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UK Breaks Ground On First LEED-Certified Research Building

By Kentucky Public Radio

Lexington, KY – Several state and local officials participated in a ground breaking Wednesday for UK's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED certified laboratory. Such a designation is given buildings with energy efficient designs. Research at the 20 million dollar facility will include a variety of renewable energy industries. Center for Applied Energy Research director Rodney Andrews says working in an energy efficient lab won't slow their research..

"What were things that would work for us with the research program but still meet all the requirements we have for health safety and it being able to do the jobs we want to do," said Andrews.

One of those researchers who will work in the new lab is Ralph Brodd. Brut has worked on battery technologies for 60 years. He says work on better lithium batteries for electric vehicles is coming along well..

"Really come along faster than I thought it would. It's really because of the interest in the future of energy, being sure we have the energy that we need in the format that we need," added Brodd.

The structure will be a living lab with interpretive displays and activities for school children, visitors, and the general public. It's expected to be completed by the fall of 2012.