Bird management: Why pre-planning beats retrofitting every time - Building NZ
Bird management: Why pre-planning beats retrofitting every time

Bird management: Why pre-planning beats retrofitting every time

In ArchiPro’s last sit-down with No More Birds, Adrian Price explained how it's much less hassle for both clients and installers to consider bird management solutions at the planning and construction phase of a building. ArchiPro sat down with Adrian once again to delve deeper into the concept of preventing a bird problem before it happens.

Words by Nick Forrester

While pest management companies are naturally in the business of removing pest populations when and where they crop up, often the best outcomes are achieved when preemptive solutions are implemented into the planning phase of a building, and installed as part of the build.

When it comes to pest birds the amount of havoc they can wreak on an industrial or commercial site with no bird management tools in place can be immense. In extreme cases, birds set up shop in rafters, roosting in the ceilings and unleashing inordinate amounts of droppings on equipment, products, stock and machinery; or they ravage food and feed storages, making themselves at home in supermarkets, depots or warehouses causing damage, loss and potential fines.

In ArchiPro’s last sit-down with bird management business No More Birds, managing director Adrian Price discussed the company’s myriad methods of controlling established populations of birds.

One of his primary arguments was that it’s less hassle for both clients and installers to consider bird management solutions at the planning and construction phase of a building.

ArchiPro sat down with Adrian once again to delve deeper into the concept of preventing a bird problem before it happens.

ArchiPro: What are the main benefits of integrating preemptive bird management solutions in the planning phase of new builds?

Adrian Price: It goes both ways: it makes it easier for both us as a business and for our clients.

When bird proofing is installed into a new build, it means we can work on a site that’s not trading – there’s no trucks coming and going, pallets aren’t being loaded onto trucks, and the like. This makes it a quicker and easier process to install, which translates to a more cost-efficient invoice for the client.

For clients, it’s much cheaper in the long run. When implemented into a new build, it’s an anticipated cost and it’s easy to budget it in with everything else. But if it’s retrofitted, it becomes an unexpected expense, and they need to find money in their trading income budgets. The problem also gets bigger and more costly the longer it takes to find the necessary budget to deal with the problem.

From a purely functional perspective, the benefits are pretty self-evident: bird management solutions being installed from the get-go means the building will be protected from birds in the long-term, because the birds don’t have anywhere to build a home.

It’s just about budgeting for it in the build cost, as opposed to receiving a surprise cost in the future when the damage is done.

AP: Why is it so important that building owners don’t overlook this?

Adrian: Depending on what kind of business or tenant moves into the building, the consequences can be the infestation of birds in freight canopies, for example – which then encourages them to enter the building. This can then cause issues with MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) requirements, which can be a serious disruption.

It can cost up to a third more to tackle the problem after birds have penetrated the building and a business is trading, compared to the alternative. And that’s the biggest motivator for people to implement bird management solutions into building plans, in my opinion.

AP: What are the direct consequences of foregoing these kinds of solutions? What kind of havoc can birds bring to businesses?

Adrian: The obvious ones are nesting and roosting up in the canopy, where they then poo down onto the product as it's being dispatched, for example, or on areas where people walk through, or even people themselves.

As bird poo itself is also quite acidic, if left unchecked it can actually do a lot of damage to the building and it has various H&S implications.

But the biggest consequence is the opening of the door to MPI issues. Obviously, B2B companies are very different around the MPI requirements – but where there is a strong MPI requirement, you’re not allowed pests of any type, including birds.

So implementing these solutions upfront at construction is a way of future-proofing against these consequences, which can be potentially devastating down the line. It’s all about being proactive.

Ideally, bird management solutions should be part of the process of building commercial buildings and part of that culture, like it is in Australia. And to prevent unnecessary damage and costs, New Zealand needs to catch up.

Learn more about No More Birds and its bird management solutions.

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