Guideline S.92018-02-28T20:25:13+00:00

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Guideline S.9: Bird-Safe Building

 

Intent

Sustainable design can create environments that are attractive to birds, and this benefits both occupants and wildlife. Any built environment, but especially those attractive to birds, can pose a risk for bird-building collisions, which kill hundreds of millions of birds per year. The intent of this guideline is to limit the risk of built environments to birds, with special attention to the highest risk conditions. Some other B3 Guidelines also affect bird-safe building, such as S.1 Avoidance of Critical Sites, S.4 Sustainable Vegetation Design, and S.5 Light Pollution Reduction recommended criteria S.5B and S.5C.

 

Required Performance Criteria

Guidelines apply to all New Construction projects and all Major Renovations which include replacement of glazing. For Major Renovations without new or replacement glazing scope, only S.9E (Follow the “Lights Out” light management program) is required.

  1. Traps cannot include any glazing with a threat factor (TF) greater than 25: The following conditions are considered traps:
    1. Glass/Plexiglas (transparent) railings (all surfaces exposed to exterior).
    2. Glass/Plexiglas-sided walkways (e.g., skyways, covered walks with glass on two sides).
    3. Any glazed surface that offers a see-through situation that is 20 feet or less across, such as a small atrium, or glass corners.
  2. High Risk Surfaces are limited to 15% of surface area with TF 75 or more. No more than 15% of the area of a high risk surface can have a threat factor greater than or equal to TF 75. A high risk surface is defined as:
    1. A surface within 50 feet or less of attractants such as trees, shrubs, prairie, grassland, or open water (including green roofs with this type of vegetation).
    2. A surface in a see-through situation greater than 20 feet across (such as atriums, gathering spaces/lobbies, etc.)
  3. The Whole Building Threat Factor (WBTF) must be less than or equal to WBTF 45, or WBTF 15 for critical sites. Use the B3 Guidelines Bird-Safe Design Calculator (Appendix S-9a) to determine WBTF. The calculator will also document and help to meet requirements for S.9A , S.9B, and S.9D. Use Guideline S.1 criteria to determine if the project is on a critical site to determine the appropriate WBTF threshold.
  4. The Non-Enclosure Threat Factor (NETF) must be less than or equal to NETF 45. Use the B3 Guidelines Bird-Safe Design Calculator to determine NETF for non-enclosure surfaces.
  5. Follow the Lights Out light management program, which addresses operation of lights at night for specified times and dates of bird migrations. In addition to the B3 Guidelines requirement, note that this is also required by law for state owned and managed buildings.
    1. Dates: Between March 15 and May 31 and between August 15 and October 31 each year.
    2. Times: Between midnight and dawn.
    3. Lighting: Turn off building lighting including but not limited to: architectural lighting at top of building; up-lighting; interior lighting, especially on upper floors; and lobby or atrium lighting. Exception: Where lights are documented as necessary between midnight and dawn for normal use of the building, they may be operated.
  6. First year monitoring – for one year after construction/occupancy, walk the perimeter of the building(s) and all accessible setbacks and roof areas at least two times per week. Document survey activity and findings as required in Appendix S-9b Bird Safe Monitoring Worksheets.

Recommended Performance Criteria

  1. Meet the Whole Building Threat Factor (WBTF) of less than or equal to 15.
    Use the B3 Guidelines Bird-Safe Design Calculator (Appendix S-9a) to determine WBTF.
  2. Practice enhanced bird-safe building monitoring. In addition to S.9F (First-Year Building Monitoring) above:
    1. Continue the first year monitoring format for one or more additional years (shifting to a January–December calendar year basis in ongoing operations phases of the Tracking Tool).
    2. AND/OR conduct more surveys per week for the first or more years.
    3. AND/OR work with an organization such as Audubon Minnesota to collect and catalog birds found.
  3. Bird-safe building narrative: Complete a Bird-Safe Case Study Narrative Report to document and share bird-safe efforts. Use Appendix S-9c Bird-Safe Building Narrative Template or include a write up with similar content.
  4. Bird-safe lighting design: Comply with recommended lighting guidelines S.5B and S.5C and document bird-safe features of lighting including for S.5C; identify how control zones relate to the Lights Out program.

Implementation in the Design Process:

In Predesign and early design, consider the impact of glazing percentage. If the building use is likely to be associated with large glazed areas, consider increased risk/adjustments needed on highly vegetated sites. Additionally, consider an ecological assessment of the site that includes an evaluation of bird species, habitat, and migration patterns.

Through the design process identify attractant areas for birds on the site, plan deterrents for facades adjacent to attractants, and keep glazed areas of buildings greater than 50 feet away from them. Configure building to minimize bird collision “traps.” Traps can include clear barriers, transparent railings, or other glazed see-through conditions. See guideline for complete conditions deemed to be traps.

