PK in Bleachers

Allianz Field is for the Birds

An often-overlooked element of the design of any building is bird safety. As we’ve already discussed, Allianz Field was designed with an eye toward minimizing environmental impact, from careful consideration of the greenspace around it to the consumption of energy and water within it. Although Allianz Field’s private funding means it’s not subject to the state’s code about bird safety, the team was committed to abiding by it. Every year, hundreds of thousands of migratory birds pass through the Twin Cities, representing more than 300 species. And a lot goes into making sure any building this large is as safe as possible for our feathered friends.

That meant consulting with experts from the Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy and architects, and they determined after studying the PTFE material that wraps around the building that it would “very bird safe” based on its lack of reflectivity and transparency. This was good news, since 70% of the building is covered in the material.

These findings were presented to St. Paul officials in 2017, who requested that the building’s designer, Populous, also perform a Bird-Safe Building calculation contained in the state’s Sustainable Building Guidelines. The result of that evaluation was a score of 11.97 — well under the maximum number for bird safety of 45. The only modification that had to be made following that judgment was the addition of patterning (or “fritting” to use the industry term for small patterns used to reduce glass reflectivity) to the glass doors at the gates.

From the beginning, Managing Partner Dr. Bill McGuire knew that environmental considerations would be top of mind for the design of Allianz Field. Plus, for a team with a bird on its badge, bird safety just makes sense. “Nature and natural resources are a big part of Minnesotan’s heritage, so it’s important to remember those elements,” McGuire told Audubon Magazine in October. “They’re important to the people here.”

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