Creative planning prevents bird problem at convention center.


Courtesy of Nixalite of America Inc.

Project Overview:

The clients for this project were Downing Architects PC, Estes Construction and Tricon Construction Group, who designed and built the Quad City Waterfront Convention Center in downtown Bettendorf, Iowa. Due to the building’s design and location, there was the possibility of birds roosting in the structure creating potential eyesores and health problems for visitors and guests at the convention center. 

The Problem:

When architect Tim Downing and other firm members were designing the Quad City Waterfront Convention Center, he knew that roosting birds could become a major problem. The center was being built along the Mississippi River in an area where birds and their droppings have historically been a problem. With the space frame style of roofing and location, the structure presented several places for birds to nest. There were “a lot of exposed beams that birds could roost on” and the convention center is situated where people would be a constant presence on the outdoor plaza and entrance walkways, Downing said. The convention center needed a bird control system that would be appropriate in keeping the birds away from the beams while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing look. The droppings can also destroy building materials; deteriorating wood, masonry and steel. Over time, droppings can corrode I-beams, discolor paint and short out electrical equipment. The designers also had to keep in mind the health and safety of the visitors. Birds and their droppings can harbor harmful pathogens that can infect humans. Research has shown that birds can carry more than 60 diseases and parasitic organisms such as histoplasmosis and West Nile virus. Installing a system to keep birds from causing harm to humans was essential to the project.

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