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Legislation Would Require Bird-Safe Designs for New Buildings

Chicago is the home of a political movement to protect birds from the hazards presented by glass-sheathed modern buildings.
February 12, 2019, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Blair Kamin reports on two new pieces of legislation, both originating from Chicago-area elected officials, to require bird-safe construction on new buildings.

Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd, proposed a local ordinance in January called the Bird Friendly Design ordinance, with backing from a coalition of groups calling itself Bird Friendly Chicago.

Quigley’s legislation, the Bird-Safe Buildings Act, would apply to public buildings constructed, significantly renovated or bought by the U.S. General Services Administration, the federal government’s landlord.

Kamin explains some of the details of that proposed local ordinance:

One of its measures would mandate that at least 95 percent of a building’s facade, from the ground to a height of 36 feet, not be sheathed in glass or have bird-safe glass with etching, frosting or mounted elements like screens.

Another item in the proposed ordinance would require that nonessential exterior lighting be automatically shut off between 11 p.m. and sunrise. Interior landscaping should “always” be placed behind bird-friendly exterior glass, the proposal says.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill) has proposed a separate piece of legislation at the federal level called the Bird-Safe Buildings Act that "would apply to public buildings constructed, significantly renovated or bought by the U.S. General Services Administration, the federal government’s landlord."

Full Story:
Published on Monday, February 11, 2019 in Chicago Tribune
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