Duke adds design to keep birds from flying into building
Posted September 15, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Duke University on Thursday will reveal a new feature for one of the campus's most environmentally friendly buildings.
The Fitzpatrick Center at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering is LEED-certified, which means it's extremely energy efficient and promotes the use of sustainable materials. One feature, glass on the building's exterior that lets in natural light, proved too clear for birds, who saw right through the glass and were crashing into the building.
Researcher Natalia Ocampo-Penuela said dozens of birds died each year after collisions with Fitzpatrick Center windows.
When she shared her study results with campus leaders, they decided to do something about it.
The glass windows have been screened with a series of patterns and colors to make them more visible to birds and reduce the death toll.
"There are so many times when research doesn't result in real-world solutions, but this is," said Nicolette Cagle, a lecturer in Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.