Energy Center

R&D Main View Hi Res


Construction on the Higher Education Center’s ENERGY CENTER began in October 2012, and the building was completed on January 2015. The Higher Education Center is searching for tenants that are involved in the research, manufacture and/or development of “Clean Fuel Energy” products and systems. The building is 15,822 square feet and has multiple bays and office space for rent. There are common break-rooms and conference rooms to serve the occupants. The two story glass enclosed lobby, complete with light drum, provides a grand entrance to bring clients into a place of business. The building is a first in the region creating its own energy with minimal environmental impact. The project was funded by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification Program and the General Contractor was Burwil Construction, Bristol, Tennessee. The “ENERGY CENTER” was created to strengthen economic development within our region through job creation.

Building Features

  • “Deep-well” Geo Thermal Heating and Cooling System: 3 wells approximately 800 feet deep. Two of the wells extract water from the earth at approximately 52 degrees and circulates it through the buildings heating and cooling coils to heat and cool the building. The return water is “dumped” back into the ground through the third well. Thus the name “Pump and Dump” System. Since the water from the ground remains approximately 52 degrees, very little energy is necessary to heat or cool the water to meet the buildings demands.
    Solar Power Generation: Electricity for the building is generated from 288 solar panels located on the property. On an annual basis approximately 50 KW’s is generated for power. This will supply the electrical needs of the building and the remaining electricity will be sold back to BVU to place on the electrical grid for use.
    Wind Turbine: A single wind turbine will be present on the building and will generate approximately .50 kws of electricity.
  • Cistern Water Collection System: There are two large cisterns on the property that collect the water run-off from the roof. This water passes through a natural in ground filtration system and is used as “gray-water” to flush toilets, and supply water for outside irrigation.
  • In-Ground Swales: There are 2 swales on the property that collect water run-off from the parking lot. The water passes through multiple layers of sand, gravel, and silt screen before reentering the earth.
  • Roof Garden: Provides architectural enhancement, absorbs water and reduces heat effect on the roof. It is an example of green roof technology now available to provide insulation and absorb rainwater.
  • Solar Light Tubes: The building is equipped with Solar Light Tubes which uses natural sunlight for lighting interior space in cost-effective and energy-efficient methods. They significantly reduce the need for electricity while keeping people connected to the outdoor environment. The amount of light can be controlled by a switch on the wall and can be dimmed to total darkness.
  • LED Lighting: All interior and exterior lighting in the building is energy efficient LED.
  • Video-conferencing capabilities and state of the art information technology systems.

The Energy Center is located at 21371 Forsyth Road, Bristol, VA  24202