Builders & Architect Guide to Bird Proofing – Architects and building designers need to consider how ‘friendly’ their new design or construction is to locally found native and exotic pest birds. A truly bird-proof building would have no ledges or parapets, sheer walls with a flush entrance and windows; and roof height above the clouds where the oxygen content is totally insufficient to sustain a bird’s needs. Therefore it is safe to say that a completely bird proof building a virtual impossibility. However, the design of a new building or a major renovation of an existing building can be such that it does reduce the amenability to pest birds.
One area of concern with new projects is the provision of little or no scope for pest bird resistance or a bird management strategy. In most cases, a bird issue during or post construction of the project is predictable. Pest birds cause untold millions of dollars in damage to buildings and company reputations in Australia each year. They also contribute the following problems:
- Major health risks to all personnel on-site
- Damage to the structure and inventory
- Reduced life of paintwork and protective coatings
- Cost of clean-up and on-going maintenance to building owners
- Slip and fall hazard with fresh droppings on surfaces
- Noise, mess and smell
- Physical damage to soft furnishings, facades, air conditioners and ledges
- Potential work stoppages and staff absenteeism
- Negative company image and damage to company goodwill
- Unsightly pest birds on a new site, creating problems before building hand-over
Deterring birds from a new building before they become established is a far easier proposition than eliminating an established flock on a completed or existing structure. Given that the cost of a domestic or commercial building runs into the hundreds of thousands to many millions of dollars respectively, a simple modification to the design can mean a substantial difference in the eventual maintenance costs and post construction alterations. Completing a bird management strategy may also be more cost effective during construction due to the availability of scaffolding, access equipment or simply that the building is not in use.
Following some of the guidelines below may prove a valuable and cost-saving option:
- Eliminating ledges or designing ledges and parapets that have 450 angles (and no flat surfaces) stopping birds from gaining any comfort on the surface
- Using louvers that have fine mesh behind the main louver and enclosing the sides as well
- Housing air-conditioning within enclosed structures that allows sufficient air exchange, but no suitable nesting opportunity or access;
- High-speed roller doors or strip doors that allow forklift access but stop or limit access to birds
- Enclose or clad all internal and awning roof (main warehouse, loading/receiving docks, walls, etc) areas so no beams are exposed and available to pest birds
- Enclosed gutters (from domestic gutters to commercial box gutters) with PVC or metal mesh
- Enclose or cover all soft architectural finishes (expansion joins, mastic, moisture membranes, etc) in a “cockatoo-proof” material such as steel or aluminium
- If considering timber such as western red cedar (cladding or window frames) in heavily treed areas, consider a more durable timber or alternative material
Builders & Architect Guide to Bird Proofing – Every design, new construction, refurbishment and restoration project is different. No one strategy will ensure that your building remains “bird free”. Treat every project as a customised approach to reducing the attractive and conducive elements to birds nesting, roosting and feeding. PestIT professional bird management specialists will improve your chances of bird management and eliminating the many thousands of dollars in potential maintenance, complaints and liability.
We can assist with cost-effective bird management strategies that incorporate seamlessly into the preferred design. The team at PestIT has years of experience and knowledge in building design and bird management related issues to assist in this task.
Want more? Check out some of our articles in Professional Pest Manager Magazine on the latest innovations.