saflex® reveals 3d glass technology to protect wildlife
When it comes to unforgiving materials such as glass, safety features often aren’t the most attractive design elements. Saflex®’s unobtrusive FlySafe™ 3D technology breaks this trend – and protects wildlife, too.
traditional methods of making glass visible to birds include screen printing, etching or adding UV coating solutions. Good for birds, bad for aesthetics, clean lines and clear views
all images courtesy of Saflex®
Avian hazard – and that’s hazard to birds rather than some Hitchcockian hazard to you – is an increasing concern for architects and developers. You may not have thought about it much, but build a tall glass building and sooner rather than later an unwitting bird is going to fly right into it. And then more and often with fatal consequences.
In fact, billions of birds collide with buildings every year, especially during migration. And given our insatiable appetite for putting up more and ever taller glass buildings, that tally is only going to rise. To tackle that death toll, more and more cities – including, not surprisingly, New York – have passed or are passing legislation that require architects and developers to install bird-friendly glass.
The PVB interlayers for glass provide highly effective bird-friendly glazing that is recognized even by ornithologists
An aesthetic way to keep birds safe
Traditional methods of making glass visible to birds include screen printing, etching or adding UV coating solutions. Good for birds, bad for aesthetics, clean lines and clear views. Now Saflex®, part of US-based chemical giant Eastman, has introduced Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D, an ornithologist-approved exterior glass which is highly effective in avoiding in-flight collisions, doesn’t obscure views in or out, is compatible with other Saflex coatings and interlayers and is super durable.
The technology behind FlySafe™ 3D is relatively simple but ingenious; 3D sequins embedded or layered in the glass produce subtle twinkles which alert in-flight birds to the imminent threat
Saflex® has been producing architectural and laminated glass since 1937 so they know their glass onions. The technology behind FlySafe™ 3D is relatively simple but ingenious; 3D sequins embedded or layered in the glass produce subtle twinkles – and who doesn’t like a subtle twinkle? – which alert in-flight birds to the imminent threat.
The sequins, 9mm in diameter, are discreet from the inside, don’t obstruct views and are set in a pleasingly geometric grid, separated on all sides by 90mm of pristine glass. So pleasing is the effect that architects may even choose to use the glass indoors where there is little avian threat.
FlySafe™ 3D is arranged in a geometric grid that keeps views unobstructed and enables design versatility
To prove Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D‘s avian-safety credentials, Eastman partnered with the American Bird Conservancy and Collision Laboratories in Hohenau-Ringelsdorf, Austria, testing its reflective technology in flight tunnels before giving it the all-clear. Well, just to be transparent, no bird safety glass can eliminate all risk, but the glass was judged to be best-in-class effective in mitigating bird collision and the use of Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D can assist in achieving LEED pilot credit for bird collision deterrence.
Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D can be used in atriums, link bridges, balustrades, facades, cladding, store fronts, as overhead or sloped glazing and in glass fins. And because the sequins are an interlayer in the glass, it is durable and can be cleaned and maintained with standard practice.
On top of meeting all building regulations for bird safety, FlySafe™ 3D is compatible with several coatings and doesn’t compromise on other key factors like UV protection or acoustic control
Safety without design deductions
Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D is also compatible with selective coatings as well as with Saflex Acoustic, Saflex Structural, and Saflex Storm interlayers, which means that architects and glass laminators can meet regulations and mitigate bird strikes without compromising on safety, security, structural integrity, aesthetics, UV screening, or acoustic control. Architects and the better developers have made great strides in reducing the environmental impact of buildings, during their construction and their life thereafter. But there is still a way to go.
Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D is a way to respect and protect birdlife, resident or just passing through, and another vital resource for producing kinder, more sustainable architecture
The enforced urban slowdown and hush during COVID-19 lockdowns reminded us that we share our cities with ‘wildlife’. The sound of birdsong, suddenly audible with traffic halted, was a comfort during the worst of the pandemic and a reminder of how much our cities are shared space. Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D is a way to respect and protect birdlife, resident or just passing through, and another vital resource for producing kinder, more sustainable architecture.