For the Birds: Considerations for effective specification of bird deterrence


There is currently a Pilot Credit (55) under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program geared toward ways to protect birds from buildings. Architects should also consider the importance of the opposite—pest birds can have negative effects on the built environment from indoor air quality (IAQ) impacts to the wastefulness of resources in remediation to safety of building workers who may be exposed to droppings.

LEED recognizes integrated pest management (IPM) as an operations credit. Incorporating a proactive approach to this topic could earn an Innovation credit in addition to the value of taking appropriate action.       

B. Installation shall be guaranteed for 2 years.

What is being guaranteed—that no birds get in to the space being protected? Design and engineering relative to site conditions are the critical factors to ensure such. A product spec alone cannot assure that.

C. Installation shall be performed by a Certified /Authorized Installer.
1. Proof of installer required.

Here is yet another reminder to lock in the manufacturer’s material sale and their network pricing.

2.2          Product Description
A. Model Designation
¾Heavy-duty 12/6 Bird Net
2.1-1⁄8” Heavy-duty 12/6 Bird Net
3.2” Heavy-duty 12/6 Bird Net
B. Color: Black, Stone, or White

It is important to remember that even if you are going to use the supplied generics as the basis of your finished document, the unwanted choices should be eliminated. The manufacturer is giving options, not answers. This could lead to change orders later when the bidder shows up with 50-mm (2-in.) black mesh material when a 20-mm (¾-in.) white mesh was actually desired. This is a potential change order before work even begins.

2.4          Mounting Systems
A. Solid Steel: generic instruction using a hardware component they sell
B. Steel I Beams: generic instruction using a hardware component they sell
C. Sheet Metal: generic instruction using a hardware component they sell
D. Brick, Concrete, & Stone: generic instruction using a hardware component they sell

The netting plane is installed above a hanging fixture by slicing the netting and re-stitching in place. However, heat generated by the fixture has potential to melt the netting.

There are numerous considerations as to how a system can/should be mounted relative to site conditions—these are not factored into the manufacturers’ goal to sell more of the materials they stock. Examples include:

  1. Powder-actuated fire-in-pins cannot be used in certain locations because of noise, safety reasons, or potential degradation of the steel member.
  2. Some steel I-beams that need anchor attachments are too thick for knock on-girder clips and standard clamps.
  3. Knock-on girder clips scratch any painted surfaces and expose bare steel, which may lead to rusting and possibly voiding the paint system warranty.
  4. Interior steel I-beams may have fireproofing requiring an alternative strategy for anchoring such that the cable is suspended beneath the fireproofing. This also means a need for an instruction later in the specs and notation on drawings to replace fireproofing as well.
  5. Self-tapping screws leave penetrations that need to be sealed.

Tips for superior integration
When considering an electric track system, it is important to plan for power on the exterior. Though these systems can be solar-powered, there are limitations and drawbacks to the solar setup. These include:

  • aesthetic of boxes on an exterior façade;
  • aesthetic or functional inability to run wire from a rooftop down to the work area;
  • availability of constant light throughout the year (i.e. with the sun angle changing throughout the year, is the installation location going to receive sufficient light all 12 months?);
  • figuring out how the units will be mounted to the exterior; and
  • enclosing exterior mounted plug in units in National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) boxes appropriate for the conditions.
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