Over the last year, I took on a lead role in the writing and research for the updated UBC Bird Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings. As a major project in my 2nd year as Research Assistant for UBC Campus and Community Planning, it has been incredibly rewarding to take on bigger projects that enhance biodiversity on campus! In particular, the Bird Friendly Design Guidelines combined my personal interests in biodiversity and sparked academic connections in my GIS coursework where I built a model to predict bird collision risk.
The Bird Friendly Guidelines for Buildings
UBC has developed “Bird Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings” to raise awareness about the dangers buildings pose to birds and inspire the incorporation of bird friendly design strategies in campus development.
The update expands on the previous guidelines to promote affordable, creative, and co-beneficial design strategies to designers. For example, an adhesive film on glass with artistic patterns doubles to both prevent birds from colliding into glass and add to the visual aesthetic of the building. The update demonstrates effective strategies through examples of successful bird-friendly design on campus. As well, we included strategies for retrofits and concerned occupants to fill in important gaps in the past guidelines.
This update is guided by the long-term goals and targets in the Green Building Action Plan, which I worked on in 2018. In particular, the Bird Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings will inform future (and existing) developments to meet the ambitious, necessary targets of:
100% compliance to the UBC Bird Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings for new institutional buildings by 2020 and new residential buildings by 2025.
Between Sept 2018 and April 2019, I contributed to the updated UBC Bird Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings:
- Lead the writing of the UBC Bird Friendly Design Guidelines for Buildings
- Researched effective design strategies based on academic studies from UBC SEEDS projects and peer-reviewed publications as well as best practices from municipalities across North America
- Organized a meeting for the review of the Guidelines including Campus Planning staff and a bird biologist.
- Updated the UBC website with simple bird rescue instructions for concerned campus community members
Implementation of the updated Guidelines is underway and ongoing student research demonstrates how the UBC community is continuously progressing to become a safer place our feathered neighbours!
I've also gotten into birding recently! Here are some of my spottings:
Canada goose ducklings, a northern flicker, and a tree swallow.