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December 2003

University Researchers Handed $1 Million to Promote Environmental Goals

Harrisburg, PA— Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky announced that Philadelphia University has received $1 million in Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority funding to support a consortium that promotes environmentally sound design and construction of buildings and communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia University, in conjunction with Temple University, Villanova University and the Ben Franklin Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, comprise the Philadelphia Consortium for Sustainable Design and Research of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The Consortium promotes and advances green initiatives such as the use of recycled materials, solar energy and plant life to construct new buildings and communities to preserve the environment, save money and create safe and pleasant working and living environments.

“The demand for information and expertise in the green building industry continues to grow at an exponential rate in Pennsylvania,” Yablonsky said. “Architects, designers, materials and technologies are currently imported from other states because there are not enough expertise and materials available locally to meet the demand. This integrated team of inventors, researchers and designers will help regenerate the environment, preserve energy resources and spur the development of a new green economy for Southeastern Pennsylvania.”

The Consortium has been assisting contractors in the design of LEED-rated (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings and is spearheading a variety of applied projects such as recycled spray-on insulation systems for exposed walls of Philadelphia row houses, the development of sustainable carpeting and the incorporation of fly ash — a type of industrial waste — into concrete to make a stronger, cheaper and environmentally friendly product.

Sites employing these technologies and others are often eligible for tax benefits, have reduced resource consumption and experience increased worker productivity.

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