Ben Franklin News

Spillman Farmer Architects and Ben Franklin TechVentures win US EPA’s 2011 ENERGY STAR Challenge

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Friday June 3, 2011 – Spillman Farmer Architects and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) announce that Ben Franklin TechVentures has received first-place national honors in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2011 ENERGY STAR Challenge Facebook Favorite Contest. The contest recognizes projects that combine energy-saving features and sustainability with architectural appeal. Ben Franklin TechVentures2 was selected from 79 entries exhibited at the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) recent national conference.

Sponsored by the EPA and the AIA, the contest featured the 2011 ENERGY STAR Challenge design projects intended to achieve carbon reductions of 50 percent or better. The design of Ben Franklin TechVentures2 demonstrates the benefits of green building and energy efficiency through a variety of measures, such as a rooftop solar photovoltaic system and energy-efficient lighting fixtures. Also included are daylight-harvesting lighting controls and an automated window shading system by Coopersburg-based Lutron Electronics. Further, the design takes advantage of energy-efficient building materials such as high-performance windows, walls, and high-reflectance roofing.

Ben Franklin TechVentures2, located on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, will be a 47,000 square-foot expansion to the original, award-winning Ben Franklin TechVentures business technology incubator/post-incubator facility. It will include wet labs, office/meeting space, and parking. The addition is registered with the US Green Building Council’s Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program and is seeking LEED Gold certification. Spillman Farmer Architects is the building’s designer and architect of record and an official ENERGY STAR Partner with the US EPA and the US Department of Energy.

The new facility will allow the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania to accommodate start-up companies that create as many as 200 sustainable, highly paid technology jobs and retain 100 more jobs in the first three years. Twenty-three early-stage firms, employing 118 people, are currently located in Ben Franklin TechVentures. Since 1983, the Ben Franklin Business Incubator and TechVentures have graduated 48 successful companies, together grossing more than $408 million in annual revenue and creating more than 4,500 jobs.

With a projected reduction in CO2 emissions of 51%, Ben Franklin TechVentures2 received an ENERGY STAR score of 93 out of a possible 100. The ENERGY STAR Challenge is an ongoing initiative by the EPA that encourages architects to design buildings that reduce the demand for fossil fuel energy and prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Winning architects and their projects will be featured on the ENERGY STAR website, in national trade publications, and at AIA National Conventions.