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NYC Requires Bird Friendly Facade Materials

Posted on February, 27 2020

New York City recently enacted legislation that requires bird-friendly façade materials. These requirements will be applicable to all new buildings and work in existing buildings which involve the replacement of all exterior glazing.

The exterior wall envelope and any openings must use bird-friendly materials up to 75 feet above grade. Additionally, non-bird friendly materials cannot exceed a total of 10 square feet within any 10 feet by 10 feet area of exterior wall below 75 feet.

Some new definitions were added to 2014 NYC Building Code 1402.1:
BIRD FRIENDLY MATERIAL. A material or assembly that has, or has been treated to have a maximum thread factor of 25 in accordance with the American Bird Conservancy Bird Collision Deterrence Material Threat Factor Reference Standard, or with the American Bird Conservancy Bird-friendly Materials Evaluation Program at Carnegie Museum’s Avian Research Center test protocol, or with a relevant ASTM standard.

BIRD HAZARD INSTALLATIONS. Monolithic glazing installations that provide a clear line of sight on the exterior of buildings, including, but not limited to, glass awnings, glass handrails and guard, glass wind break panels, or glass acoustic barriers.

FLY-THROUGH CONDITIONS. One of more panels of glass that provide a clear line of sight through such elements creating the illusion of a void leading to the opposite side, including parallel glass elements at a distance of 17 feet (5182 mm) or less, or a convergence of glass sides creating a perpendicular, acute or obtuse corner.

The Building Code amendment are not published in the online version of the 2014 Building Code yet, so the text of Local Law 15 of 2020 must be used.