5, 2017 Washington  
Post story doesn’t embolden us to take whatever  
corrective action is required to reduce bird kill,  
we’re going to end up somewhere we don’t like.  
The problem is many-fold, but I’d like to pose a  
possible driver for helping all involved with the  
glazing industry. Solving this problem does not  
fall just to the glazing subs and related suppliers—  
the building owners, architects and glass fabrica-  
tors play a key role, too.  
Environmental groups are trying to get us to  
change how we glaze buildings to protect birds:  
We saw some of the first fledging steps out of  
that nest with the construction of the new US  
Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The environmen-  
tal groups came a bit late to the design and con-  
struction process, asking for bird-friendly glazing  
given the vast elevations of glass in the design,  
but weren’t able to affect much change. As they  
spread their wings in this area, that may not be  
the case in the future.  
To help effect change, the first question for the  
design community: Are you aware this problem  
will not go away? So, what can be done on the  
front end of projects to start addressing bird kill?  
When selecting materials, are you asking the glass  
suppliers of the specified products what they offer  
to reduce these incidents?  
The bigger issue may be convincing building  
Chuck Knickerbocker is the curtainwall  
manager for Technical Glass Products, a supplier  
of fire-rated glass and framing systems, along  
with specialty architectural glazing products. He  
has more than 35 years of curtainwall experience.  
Check out his regular blog for ArchiteTMcts’ Guide to  
Glass’ sister publication USGNN.com at  
Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal  
Dynamic Color  
Can Glass  
Stop It?  
by Chuck Knickerbocker  
owners and developers (after all, they’ll be paying  
both the architect’s design fees and for the glass  
that gets installed) that bird kill is a cost they’ll  
have to start paying for. If nothing else, could the  
cost of bird-friendly glass be offset by the build-  
ing’s maintenance staff not needing to clean up  
dead birds on a regular basis? The ROI may be  
long, but is it worth the cost beyond the environ-  
mental advantages? I hope we can agree that it is.  
The purpose in asking for the design commu-  
nity’s help is that, by the time the glazing subcon-  
tractor gets involved, all the material selection is  
usually fait accompli. I have a pretty good idea  
that, as competitive as just winning a bid is these  
days, the glazing subs are not going to put their  
head on the chopping block by suggesting a more  
expensive bird-friendly product. Hopefully, it’s  
not too much more expensive—something along  
the costs for ceramic frits or silk screen patterns,  
but not the same as just “ordinary glass.”  
Sharpsburg Library, Sharpsburg, PA  
Architect: Front Studio Architects  
General Contractor: Franjo Construction  
Distributor: Brock Associates LLC  
Profiles: PAC-CLAD 7/8” Corrugated in .032 aluminum  
Colors: Silver, Copper Penny, Cardinal Red, Award Blue, Patina Green  
Photography: ©2015 Ed Massery  
“As soon as we knew we wanted it to be colorful,  
metal became the obvious choice for the exterior.  
PAC-CLAD corrugated metal would be the most  
economical, long-lasting material.”  
-Art Lubetz, principal, Front Studio Architects  
45 Colors - 31 ENERGYSTAR®  
Another reason for asking the design community  
to drive this change: demand and aesthetics. Don’t  
you think the glass fabricators will start responding  
to the market demand if the design community  
continues to inquire, specify and design buildings  
with bird-friendly glass? That demand will drive the  
availability of supply, eventually lowering the cost of  
the products over the long term?  
MD: 1 800 344 1400 | TX: 1 800 441 8661 | GA: 1 800 272 4482 | MN: 1 877 571 2025  
| IL: 1 800 PAC CLAD  
The designers also are going to want to know  
VE’d out. Altruistically, that’s not value-engineer-  
how bird-friendly glass affects a building’s aesthet- ing; it’s value-eradication!  
ics, and how to change the percentage of glass  
on exterior walls in response to daylighting and  
As for the glaziers, they’ll install the glass that’s  
specified, as long as someone is willing to pay  
energy issues. If designers go back to the glass fab- the bill. Let us (the glaziers, glass fabricators and  
ricators and manufacturers and work with them  
on what’s wanted in the way of bird-friendly  
glass, these products are more likely to meet the  
aesthetic goals of a given project.  
And just as important, none of us who are  
downstream from the owner control a project’s  
purse strings: Don’t let the bird-friendly glass get  
manufacturers) help you, the architects, convince  
the owner that this change is worth the effort.  
Together, we can and MUST beat this. When  
we do it with new buildings, then we also can  
fix the existing stock if and when that glass gets  
replaced or buildings get updated. But we have to  
start, and today is the time to get going. AGG  
Fall 2017  

Architects\' Guide to Glass & Metal
© 2017 Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. 
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.