Ben Franklin News

TechVentures2 Building Designed to Earn Energy Star Recognition

Spillman Farmer Architects, an official ENERGY STAR Partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, announced that the Ben Franklin TechVentures2 building has achieved “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” recognition.

Ben Franklin TechVentures2® will be a technology incubator/post-incubator facility owned and managed by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP). Spillman Farmer Architects is the building’s designer and architect of record.

Ben Franklin TechVentures2 will provide laboratory and office space at below-market rates, business development support, and sharing of best practices to early-stage technology-oriented companies. Located on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus, the facility will be an expansion of the original Ben Franklin TechVentures® building, which was formerly the Bethlehem Steel Homer Research Labs. BFTP/NEP, working with Spillman Farmer Architects, reclaimed and renovated this original site of Bethlehem Steel innovation. The new 47,000 square foot addition will include research labs, offices, and conference and meeting space to support the resident companies’ entrepreneurial culture and fuel innovation.

Building Will Be LEED Certified

In addition to being “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR,” Ben Franklin TechVentures2 is currently registered with the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program with the goal of LEED certification upon completion.

“Many people recognize the ENERGY STAR name and logo on home appliances and business equipment. This certification of energy efficiency can also be applied to buildings,” explained Frederick Allerton AIA, LEED AP. “An ENERGY STAR facility meets strict energy performance standards set by EPA and uses less energy and is less expensive to operate.”

To qualify for the ENERGY STAR, a building or manufacturing plant must score in the top 25 percent based on EPA’s National Energy Performance Rating System. The EPA rating system accounts for differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and other important considerations. The Ben Franklin TechVentures2 building is scheduled to open in late 2011.