But energy consumption in the state of Georgia represents 10% of the nation’s energy consumption, and buildings in Georgia account for 45% of total energy consumption—7% higher than the national average, according to 2016 estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Lawrence has conducted a number of studies on campus facilities in areas including energy efficiency and informatics, water efficiency, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. The studies were an outgrowth of the work he did in support of UGA’s energy efficiency program through the Engineering Outreach group, in essence serving as an internal consultant for the university from 2006-2011.
“I tell people the UGA campus is my laboratory,” he said.
Much of the work for this study was performed by Tara Sharpton, who earned a master’s degree in environmental engineering in May 2019, and was also supported by undergraduate student Morgan Sutter through the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. Data was collected at Amos Hall, Benson Hall and Moore-Rooker Hall during portions of the cooling season of 2018. These buildings, part of the second phase of construction for the Business Learning Community, are six stories tall, fully air-conditioned and have been operating since 2017.