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56CE - Bird Collision Standard, Assessments and Mitigation Strategies

25 May 2018 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

1.5 ConEd Learning Hours

Birds connect people with the beauty of our natural world and provide critical ecological functions. Taking from that inspiration is an environmental design opportunity: bird-safe buildings. This session explains how the issue of bird/building collisions has become an international concern and provides innovative building design strategies on how best to mitigate this threat.

Architects play a central role in reducing the impact. In a 2016 open letter, the OAA expressed the need for a single province-wide standard for bird-friendly design. Background on the development of such standards will be showcased in this presentation. Bird deterrent research, standards for visual markers and bird-friendly architectural design will also be addressed. It will touch on bird-friendly guidelines and mandatory requirements for new and existing construction, as well as current legislation that impacts design, property and reputation.

While it is true that all glass can pose a risk to birds, some façades experience a higher frequency of collisions than others. This session explores FLAP Canada’s BirdSafe standard, its accompanying risk assessment and glass best practices, all designed to objectively and effectively evaluate each building façade to identify those posing the greatest risk to birds.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the history of the bird/building collision issue.
  2. Understand the work that has been completed to develop standards and guidelines for bird-safe buildings across the country.
  3. Be able to assess and compare various bird deterrents, bird-friendly architectural designs and visual markers.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the FLAP Canada’s BirdSafe Standard and Risk Assessment.


Michael Mesure, John Robert Carley, B.Arch., OAA, FRAIC, and Daniel Klem Jr., BA, MA Biology, PhD Zoology, D.Sc.

Author, speaker and a founding member of FLAP Canada in 1993, Michael Mesure delivers presentations on bird-building collisions, bringing attention to the reflective light issue that impacts millions of migratory birds across Canada every year. His work focuses on research for solutions to mitigate and remediate the negative impact to birds in built environments. He led the development and launch of BirdSafe Building Standards and risk assessments. Michael advocates for bird protection at all levels of government, consults with city planners and architects across North America and has contributed to numerous literature including bird-friendly guidelines for cities like Toronto and Markham.

John Robert Carley is the sole principal of the firm of John Robert Carley, Architect Incorporated, established in 1979, which specializes in custom residential projects. In 2011, he was elected to Fellowship in the College of Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). John was the only architect participating in the City of Toronto’s Bird-Friendly Development Working Group, which received the Canadian Urban Institute’s City Initiatives Urban Leadership Award in 2008 for its production of the Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines. John recently assisted the City of Toronto with a companion Best Practices document published in 2016 as Bird-Friendly Best Practices: Glass.

Daniel Klem Jr. is Sarkis Acopian Professor of Ornithology and Conservation Biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Among other diverse avian investigations, he has studied, written and taught about the threat that sheet glass and plastic pose to birds. He is motivated by available and growing evidence that bird-window collisions are an important animal welfare, architectural and conservation issue for birds and people worldwide.

This session is sponsored by Viracon.