Science Center Noted for
Green, Bird-Safe Design
by Nancy Nicely
The Science Center features fritted window panes, made of glass burned with tightly woven patterns, to alleviate the problem of bird strikes.
The current issue of Audubon magazine examines how sustainable building design, illustrated by Swarthmore's science center, can help prevent birds from fatally crashing into buildings. As noted in the article "Pain in the Glass," the design also reduces energy costs.
The College installed fritted glass into the center four years ago and uses "thump sensors" to monitor the number of birds that hit the building's windows. The project cost $20,000 but has saved the College about $48,000 in cooling fees since then. "That's really what good, sustainable, integrated design is - solving multiple problems with single solutions," says architect Hillary Brown, author of "Bird-Safe Building Guidelines."