WASHINGTON – A local conservation group has lauded the effort of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and its contractor Commercial Window Shield for saving the lives of thousands of birds by installing anti-bird strike window film on a section of its building.
Anne Lewis, president of City Wildlife, said that since the installation of the film by Commercial Window Shield in 2016, there has been an 85 percent reduction in building bird strikes.
The company installed 7,500 sq. ft. of anti-bird strike film on the L Street glass bridge corridor, a regular fly-through zone for birds. The glass corridor connects the convention center with a building next door.
Lewis, an architect, said Lights Out DC, a program administered by City Wildlife, began monitoring the L Street corridor situation in 2010 after reports of a high incidence of bird deaths surfaced. Convention center administrators were alerted about the problem. They took the initiative to add to anti-bird strike film to a solar control window film installation project they hired Commercial Window Shield to complete.
The issue with birds and office building glass involves location, light conditions, and time of day. Building glass and windows can appear highly reflective or completely transparent. By appearing similar to open sky, trees, and vegetation, it causes birds to mistake the space as a safe place to fly.
The success of the convention center project helped inspire Lights Out DC to persuade the Council of the District of Columbia to consider legislation in which newly constructed buildings would take measures to avoid birds crashing into their windows. The legislation passed the initial vote in early December. If it passes a second vote it will be up the city’s mayor to approve the legislation.
The Lights Out DC initiative is patterned after highly successful lights-out programs in Chicago, Toronto, Boston, New York City and Baltimore. As the number of birds migrating north every year appears to have increased, along with a proliferation of new office buildings in cities in the path of flyways, the number of birds crashing into buildings and dying also has increased.
The most visible boost to bird safety window film as a deterrent to bird deaths occurred in December, 2019, when New York City Council passed legislation requiring bird friendly glass in buildings throughout the city. The bird safety film installed by Commercial Window Shield is a cheaper and effective alternative to installing bird friendly glass.
Commercial Window Shield is one of the country’s leading installers of all types of window films including security, solar control, privacy/decorative, radio frequency [RF] and switchable smart.
The company’s major focus in its nearly 40 years has been security and solar control window film installation. Its clients have included the U.S. Capitol, FBI headquarters, the Pentagon, O’Hare International Airport, all House of Representative and Library of Congress buildings, Grand Central Terminal, Merrill Lynch headquarters, the United Nations, the Willis [former Sears] Tower, and the Philadelphia and Denver mints.