Bat Tower in Griffis Sculpture Park To Raise Awareness for Bats

by , 09/15/10

bat tower, joyce hwang, university at buffalo, griffis sculpture park, pest architecture, green design, sustainable architecture

Bats act as natural pollinators and anti-pest mechanisms and feed on mosquitoes and other insects, so giving them a safe place to rest buoys their population. Hwang designed and built the tower in order to raise awareness about a deathly disease affecting bat populations called ‘white nose syndrome‘. This syndrome has been documented in bats on the East coast all the way to the central plains and is a deadly affliction that has killed more than 1 million bats in recent years, striking the mammals as they hibernate. The syndrome is thought to be a result of pesticides, which is also considered one of the causes for Colony Collapse Disorder affecting bee populations.

Hwang, with the help of her architecture students at the University at Buffalo, built the 12 foot tower out of plywood. Five triangular segments are stacked together and held in place with bolts and cables and each segment consist of finished plywood panels arranged in a ribbed, accordion-like pattern, which allows the bats to crawl up inside. The exterior is covered with dark stained plywood in order to heat up the interior cavity for the bats. Four hundred pieces of plywood were used to create tight narrow spaces which are ideal for bats.

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