Special glass helps prevent bird strikes

When Mere Sands Wood, a nature reserve in West Lancashire, decided to create a new visitor centre and café, minimising its impact on the local wildlife was top of its list of priorities.

Minimising the risk of bird strikes to the new building’s glazing was of particular concern. Birds in flight are unable to use visual signals such as window frames to distinguish the location of the glass, as a human would. The resulting collisions can often cause serious injury or death to the birds.

That’s why the reserve’s owner, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, opted to install Pilkington AviSafe, a glass that features a special coating designed to be visible to birds.

Birds’ eyes can recognise light across parts of the UV spectrum. This is reflected in the design of Pilkington AviSafe, which includes a uniquely patterned UV enhanced coating

This means that, from a bird’s perspective, reflections become disrupted and the glass much more visible, warding them away from the structure and keeping them safe.

At Mere Sands Wood, the new building’s glazing consists of insulating glass units made of 6mm Pilkington AviSafe as the outer pane and an inner pane of 4mm Pilkington K Glass S low-e glass, providing protection for the birds as well as thermal insulation for the café’s visitors.

Leo Pyrah, marketing and VA manager at Pilkington UK, said: “It’s a happy coincidence that this installation at the Mere Sands Wood reserve is so close to our European Technical Centre at Lathom, where most of the work to develop this innovative product was carried out.

“In fact, we have installed Pilkington AviSafe at our site in the areas where we most commonly saw bird strikes. It has proved extremely effective, and I’m confident that the results will be equally positive at the reserve.”

Alice Singleton, marketing officer at Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s imperative for us that our buildings let us show the public the beauty of nature and the value of conserving it, while interfering with the wildlife we protect as little as possible. Pilkington AviSafe has allowed us to provide this without putting our many different species of bird at risk.”