LEED Certified Buildings and Bird-Friendly Window Design


  • Aubrey Tews University of Florida




sustianable construction, urban design, LEED, bird-window collisions


Green buildings (i.e., LEED certified buildings) emphasize access to daylight and views for occupants’ wellbeing, comfort, and productivity. Window glazing allows access to daylight and views but is often detrimental to birds. Annually, up to a billion bird in the United States die due to window collisions. A comprehensive literature review and data analysis of LEED and methods of deterring collisions was conducted to determine solutions to limit bird deaths at LEED certified buildings. Deterrence factors of building design, outdoor surroundings, and occupant behavior were evaluated, due to their collective impact on bird-window collisions. To best prevent collisions and adhere to LEED, window glazing with visual markers and sound deterrents should be used. Certain façades should be avoided and building lights should be turned off during migration season. Additionally, vegetation near buildings is encouraged in LEED certification, but increases the frequency of bird-window collisions. These findings suggest that LEED, particularly the credit “Daylight and Quality Views,” is not completely aligned with current bird-safe design practices. While certain window glazing is acceptable for both LEED and bird-safe design, the two are not mutually exclusive. Due to this, it is recommended that window glazing that aligns with LEED and is bird-safe, is made clear within the LEED “Daylighting and Quality Views” credit description. LEED and bird-safe design practices also have contradictory views on vegetation near buildings. There should also be further research into if vegetation near buildings would still increase bird-window collisions if deterrent factors, such as bird-safe windows, were utilized. 


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