From the Fabricator: Birds and Glass

I had a feeling the issue of bird protective glazing was going to be a big one this year, and it surely has been. And now with the latest news from Duke University, our industry has to be even more prepared to deal with some of the blowback. Before I get into the last part, I will admit that I struggled last year with the process and intentions on some of the bird-related issues surrounding the Minnesota football stadium. In the end, I surely misread the situation and the objectives of the people involved who wanted consideration for the bird population that will be affected by the structure. So it’s been a learning experience for sure.

Now fast forward to this past week and to where our industry now has to be prepared. At Duke University, one of the “green” buildings on campus is being blamed for the 85 bird deaths during three migration periods in the last year. There are many ways I can go with this story, but I’ll just say this: There are options for bird-friendly glazing. And it’s time for the focus to go from the glass being an issue to the glass being a solution. The owner/architect needs to be on some of the hooks here. The materials are there, and the designer needs to take into account bird migration paths and design accordingly. While you’ll see in the linked article that glass is listed as the bad guy, I sincerely hope that we as an industry can stand up and note that it simply shouldn’t be all on us.


  • By the way, I have to think Julie Schimmelpenningh, who brought the issue of bird protection up years and years ago at a GANA meeting to mostly giggles, has to be shaking her head right now and saying “I told you so…”
  • An interesting new market study was just released about the glass industry. According to a blurb from a study by Grand View Research Inc., the global flat glass market will register a compound annual growth rate of 7.1 percent over the next seven years. It noted “High performance flat glass will drive the market.”  Wow.
  • I am trying to raise my level of organization. I have cleaned my desk with the goal of it looking like Russ Ebeid’s. (His desk, perfectly clear; with me, it will never happen, but I will try.) I am also trying to go “Inbox Zero” with my emails. Slowly but surely I am getting there. I know a few of you are doing the “Inbox Zero” thing, so any other tips are welcomed.
  • Just wrapping up my search for someone in the industry with an Apple Watch. Tom Lee of Lee & Cates hit me up on Twitter to say he has one, so he’s the visionary! I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing him at GlassBuild America to see how it is still going. Meanwhile, I did hear through the grapevine that my good friend Kris Vockler also has one. That does not surprise me as Kris is always on the cutting edge of everything.
  • Last this week, gas prices are going back up. My guess is $4 in most places by mid July. I know that the low prices had some negative effects on the economy, but man I enjoyed it personally.

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.


"There are options for bird-friendly glazing. And it’s time for the focus to go from the glass being an issue to the glass being a solution." Yes! Thanks, Max.
- Katy

Max, Just to clarify to any readers who may know me and avoid them laughing until they collapse. That is my son Thomas who twittered you and owns the Apple watch. Sadly I would not know how to Twitter myself out of a box. I still sport the Timex my Dad gave me for my high school graduation. Hope all is well. Tom Lee (the old one)
Is there a simple solution to make glass bird friendly? Can a strip of Clear Frost window film be placed on the glass or decorative film be installed on the glass so the birds see it?
Tom- Thank you! I appreciate the clarification and the comedy with it! Thank you for reading and your son is on top of the technology that is for sure!! Thx Max

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