The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has announced that the expansion of its Ben Franklin TechVentures® (BFTV) business incubator/post incubator facility has won a Lehigh Valley Sustainability Award, private project category, from the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC). Selected from among four finalists, BFTV was honored as an example of sustainable facility design, construction, and management practices.
In May 2013, the TechVentures expansion earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating. LEED is an internationally recognized standard that promotes sustainability in building design, construction, and operation. All DVGBC Sustainability Award project finalists either received or were registered for LEED certification.
Ben Franklin TechVentures is owned and managed by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania and is located on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus in Bethlehem, PA. Ben Franklin’s business technology incubator program, among the first in the nation, has graduated 55 successful companies that together have created more than 5,400 jobs and grossed more than $984 million in annual revenue last year. Ben Franklin and TechVentures have earned 11 awards for technology-based economic development and energy conservation at the facility.
The 47,000-square-foot expansion of the Ben Franklin TechVentures incubator/post-incubator facility was designed as a state-of-the-art “green” building. Ben Franklin’s focus on environmental sustainability in its new facility reflects an understanding of the tremendous importance of saving energy costs, reducing dependence on foreign fuels, and expanding clean energy production to create energy-related jobs in the state.
The Ben Franklin TechVentures expansionhas a photovoltaic solar array on its rooftop and the latest energy-management and light-harvesting technologies, produced by Coopersburg, PA-based Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., integrated throughout the building. Both the original Ben Franklin TechVentures renovation and the TechVenturesexpansion projects engaged Allied Building Corporation for construction management and Spillman Farmer Architects for design services. Spillman Farmer was also the sustainability consultant and LEED facilitator on the expansion project.
About the Delaware Valley Green Building Council
The Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC) works to inspire, educate, and connect people around green building practices that will transform communities into healthier, more prosperous places for people to live, work, and learn. The DVGBC was formed in 2001 as a regional chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. DVGBC is the primary point of contact for practitioners, governments, and companies interested in advancing sustainable communities. It is a leader in fostering cooperation and collaboration among organizations dedicated to environmentally responsible practices in the building industry and beyond. The organization is headquartered in Philadelphia and has volunteer branches in the Lehigh Valley, Bucks and Montgomery Counties, the metropolitan Philadelphia region, and in Delaware.