PPG Inspirescapes
Jun 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Good for Birds. Great for the Community.


A Bird’s-Eye View of a Unique Glass Installation

For more than 65 years, the National Aviary in Pittsburgh has been dedicated to inspiring respect for nature through an appreciation of birds. This ethos is seen in its education programming, preservation of natural habitats to save endangered species and groundbreaking avian research.

Now, with the help of its neighbor Vitro Architectural Glass, the venue will soon become a living demonstration of the vital role that glass can play in keeping birds safe from buildings and predators in dense urban environments.

As a contributing sponsor to the restoration of the historic Tropical Rainforest exhibit at the National Aviary, Vitro Glass is supplying 19,600 square-feet of Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, featuring AviProtek® bird-friendly Velour acid-etched finish by Walker Glass.

The purpose of the glass, which was specified by bird-safety experts from the National Aviary and Vitro Glass, is three-fold:

  • First, to deter birds outside the glass-domed Tropical Rainforest habitat from flying into the glass
  • Second, to prevent predatory birds from seeing and attempting to reach potential prey inside it; and
  • Third to maximize ultraviolet (UV) and natural light transmittance to sustain bird and plant life inside the exhibit.

Richard A. Beuke, president, Vitro Glass, said sponsorship of the $1.2 million project reflects Vitro Glass’s commitment to the core values of community involvement and environmental protection.

“Vitro Glass is honored to partner with the National Aviary on this historic exhibit, which has attracted people from around the world since 1952,” he said. “The renovation is an ideal showcase for the unique characteristics of Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, which will greatly enhance the aesthetics, performance and bird-friendly aspects of the Rainforest’s new glass dome.”

Vitro Glass will supply more than 3,100 panes of laminated glass to the project. The glass is being fabricated by Dlubak Specialty Glass Corp., Blairsville, Pennsylvania, and installed by Greenhouse RSI, Greater Cincinnati, which is nationally recognized for its greenhouse restoration work. Montgomery Smith, Inc., Burlington, Kentucky, experts in greenhouse and conservatory preservation, design and engineering, is the historic conservatory consultant. 

The renovation is expected to be completed in July.

Project Credits

• Vitro Glass Product: Starphire Ultra-Clear® Glass

• Walker Glass Product: AviProtek® bird-friendly Velour acid-etched finish

• Glass Fabricator: Dlubak Specialty Glass Corp., Blairsville, Pennsylvania

• Installer: Greenhouse Renovation Services, Inc., Newport, Kentucky

• Design and Engineer Consultant: Montgomery Smith, Inc., Burlington, Kentucky

Glass Specification

19,600 square-feet of Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, featuring AviProtek® bird-friendly Velour acid-etched finish by Walker Glass

Sponsors and Partners

National Aviary Tropical Rainforest project partners include:

  • Vitro Architectural Glass
  • Walker Glass Company Ltd.
  • Dlubak Specialty Glass Corporation
  • Greenhouse Renovation Services, Inc.
  • Weber Group
  • Montgomery Smith Inc.

The Tropical Rainforest renovation is funded by the Colcom Foundation and the Allegheny Regional Asset District, and is sponsored by Peoples, Trib Total Media, and Vitro Architectural Glass.

Click here to learn about how the sponsorship will benefit Pittsburgh area students!

Learn more & request samples of our bird-friendly glass offerings.