Energy-Efficient, Bird-Safe Glass Installed at National Aviary’s New Garden Room

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh recently completed the installation of glass windows and doors at The Garden Room, a new glass-enclosed venue for weddings, special events and educational programs that also will serve as a showcase for energy-efficient, bird-safe glass.

Challenge: 

“The National Aviary works hard to provide the best possible care for the birds through field conservation programs and education,” said Cheryl Tracy, executive director of the National Aviary. “As we made plans for The Garden Room, it was important to us to practice these principles by selecting materials that would help keep the wild birds in our neighboring park safe.”

Criteria: 

Designed by an architectural team led by Pittsburgh-based Tony Pitassi of Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel, The Garden Room features about 2,700 sq. ft. of glass. The team consulted with experts from Walker Glass, Vitro Glass and the American Bird Conservancy to consider a range of glass options to reduce bird collisions while enhancing the bright, open aesthetic of the new space.

“The National Aviary’s bird experts were integral to designing a façade that meets bird-safe standards,” said Pitassi. “Given the desire for transparency in the building envelope and the need to complement the site’s natural environment, maximizing the use of glass was an imperative.”

Solution: 

Featuring expansive floor-to-ceiling windows fabricated with AviProtek bird-friendly glass by Walker Glass, Solarban solar control and low-E coatings by Vitro Architectural Glass, The Garden Room is designed to protect the both the environment and the local bird population that inhabits the surrounding city park.

AviProtek glass by Walker Glass, a pioneer in bird-safe glass design, helps birds “see” expanses of glass by meeting an industry standard known as the“2 × 4” rule, which dictates that visual elements in a bird-safe glass pattern appear at least 2-in. apart horizontally or 4-in. apart vertically. The National Aviary’s design team selected a horizontal-stripe pattern for The Garden Room.

The Solarban solar control, low-e coatings specified with AviProtek glass will enable the National Aviary to operate more efficiently by blocking more than 70% of the sun’s heat energy while transmitting high levels of daylight to reduce artificial lighting costs. The result will be a venue that is brighter, more comfortable and better for the environment because it consumes less energy.

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