An expansive new glass dome comprising 19,600-square-feet of laminated Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass by Vitro Glass with bird-friendly acid etching was unveiled at the National Aviary’s Tropical Rainforest exhibit, which recently reopened in Pittsburgh, PA after a four-month-long renovation.
More than 3,100 panes of Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, featuring AviProtek® bird-friendly Velour acid-etched finish by Walker Glass, replaced the building’s original single-strength annealed float glass.
The project also included the installation of a 15-foot waterfall encompassing immersive spaces for the birds, tropical plants, custom perches and new lighting and flooring.
“We have constructed a beautiful habitat that mimics the environment that tropical bird and mammal species would inhabit in the wild,” said Cheryl Tracy, executive director of the National Aviary.
The custom glass specification, which incorporates complete acid-etched coverage on the exterior (#1) surface of an ultra-premium, low-iron glass made by Vitro Glass, reduces the chances of bird-glass collisions, prevents birds of prey living outside from seeing and attempting to reach potential prey living inside, and maximizes UV and natural light transmittance.
Richard A. Beuke, president, Vitro Architectural Glass, said the new glass supports the National Aviary’s mission to inspire respect for nature through an appreciation for birds.
“Starphire Ultra-Clear glass greatly improves the aesthetics, performance and bird-friendly aspects of the Tropical Rainforest,” he explained. “The birds have a healthy home and are protected, and it’s good for the environment.”