Center for Applied Energy Research

Founded over thirty years ago, the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) exists to provide research into important state industries – in this case, energy and its environmental impact. The center is embarking on a program to address the critical national need for low-cost, reliable and abundant energy, and expanded laboratory facilities were needed to enable the research. Hastings+Chivetta, in association with Murphy+Graves, was chosen to design the new building.

The two-story multi-science facility will provide space for the disciplines of fuel chemistry, catalysis, environmental and geochemistry, electrochemistry, biomass conversion, and carbon materials. Lab spaces are designed with an open layout to promote collaboration.

Laboratories include wet and dry labs, special process development, prototype manufacturing, and testing labs requiring production and manufacturing floor space. Portions of the facility will be specially equipped to accommodate capacitor and battery manufacturing research and development, including facilities for battery pack testing and development as well as cell and module development, such as cyclers, test chambers, thermal chambers, and a device teardown area.

The new research space also incorporates labs and testing areas for prototyping, characterization, evaluation and lifecycle testing of new photovoltaic and solar materials. The core of the first floor will house the analytical instrumentation for bioenergy and biofuels. This project is LEED Gold Certified.