Comprehensive Local Actions

Site Planning and Landscape Design

Enhancements to the Building Envelope

Modifications to Existing Buildings

Building Operations

Emerging Technologies

Site Planning and Landscape Design

OBJECTIVE: Minimize the potential for bird collisions when siting buildings near existing landscape features and when planning new landscapes in close proximity to buildings.

Analyze the site to determine potential attractions for bird populations:
Consider the proximity of the building to vegetated streetscapes or urban parks.
Identify mature trees and shrubs, grassy meadows, water features, seed and insect sources, and other natural features, especially those that function as food sources and shelter for migratory and resident bird populations.
Identify human-made structures or other site features that attract birds, such as sources of water, nesting and perching sites, and shelter from adverse weather conditions.
Integrate with LEED Credit SS 5.1 - Site Development: Protect or Restore Habitat.

Site building(s) in relation to existing landscape features to reduce conflicts with existing features that may serve as attractive bird habitat:
Minimize the reflection of existing vegetation on building facades.
Consider reducing the size of the building footprint to avoid conflicts with existing landscapes. Coordinate with LEED Credit SS 5.2 - Site Development: Maximize Open Space.
Consider means to isolate existing vegetation that is especially attractive to birds.
If sited near water features, use soil berms, furniture, landscaping, or architectural features to prevent reflection of water in glazed building facades.
In places where situating buildings near existing landscapes is desired or unavoidable, utilize architectural strategies to ensure that building glazing and avian habitat can coexist safely. See "Bird-safe Enhancements to Building Envelope."

Create bird-safe landscaping:
Place new landscapes sufficiently away from glazed building facades so that no reflection occurs.
Alternatively, if planting of landscapes nearby a glazed building fašade is desirable, situate trees and shrubs immediately adjacent to the exterior glass walls, at a distance of less than three feet from the glass. Such close proximity will obscure habitat reflections and will minimize fatal collisions by reducing birds' flight momentum from the vegetation towards the glass. This planting strategy also provides beneficial summertime shading and reduces cooling loads.
Minimize the reflection of rooftop landscapes in adjacent building features or surrounding properties. Ensure adequate space for birds to fly safely to and from rooftop vegetation. Coordinate with LEED Credit SS 7.2 - Heat Island Effect: Roof.
Minimize the exterior visibility of interior landscaping to reduce its attractiveness to birds.
Utilize fritting, shading devices or other techniques to obscure attractive habitat for bird populations. See "Bird-safe Enhancements to Building Envelope".

Properly locate new water features:
Take special care to isolate from glazed facades any ponds, stormwater retention basins, wetlands, swales or related infrastructure that offers food and shelter to birds.

+ Simple and cost-effective strategy for reducing the attractiveness of glazed buildings to birds.
+ Encourages the placement of habitat attractive to birds away from buildings (see above.)
- May conflict with aesthetic desires to reflect the surrounding landscape in building fašades or to make the building totally transparent to, or integrated with, significant landscape features.

Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 5.1: Site Development: Protect or Restore Habitat.
Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 5.2: Site Development: Maximize Open Space.
Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 7.2: Heat Island Effect: Roof.
Energy and Atmosphere (EA) Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance.

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