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New Garden Room at National Aviary Opens with Bird-Safe Glass

National Aviary
Photo courtesy of Elliot Cramer

The new Garden Room at Pittsburgh’s National Aviary is now open, and showcases bird-safe glass supplied by Vitro Architectural Glass and Walker Glass. As a sponsor of the project, Vitro Glass also will financially support the National Aviary’s educational programs for classes and school groups.

Known formally as “The Garden Room at the National Aviary,” the new venue offers sweeping views of Allegheny Commons Park and the historic Rose Garden while providing versatile wedding, corporate and classroom space. Solarban 72 Acuity solar control, low-emissivity and low-iron glass by Vitro Glass were installed in insulating glass units on three sides of the structure. The IGUs are fabricated with Walker Glass’s AviProtek acid-etched bird-safe glassPattern 213on the outer surface.

“The National Aviary works hard every day to provide the best possible care for the birds who live with us, as well as those in the wild, through field conservation programs and education,” says Cheryl Tracy, executive director of the National Aviary. “As we made plans for The Garden Room, it was important to us to practice these principles by selecting materials that would help keep the wild birds in our neighboring park safe.”

National Aviary
Photo by Jim Cunningham

Designed by an architectural team led by Pittsburgh-based Tony Pitassi of Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel, The Garden Room features about 2,700 square feet of glass. Working as a group, Tracy, the architect and the design team consulted with experts from Walker Glass, Vitro Glass and the American Bird Conservancy to consider a range of glass options to reduce bird collisions while enhancing the bright, open aesthetic of the new space.

“The National Aviary's bird experts were integral to designing a façade that meets bird-safe standards,” says Pitassi. “Given the desire for transparency in the building envelope and the need to complement the site’s natural environment, maximizing the use of glass was an imperative.”

AviProtek glass by Walker Glass, a pioneer in bird-safe glass design, helps birds to “see” expanses of glass by meeting an industry standard known as the “two by four” rule, which dictates that visual elements in a bird-safe glass pattern appear at least two inches apart horizontally or four inches apart vertically. The National Aviary’s design team selected a horizontal-stripe pattern for The Garden Room.

The Solarban solar control, low-E coatings specified with AviProtek glass will enable the National Aviary to operate more efficiently by blocking more than 70 percent of the sun’s heat energy while transmitting high levels of daylight to reduce artificial lighting costs. The result will be a venue that is brighter, more comfortable and better for the environment because it consumes less energy.

Source: Vitro Architectural Glass