On Monday, July 6, the Howard County Council approved Council Bill 11-2020, which adds LEED’s bird-safe building credits to Howard County’s Green Building Law. The bill was sponsored by Council Chair Deb Jung, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Liz Walsh and Christiana Rigby, and passed by a four-to-one vote with Councilmember Opel Jones joining the bill’s sponsors.

“I appreciate the support of the Council for this bill, which will make buildings safer for birds and reduce bird deaths by 90 percent.” said Council Chair Jung. “Bird-safe buildings are becoming more common and for a good reason. Simple changes to glass and façade design can save the lives of millions of birds.”

In order to qualify for LEED’s bird-safe building credit (Pilot Credit #55), which was drafted in part by the American Bird Conservancy, the building must not exceed the allowable bird threat levels, calculated by percentages of certain types of façade materials within certain height levels, as well as outdoor lighting and fly-through considerations.

“Bird-friendly building design also tends to be more energy efficient.” said Councilmember Liz Walsh. “Thanks to the dedicated advocates who’ve helped Chair Jung craft this environmental win-win.”

“This legislation emphasizes the important, yet often unnoticed role that birds play in our ecosystem and communities,” said Councilmember Rigby. “CB11-2020 will ensure that future building in Howard County is conscious of our friends in the sky, and I am happy to join my colleagues in supporting this legislation.”

To read CB11-2020, visit https://cc.howardcountymd.gov and navigate to Legislation Search.

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Scott E