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More and more incubators are using green building practices as they construct new facilities or renovate existing ones. Whether your program is designing a green building from the ground up, or you just want your operations to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, this article will give you ideas and strategies (not all of them expensive) for going green.

Going green: How incubation programs are implementing sustainable building practices

by Corinne Colbert

February 2008

Not so long ago, it seemed that environmental awareness was for college students, aging hippies and the occasional Hollywood celebrity. Now, though, green is chic – hybrid and biodiesel cars are the new status vehicles, and former Vice President Al Gore took home both an Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his warnings about climate change.

Environmental awareness is not a fad, especially when it comes to sustainable building practices, says Bert Gregory, FAIA, president and CEO of Mithun, a Seattle-based architecture firm that specializes in green design. “We are truly in the next industrial revolution,” he says. “I’ve been doing [green design] for a long time, and I’ve seen more change in the last six months than I have seen in the last 16 years.”

When NBIA asked incubator managers what they’re doing to green up their facilities, we found that there is a wide continuum of options available, from cheap-and-simple to significant investments in green technologies. Not surprisingly, incubators in the first category tend to be operating programs that aren’t looking to make major renovations.

Here are some tips gleaned from those who are doing their part to make incubation greener.

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Keywords: practices, in-house loan and equity financing program

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