Upgrade to Bird Prevention to a Building in Oxford

At A Glance

Location: Kidlington, Oxford

Structure: New Building

Problem: Bird Prevention

Solution: Bird Netting



When a building is designed and built, measures to prevent birds from gaining access to the structure are generally designed into the build, however birds soon become used to certain methods and work out new areas to infest – nobody can predict this.

Once a building has been built, the birds will test and check suitable areas to roost and breed, working out how to gain access to prime positions, then slowly inhabit the structure, creating issues like fouling and blocking drainage sections.

Rapid ESL were called into such a building in Kidlington, Oxford to assess the problem on the newly completed buildings for Thames Valley Police Headquarters.

The Problem

The building was designed to reflect the modern nature of the police force and as such has some unique features and finishes, making the building look slick and professional.

A bird wire system was installed during the construction phase and it has worked fairly well on most of the areas deployed – bird wire is still an effective solution to prevent birds roosting on ledges.

Over the last year or so, pigeons in particular have focused their nightly activities not on the ledges, but inside the Brise Soleil louvers fitted around the buildings and the wide ledges where curved glass windows have been installed using Rimex surface coatings. Bird fouling and in some cases nesting activities had created an unacceptable problem in terms of maintenance and cleaning.

Having studied the situation Rapid ESL proposed the use of bird netting to fully encapsulate the areas in question, utilizing ultra thin netting so as not to distract from the look of the building. Extensive cleaning and removal of the old system in certain areas was a key element in resolving this problem.

The Challenge

The challenges faced were:

  • A very busy and active building with limited parking and lots of traffic movement
  • Site Safety – as this is a live working site, all safety measures need to be in place to protect our workforce and the general public
  • Very high level buildings and narrow access meaning the correct choice of MEWPs was essential
  • Working to tight deadlines with unpredictable weather conditions.

Rapid Environmental Services are very familiar in dealing with the list of requirements above, so a project schedule was produced closing off sections of parking to gain access as required and deploying the netting solution in a predetermined manner to minimize disruption to the site. Our experience in working with local authorities allowed us to execute a solution to meet the timeframes imposed.

The Solution

With all the activity on such a busy site, coordinating activities with the facility management teams was crucial. As each section was completed, machines could be moved and set up quickly and with little disruption. We chose a track mounted spider type Hinowa 2010 for the high level areas and a Manitou 100 VRJ Mast Boom for the lower level tasks – both supplied by 2 Cousins Access – giving us maximum flexibility.

When installing netting, the first task is to install a framework of wires to attach the netting to. These are installed in a grid system and the cables tensioned to prevent sagging. Once the framework is fitted, the netting can be installed and pulled to the correct tension, then fixed with hog rings.

Once in position, the netting is checked to make sure no birds are trapped inside.

Communication is a key factor in delivering a successful solution, so regular reporting and updates were provided to the client.

The Result

The site has been bird and problem free since the implementation of our bird netting solution. The client has been very satisfied with the results and has recommended Rapid ESL to other authorities to provide them with similar solutions.

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