The City of Toronto requires all new developments to follow Bird Friendly Development Guidelines. All of the glass in the Robarts Common building will be fritted from grade to roof, going beyond the prescribed regulations.
What does it mean to 'frit' glass?
"Natural features in the wild do not reflect images in the way glass does, rather they project ‘visual markers’ to birds, indicating to them that they are solid objects to be avoided. There are two means of mitigating the danger glass poses to birds. The first and most effective approach is to create visual markers. The second and less effective strategy is to mute reflections in glass.
Glass can have an image or pattern screened, printed, or applied to the glass surface. Ceramic frit and acid-etched patterns are commonly used to achieve other design objectives including a reduction in the transmission of light and heat, privacy screening or branding. By using patterns of various sizes and densities, manufacturers can create any kind of image, translucent or opaque. The image in the glass then projects enough visual markers to be perceived by birds."
Source (Bird-Friendly Best Practices: Glass, pg. 26)