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July 5, 2018

Bird-friendly glass to be used in soon to be constructed building in Fredericton


Fredericton’s so-called “sexiest building” will get some additional bells and whistles before it rises downtown.

The glass-facade building planned for 140 Carleton St. will feature bird-friendly glass on the first three floors.

Council will decide Monday whether the building can go ahead. 

The developer decided to add the special glass to the plans after receiving complaints from residents who were concerned about birds crashing into the reflective windows.

“It wasn’t cheap but we think it was the right thing to do,” said Jeff Yerxa, president and CEO of Ross Ventures.

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Plans for the building were revealed in September 2016, when council approved the sale of the parking garage at Brunswick and Carleton streets to Ross Ventures for $1.85 million.

At the time, the developer said the structure planned for the spot would be “the sexiest building” in town, a description some residents picked up on. Others, however, were concerned about the environment, particularly the threat to birds in the downtown.  

Environmentalists estimate a billion birds a year, many of them migrating, die flying into the glass buildings of North America. Industry has responded with changes to the glass, and some cities have responded with guidelines. 

But Yerxa said a building with bird-friendly glass isn’t often seen in Atlantic Canada.

“It’s an expensive measure and it’s not one that’s taken very often,” he said. “No question it has an impact on the profitability of the building.”

Yerxa wouldn’t reveal the cost of the protective windows but suggested it was justified by the community’s concern.

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