Sustainability

Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building: Bird-Friendly Glass

Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building: Bird-Friendly Glass

The future College of Liberal Arts Susan Welch Building will feature bird-friendly glass specially designed to prevent window strikes. In August of 2022, construction of the 143,000-square-foot facility began and is set to be completed by fall of 2024. This building marks the first new liberal arts building at Penn State in over 50 years, serving as a dynamic center for social science education, research, and outreach.

In a collaborative effort involving Penn State Sustainability, the Office of Physical Plant, and the College of the Liberal Arts, the building seeks to address the issue of window strikes, a phenomenon causing significant bird fatalities. Specialized glass will feature permanent markings, enhancing bird visibility and preventing collisions. Greg Kufner’s design involves a strategic framing system concentrating on the building’s glass corners to create a more solid appearance for birds. Associate Professor Joe Gyekis and his student group will monitor and assess the effectiveness of these measures.

Beyond bird-friendly features, the Welch Building aims for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Collaborations with the Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance involve the installation of native plantings honoring regional tribes’ traditions. Penn State Sustainability seeks further support through its GivingTuesday campaign to enhance bird-friendly initiatives and sustainability leadership on campus.

This article references an article by Penn State, found here