NBA basketball team the Milwaukee Bucks has applied for LEED Silver certification for Fiserv Forum, a move it claims will make the arena the world’s first bird-friendly sports and entertainment venue.
The Bucks said the move marks a “significant victory” for bird conservation, with up to a million birds dying every year in the US after colliding with glass.
The 17,500-seat Fiserv Forum is the Bucks’ state-of-the-art new arena and opened in time for the 2018-19 NBA season. The arena has been designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED) Bird Collision Deterrence credit (SSpc55), which was created in partnership with the American Bird Conservancy (ABC).
Credit SSpc55 has already been approved on the pending LEED application for Fiserv Forum. Buildings that achieve this credit make efforts to reduce the risk of bird collisions, with the primary reasons for accidents being reflective and see-through glass and lighting that disorients birds during their nocturnal spring and fall migrations.
Bryan Lenz, Bird City Wisconsin’s former director who recently joined the ABC staff as its collisions campaign manager, said: “The Milwaukee Bucks’ bold decision to build the world’s first bird-friendly arena speaks volumes about the ownership’s character, concern for the environment, and desire to be a part of a green community.
“The Bucks stepped up for birds in a way that no sports franchise ever has. Hopefully the team’s message, that designing with birds in mind is an achievable goal, will set Fiserv Forum up as a model for arenas, stadiums and all other buildings for years to come.”
The Bucks will work with the Wisconsin Humane Society to monitor the arena for collisions, with a plan having been designed in partnership with Bird City Wisconsin and the ABC.
Bucks president Peter Feigin said: “Bird City Wisconsin came to us three years ago to educate us on migration and best practices. We were able to integrate many of their suggestions in the design phase of the project.”
Heather Stewart, senior associate at Populous, which designed Fiserv Forum, added: “When glass or other glass-like materials are employed in venue design, it’s vital to balance insulation and reflectivity to create an ideal environment both inside and out, for people and for local wildlife. We are proud to hear that other sports venues are looking toward Fiserv Forum as the new standard for bird-friendly design around the globe.”
U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened in 2016 and serves as the home of NFL team the Minnesota Vikings, was last year dubbed a “death trap” for birds by conservationists due to its large, clear panes of glass, which are indistinguishable from the sky. The team and the state of Minnesota are currently conducting a study into the dangers the stadium poses to birds, with results due to be released next year.
Images: Milwaukee Bucks