Scientists estimate that skyscrapers are killing up to 1bn birds a year in US and conservationists are advocating that architects and designers adopt more ‘bird-friendly’ designs into their buildings to help to reduce this figure. This includes incorporating specialist patterned glass into the buildings, such as that developed by Contra Vision, the global pioneers and experts in one-way vision solutions.
Problems can occur when birds are migrating north from Central and South America and stop to rest for a while in unfamiliar cities across the US including Chicago and Manhattan. Once rested, the birds go in search of food and head towards trees which are often reflected in the glass of nearby buildings. They end up flying into the glass and dying. Incorporating bird-friendly considerations into the design of buildings could reduce these deaths by up to 90 percent.
At the end of January 2019 a bipartisan bill in U.S. Congress, the “Bird-Safe Building Act”, sought to reduce bird collisions by issuing a number of guidelines that new federal buildings would need to adopt. One key guideline would reduce the amount of plain glass to a maximum of 10 percent of the first 40 feet of a building’s façade, and a maximum of 40 percent above the 40-foot threshold. Using patterned glass instead of plain glass allows birds to see glass surfaces and avoid collision.
Contra Vision has developed specialist and high-quality printing techniques which enhance glass with one-way vision properties. From outside, Contra Vision architectural glass is colored or decorative to reduce the number of bird strikes by increasing manifestation. The benefits also enhance the appearance of buildings and provide privacy and solar control. From inside the see-through is excellent.
The secret lies in Contra Vision’s exact registration printing which is internationally patented. Contra Vision are able to print a second layer of dots in ‘exact registration’ over a first layer without any discernible overlap. This means the white or colored dots are hidden from view on the inside by a black covering, which is hardly noticeable to the eye. The view out is superb. Exact registration printing cannot be achieved with standard digital, digital ceramic and screen-printing technologies. If the dots are not printed with exact registration, then the outside window can appear dirty and the view from inside is blurred and disorientating.
Contra Vision architectural glass is available in three technologies:
- Contra Vision® Printed Interlayer™ laminated between glass
- Contra Vision® XR Ceramic™ printed directly onto the glass
- Contra Vision® window films.
The benefits include:
- Glass manifestation: including a reduction in bird collisions
- Decorative and colored glass: incorporate colour and signature architectural features to building facades
- Solar control glass: reduce solar heat gain, glare, UV radiation and air conditioning costs inside buildings
- One-way vision privacy glass: hide the view into buildings
- Screen for digital projections: on the side of buildings when the glass is white.
The design possibilities are limitless with several variables to consider.
- Size of dots: we specialize in printing small dots around 1mm diameter, but larger dot sizes can also be specified
- Transparency: the density of the dot pattern can be varied to give the desired level of solar control, privacy and see-through
- Colors: white is the most common option for building facades but a wide range of colors are possible including metallics
- Graphics: multiple colors, graphics and images can also be incorporated into the design
- Alternative print patterns: other print patterns including lines and hexagons can be chosen instead of dots for some Contra Vision printing technologies.
Source: The Guardian