Pilkington AviSafe™

Pilkington AviSafe™

Chosen to Protect Birds

Overview

 
 Estimates suggest in the UK
100 million birds a year collide
with windows – often because
they try fly to the trees or sky
they see reflected.
 
Pilkington’s bird safe windows –
viewed from outside

 
Pilkington’s bird safe windows –
viewed from inside

Millions of birds fly into windows every year – and many of these collisions are fatal. It often happens because the bird doesn’t realise the sky or trees it can see are just a reflection, and so the bird crashes into the glass as it tries to fly to them.

Up to now, stopping birds flying into reflections has meant adding visible shapes or decoration to glass. Patterns of printed dots have been found to be highly effective – but these do, of course, make the glass much less effective as a window!

The challenge has been to create something the birds can see but which we humans can’t.

The technical team at Pilkington are experts at manipulating the absorptive and reflective properties of complex coatings. (A big part of making architectural glass is the development of special coatings – for example to make the glazing more thermally efficient or control its appearance.)

Our new glass – designed to protect birds – has been developed by combining this knowledge with an understanding of how birds see the world: many use ultra violet light (which is invisible to humans) and wavelengths we can barely see.

Working closely with avian experts, The NSG Group have  developed a coating that combines UV reflective and anti-reflective material in a  pattern that disrupts the reflection, as a bird sees it – so instead they see a barrier. The coating and pattern we’ve developed is barely  visible to humans, especially from the inside – so we look right through the glass, more or less undisturbed.

In trials conducted by independent zoologists at bird ringing stations in Europe and America, our UV-enhanced glass was as effective at  deterring birds from flying into reflections as glass screen printed with a fully visible pattern of dots.

We are currently in final-stage trials of the glass. We’re grateful to local nature reserves in Lancashire (including Mere Sands Wood LWT reserve, shown in the pictures) for installing the glass in some of their buildings to make sure it works for the birds – and the staff and bird lovers who want to be able to see them!


For further information email us at pilkington@respond.uk.com