Avian name is a nod to UA history, bird-friendly design
Construction on our newest project is well underway, and we’ve just rolled out the website for The Cardinal at West Center. We chose the name “The Cardinal” in honor of the bird that was the University of Arkansas mascot until 1910. The Cardinal’s avian name is also a reference to bird-friendly design elements throughout the project.
We are new to bird-friendly design, but a building’s impact on birds is clearly a part of its environmental footprint, so we were curious to know more. On the advice of Dan Schieman at Audubon Arkansas, our design team attended an American Bird Conservancy workshop on bird-friendly design. The ABC estimates that a billion birds are killed each year after colliding with buildings. In an effort to be a better neighbor to birds, we have selected lighting that will be less distracting to migrating birds. In the entry area of the building, we will use a specially selected pattern on the glass to make it more visible to avian eyes. Joe Woolbright of Ozark Ecological Restorations has advised us on the landscape plan, selecting native plants that will provide forage and habitat. The operation of the building—the lighting in particular—is just as important as design, so we plan to monitor and adjust our practices over time, hoping to model best practices in bird-friendly buildings.