The Sustainable Energy and Technology Center (SENTEC) opened in 2012 as a way to help make Southern Virginia a leading location for marketable research and development. SENTEC comprises of 25,000 square feet of research laboratories, spaces and offices.
The building itself has several sustainability initiatives implemented, including a vegetated roof, a rainwater cistern, recycled flooring, advanced HVAC systems and other energy-saving features.
SENTEC was certified LEED Gold in October 2012 by the Green Building Certification Council. The building was designed by the Danville architecture firm Dewberry, and New Atlantic Contracting, Inc. was the general contractor. SENTEC was funded by more than $8.5 million in awards and grants, primarily from the Virginia Tobacco Commission but also from the Higher Education Trust Fund and Danville Utilities, which is using SENTEC to study LED lighting in the workplace.
IALR has partnered with Virdia, Inc., SENTEC's anchor tenant. Virdia is an emerging firm that converts various types of biomass into industrial sugars which are used in a wide array of industrial and agricultural applications. Their pilot plant occupies SENTEC’s high-bay space and their labs and offices fill out the facility’s first floor.
SENTEC’s second floor has three available labs up-fitted with case goods and hoods along with offices and storage rooms.