ST. PAUL, Minn. -- As the new Bell Museum of Natural History takes shape on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus, workers are building in features that could save wildlife for decades to come. Most recently, it's the installation of bird-safe glass.
"It was natural from the very beginning to think about how we preserve birds," said Bell's Scientific Director and curator of plants, George Weiblen.
Weiblen says planning for the future is far more cost effective before a building is built, rather than trying to address the issue retroactively.
The glass is manufactured in Owatonna, screen printed with lines and dots so that birds will see a surface in front of them, not the sky reflected in the glass.
It will help the museum fulfill another goal - sustainability. "These patterns that work for birds also work in terms of summer heating in the building," explained Weiblen. "They help to minimize how much heat is transferred inside, so it's really working two purposes for us."
Landscaping at the new museum will also be friendly to wildlife, including native plants birds like to feed on, pollinator gardens, and aquatic features that will utilize rainwater from the roof.
The new Bell Museum of Natural History will open in the summer of 2018.
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