Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP) is a non-profit that fosters and promotes startup tech companies in Pennsylvania. So as an organization that promotes technology businesses, BFTP knew they had to embrace cutting edge building practices when they decided to construct an addition to their office space.
“We are in the tech business, so therefore it made sense that any structure that we built was going to embrace the latest and greatest technology,” says Chad Paul, BFTP’s president and CEO.
These days, that means an environmentally conscious building design that minimizes energy consumption and meets standards set forth by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a sustainability directive operated by the U.S. Green Building Council.
BFTP did that, and then some.
The end result was TechVentures2, a 47,500 square-foot facility on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus (BFTP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the university) that was dedicated in October, 2011. The $18.8 million structure employs the latest in energy-efficient technologies that make the gleaming structure an estimated 20 percent more efficient than its low-tech counterparts with a carbon footprint that is reduced by 51 percent. It has won numerous awards and has become a regional standard for sustainable design. It features environmentally friendly features like solar panels on its roof and waterless urinals and low-water sinks in its bathrooms, but the key to its efficiency lies in its use of daylight harvesting technologies.
Daylight harvesting has grown in popularity in recent years as companies look to reduce their