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H.R. 2542 (115th): Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 18, 2017.

Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act of 2017

This bill requires each public building constructed, substantially altered, or acquired by the General Services Administration (GSA) to meet the following standards:

at least 90% of the exposed facade material from ground level to 40 feet shall not be composed of glass or shall be composed of glass employing elements that preclude bird collisions without completely obscuring vision, ultraviolet (UV) patterned glass that contains UV-reflective or contrasting patterns that are visible to birds, patterns on glass designed in accordance with a rule that restricts horizontal spaces to less than 2 inches high and vertical spaces to less than 4 inches wide, opaque, etched, stained, frosted, or translucent glass, or any combination of these methods (modified glass); at least 60% of the exposed facade material above 40 feet shall meet such glass standard; there shall not be any transparent passageways or corners; all glass adjacent to atria or courtyards containing water features, plants, and other materials attractive to birds shall meet the modified glass standard; and outside lighting shall be appropriately shielded and minimized. GSA must: (1) ensure that actual bird mortality is monitored at each public building; and (2) reduce exterior building and site lighting for each public building, where practicable.

The bill exempts historic buildings of national significance, the White House and its grounds, the Supreme Court building and its grounds, and the U.S. Capitol and its related buildings and grounds from the provisions of this bill.