UPDATE: We were mentioned on our sponsor ARNOLD GLAS’s Ornilux homepage!
Arnold Glas, one of Team New York’s sponsors, is providing a bird-safe glazing for the Solar Roof Pod. When the representative from Arnold Glas came to the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, and presented Ornilux, Vacurex, and Dekorex windows to us, we knew the glass product was a perfect candidate for our project. Millions of birds die each year from collisions into buildings. The product’s integration with the Solar Roof Pod minimizes such accidents.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2011
ARNOLD GLAS / ORNILUX Bird Protection Glass sponsors City College of New York
2011 Solar Decathlon Team
CCNY’s Solar Roof Pod goes beyond the energy equation by introducing the topic of bird safety
to sustainable design.
The Arnold Glas sponsorship of the CCNY Solar Decathlon team with ORNILUX Bird
Protection Glass was initiated when Spitzer School of Architecture Professor, Hillary Brown
asked the question of her students, how bird-friendly will this urban roof-top structure be with its
proportionately large amount of glazing? And was that even an important enough topic to be
included in a conversation about sustainable design? As co-author of New York City Audubon’s
Bird-Friendly Building Guidelines and a Bird-Safe Glass Foundation Board Member, Hillary has
been a long-time advocate of promoting awareness about bird window collisions. To introduce
this topic to the Team was a natural extension of those efforts, and one supported by her
colleague Christian Volkmann who serves as Program Director for the project and is currently
coordinating construction with students and contractors to assure completion for the start of the
competition in mid-September.
“Professor Brown’s introduction of ORNILUX glass into the project made complete sense,” says
Solar Roof Pod Decathlete, Mary Doumas. “Our team is designing a sustainable, urban solution
making use of New York’s underutilized rooftop spaces. Every aspect has to be sustainable.
This project is about innovative technology and decreasing our footprint by not harming the
environment….” an easy argument for the inclusion of bird-friendly design considerations.
Experts estimate that up to one billion birds are killed in North America each year due to
collisions with glass on human-built structures. Bird window strikes are rapidly becoming a
major factor in the decline of bird populations. The reflective and transparent characteristics of
glass make windows and facades dangerous for birds as they see the reflection of trees or the sky
in a window or behind the glazing, but the glass itself is not recognized as a barrier.
Add to that, green building practices that focus on energy efficiency through the use of natural
light mean an increasing use of glass in design and therefore more dangerous conditions for
birds. When questioned about how architects can balance these somewhat competing objectives
that glass must meet, Doumas states, “Architects and designers must realize that both are
important and incorporate a design strategy around this.” For the team of approximately 100
students from multiple disciplines (architecture, design, marketing, engineering, arts and the
sustainability program), bird-safe glass was a new topic of discussion, and initiated some
Doumas has been involved in the project from its start. “I started on the façade / envelope team
but have worked on a little bit of everything including deck and landscape design and glass
selection. At the beginning, awareness of the (birds and glass) issue was low.” But ORNILUX
as part of the Roof Pod design, she feels now “makes the project stronger.”
As the main focus of the Solar Decathlon is energy, Arnold’s sponsorship of the CCNY team
includes other innovative, energy saving and energy producing glass types in addition to
ORNILUX. The Roof Pod will integrate Arnold’s solar energy producing photovoltaic glass,
VOLTARLUX. Thermal insulation is attained with VACUREX spandrel panels that utilize an
innovative vacuum technology combining aesthetic qualities and a high thermal efficiency.
DEKOREX double-glazed units with inner blinds, shade the interior of the Roof Pod, and make
use of natural light by re-directing and diffusing daylight to the interior. According to Doumas,
“It is a great combination of products that delivers a high level of sustainability.”
And just what does CCNY’s team hope to accomplish in Washington, D.C. this September?
“Well of course, the idea is to win,” laughs Doumas, “but as Decathletes, we are pioneers of
sustainability for our generation and our goals are to communicate ideas of how to educate the
public about designing urban solutions, and to introduce new ideas to sustainable design.”
For Arnold Glas, this Solar Decathlon sponsorship is a unique opportunity. Arnold’s Export
Sales Manager, Alexander von Mezynski comments, “That the NY Team has committed to
include a demonstration of bird-friendly glazing in their design is of important significance to the
green building community, and one that bodes well for the future of sustainable design practices
in general. We are proud to be involved in this event and with this group of up-and-coming
architects and designers.”
About the Solar Decathlon
The Solar Decathlon is sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy, and is a biannual competition
that challenges 20 universities from around the world to design and build solar powered homes.
In September 2011, each school will transport their structure to the Washington, D.C. Mall
where they will be judged for performance in 10 categories: architecture, market appeal,
engineering, communications, affordability, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home
entertainment and energy balance.
About Arnold Glas
Headquartered in Remshalden, Arnold Glas is one of Germany’s largest and most innovative
mid-size glass producers. With its 11 independent production locations, own coating facilities
and float works, Arnold Glas is a full-line supplier for architectural and decorative glass.