saflex® launches bird-friendly glass flysafe™ equipped with 3D sequins

saflex® unveils 3D glass technology to protect wildlife

When it comes to unforgiving materials such as: glass, safety features are often not the most attractive design elements. Saflex®’s unobtrusive FlySafe™ 3D technology breaks this trend – and protects wildlife too.


traditional methods of making glass visible to birds are screen printing, etching or adding UV coating solutions. Good for birds, bad for aesthetics, clean lines and unobstructed views

all images courtesy of Saflex®

Bird hazard – which is a bird hazard rather than a Hitchcockian hazard for you – is a growing concern for architects and developers. You may not have thought much about it, but build a tall glass building and sooner or later an unwitting bird will fly right into it. And then more and more often with fatal consequences.

In fact, billions of birds crash into buildings every year, especially during migration. And given our insatiable appetite for building more and taller glass buildings, that number is only going to rise. To address that death toll, more and more cities — including, unsurprisingly, New York — have passed or passed legislation requiring architects and developers to install bird-friendly glass.

saflex® launches bird-friendly flysafe™ glass with 3D sequins
The PVB interlayers for glass provide a highly effective bird-friendly glazing that is recognized even by ornithologists

An aesthetic way to protect birds

Traditional methods of making glass visible to birds include screen printing, etching or adding UV coating solutions. Good for birds, bad for aesthetics, clean lines and unobstructed views. Now Saflex®, part of US-based chemical giant Eastman, has introduced Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D, an ornithologist-approved exterior glass that is highly effective at preventing in-flight collisions, not obstructing your view in or out, is compatible with other Saflex coatings and interlayers and is super durable.

The technology behind FlySafe™ 3D is relatively simple yet ingenious; 3D sequins embedded or layered in the glass produce subtle twinkles that warn flying birds of the imminent threat

Saflex® has been producing architectural and laminated glass since 1937, so they know their glass onions. The technology behind FlySafe™ 3D is relatively simple yet ingenious; 3D sequins embedded or layered in the glass produce subtle twinkles – and who doesn’t love a subtle twinkle? – which warn flying birds of the imminent threat.

The sequins, with a diameter of 9 mm, are discreet from the inside, do not obstruct the view and are placed in a pleasant geometric grid, separated on all sides by 90 mm of pristine glass. So pleasing is the effect that architects can even choose to use the glass indoors where there is little bird threat.

saflex® launches bird-friendly flysafe™ glass with 3D sequins

saflex® launches bird-friendly flysafe™ glass with 3D sequins
FlySafe™ 3D is arranged in a geometric grid that clears the view and allows for design versatility

To prove the safety of Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D for birds, Eastman worked with the American Bird Conservancy and Collision Laboratories in Hohenau-Ringelsdorf, Austria, and tested its reflective technology in flight tunnels before making the point. Well, to be transparent, no bird safety glass can eliminate all risk, but the glass was rated as best in class to reduce bird strikes and using Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D can help achieve LEED -pilot credit for deterrence of birds.

Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D can be used in atriums, bridge bridges, balustrades, facades, cladding, storefronts, as overhead or angled glazing and in glass fins. And because the sequins are an intermediate layer in the glass, it is durable and can be cleaned and maintained with usual practice.

saflex® launches bird-friendly flysafe™ glass with 3D sequins
In addition to meeting all building regulations for bird safety, FlySafe™ 3D is compatible with a variety of coatings and does not compromise on other important factors such as UV protection or acoustic control

Safety without design deductions

Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D is also compatible with selective coatings and with Saflex Acoustic, Saflex Structural and Saflex Storm interlayers, meaning architects and glass laminators can comply with regulations and mitigate bird strikes without compromising safety, security, structural integrity , aesthetics, UV screening or acoustic control. Architects and the better developers have made great strides in reducing the environmental impact of buildings, during their construction and their lives afterwards. But there is still a way to go.

Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D is a way to respect and protect birds, whether residents or passing birds, and another vital resource for producing kinder, more sustainable architecture

The enforced urban slowdown and silence during COVID-19 lockdowns reminded us that we share our cities with ‘wildlife’. The sound of birdsong, suddenly heard in stationary traffic, was a comfort during the worst of the pandemic and a reminder of how much our cities are shared space. Saflex® FlySafe™ 3D is a way to respect and protect birds, whether residents or passing birds, and another vital resource for producing kinder, more sustainable architecture.