Sustainable Design and Birds

When we think of sustainable design we typically think what type of impact our buildings will have on the natural environment, primarily the nature of the buildings’ surroundings.  We also think about the building’s impact on the health of people.  We rarely think about how our buildings affect animals.

One example of how our buildings impacting animals is how birds are injured or even killed by simply flying into large glass buildings.  When I was sitting in studio class during undergrad I remember consistently hearing the loud thumping sound of a bird crashing into the window.  And I heard that the blue colored football field at Boise State University regularly has birds acting like kamikazes and crashing into the field because the birds mistakenly think that the field is actually a lake.

The New York City Audubon has created a 55-page manual that discusses the issue of birds crashing into buildings, and it also provides steps to modify buildings in a manner that reduces these collisions.

Sustainable design involves creating a balance of energy and resources that doesn’t harm the environment, including our fine feathered friends.


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