Evaluate early designs through the Bird-Safe Calculator (Appendix S-9a), and inform and adjust designs to meet bird-safe criteria. Check design against bird-safe criteria and update the WBTF in the Bird-Safe Building Calculator to confirm it continues to comply.

As the construction documents are developed, confirm continued compliance with all required and pursued recommended bird-safe criteria, adjusting documentation and design as needed.

Confirm that contract documents include those features needed for bird-safe compliance, as calculated using the Bird-Safe Calculator (Appendix S-9a). Make bidders aware of specific requirements for sustainable construction according to the B3 Guidelines. Watch for substitutions that would change the bird-safe performance of the building, and ensure that any material substitutions meet bird-safe performance criteria.

Confirm correct implementation of features affecting bird-safe performance according to drawings and specifications.

Incorporate bird-safe first year monitoring and Lights Out program criteria into the project documentation. Coordinate with lighting engineer regarding controls for lights to accommodate Lights Out program compliance.

Comply with Lights Out management program during relevant seasons according to the guidelines.

Perform required first-year bird-safe monitoring and any recommended ongoing monitoring that was pursued, using Appendix S-9bf for First-Year Building Monitoring.

If pursuing Bird-Safe Case Study Narrative, coordinate with lighting engineer on documentation of lighting benefits anticipated from Lights Out program.

If pursuing S.5 B and S.5 C under S.5 Light Pollution, consider documentation of bird-safe features for S.9 J Bird-Safe Lighting Design.

Design:

  • S.9A: Traps Threat Factor (as calculated by Appendix S9), and upload of preliminary version of Appendix S9.
  • S.9B: If the project includes new “high risk surface,” and the area of that surface with a TF greater than 75.
  • S.9C: Verification that the Whole Building Threat Factor is under 45 (or 15 for critical sites).
  • S.9D: Indication of whether the project includes new glazing and, if so, verification that the Non-Enclosure Building Threat Factor is under 45.
  • S.9G: Whole Building Threat Factor under 45.

Final Design:

  • S.9A: Traps Threat Factor (as calculated by Appendix S9), and upload of final design version of Appendix S9.
  • S.9B: If the project includes new “high risk surface,” and the area of that surface with a TF greater than 75.
  • S.9C: Verification that the Whole Building Threat Factor is under 45 (or 15 for critical sites).
  • S.9D: Indication of whether the project includes new glazing and, if so, verification that the Non-Enclosure Building Threat Factor is under 45.
  • S.9G: Verification that the designed Whole Building Threat Factor is under 45.

Closeout:

  • S.9A: Traps Threat Factor of installed condition (as calculated by Appendix S9), and upload of final version of Appendix S9.
  • S.9B: If the project includes new “high risk surface,” the installed area of that surface with a TF greater than 75.
  • S.9C: Verification that the installed Whole Building Threat Factor is under 45 (or 15 for critical sites).
  • S.9D: Verification that the installed Non-Enclosure Building Threat Factor is under 45.
  • S.9E: Verification of a Lights Out management program in place.
  • S.9F: Verification that the facility operations team is aware of first year monitoring requirements.
  • S.9G: Verification that the Installed Whole Building Threat Factor is under 45.

Occupancy – Submitted annually for ten years:

  • S.9E: Verification of adherence to Lights Out management program
  • S.9F (Year one only): Verification of first year monitoring

 

Bird Safe Building Guidelines by Audubon Minnesota and Project Birdsafe: http://mn.audubon.org/conservation/birdsafe-buildings

Sheppard, C. 2011. Bird-Friendly Building Design. American Bird Conservancy, The Plains, VA: http://collisions.abcbirds.org/

State of Minnesota Lights-Out management program: http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/laws/?id=101&doctype=Chapter&year=2009&type=0 w

 

Threat Factor

Threat Factor, a property of a building material related to likelihood of bird collision, found in the Threat Factor Table (See Appendix S-9). Consult the B3 Guidelines Team if you have questions on what Threat Factor should be used for a material.

Traps

Traps are glazed conditions that are particularly likely to produce bird strikes. These are defined in the B3 Guidelines as any of the following: Transparent exterior railings (e.g. a glass or plexiglass panel in an exterior railing system), transparent sided walkways (e.g., skyways with both sides glazed, covered walks with glazing on both sides), or any other condition where multiple transparent or translucent surfaces on the exterior of the project are separated by 20 feet or less which and which can be seen through simultaneously (e.g. a small atrium, or glazed corners).

High Risk Surfaces

High risk surfaces are those surfaces within 50 feet or less of attractants such as trees, shrubs, prairie, grassland, or open water, or any other condition where multiple transparent or translucent surfaces on the exterior of the project are separated by 20 feet or more which and which can be seen through simultaneously (e.g. a small atrium, or glazed corners).