Volume 50, Issue 4 - April 2015


Birds of a Feather Flock
Together on New Standard

Up to a billion birds are killed every year after flying into glass buildings in the U.S.,
according to some estimates. Now, ASTM’s Glass Committee is working to develop a new standard to keep birds away from these potentially fatal

The new working ASTM International standard, ASTM WK47853, is titled “Test Method for Bird Collision Deterrence Material Threat Factor.” It will be used to test various materials for their potential to be detected by birds.

Additionally, ASTM WK47853 will allow manufacturers to provide a quantified material characteristic for consideration by designers and consumers, according to the committee.

“The American Bird Conservancy has begun a program to test such products for a material threat factor rating via a tunnel test method,” says ASTM member Stefan Knust, director of sustainability for Ennead Architects. “These performance ratings are necessary to demonstrate compliance with LEED Pilot Credit 55, ‘Bird Collision Deterrence.’”

Knust says ASTM will establish the standard because the American Bird Conservancy is not recognized as an international testing laboratory.

Knust co-chairs the WK47853 task group with Christine Sheppard of the American Bird Conservancy. The Subcommittee C14.08 on Flat Glass, which is part of the ASTM Committee C14 on Glass and Glass Products, is developing the standard. The group is looking for those with interests related to bird-friendly construction, including expertise in avian vision and glass manufacturing, to help develop the standard. For more information contact Stefan Knust, technical contact, at sknust@ennead.com, or ASTM staff contact Thomas O’Toole at totoole@astm.org.
As many as 1 billion birds
are killed every year after
colliding with glass on buildings.
Greatest Threat Potential:
• Glass: Highly reflective and/or completely transparent surface
• Glass: Reflective or transparent surface interrupted by a visible pattern based on the 2x4 Rule*
• Glass: Reflective or transparent surface shielded by screen, shutters, or louvers where the resultant exposed glass
satisfies the 2x4 Rule*
• Glass: Translucent with matte or textured surface.

Opaque surface
*The 2x4 Rule is defined as a collision deterrence
module based upon the physical profile of a bird in flight. Current research has established
maximum module
dimensions of
2” high x 4” wide.

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