Thomas M. Lawrence, Ph.D.
(Accepting In-Person & Virtual Presentation Requests)
Professor of Practice
College of Engineering
The University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
United States
(706) 207-1011
Region: IV
Honorarium: None

Dr. Lawrence is the Mechanical Engineering program lead with the University of Georgia, and has nearly 40 years of professional experience. He spent the first 18 years in industry and after going back for his PhD at Purdue he has been at UGA since January 2004. He is the past chair of ASHRAE Technical Committee 2.8 and is a member of the committee that wrote and maintains ASHRAE Standard 189.1 for High Performance Green Buildings. As an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, he gives seminars related to high-performance buildings at venues around the world. Dr. Lawrence was named an ASHRAE Fellow in 2017 and was a Director-at-Large on the Board of Directors for ASHRAE from 2016-2019.

Dr. Lawrence has a B.S. with Highest Distinction in Environmental Science from Purdue University (1978), a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University (1982) and a second M.S. degree in Engineering Management from Washington University in 1989. He received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in the spring of 2004.

CO2 Monitoring for Outdoor Airflow and Demand-Controlled Ventilation

A number of programs and standards that exist for buildings today specify the use of outdoor air monitoring.  Monitoring is to be done either based on CO2 levels in the occupied space or actual measurement of outdoor airflow, depending on the space design occupancy and ventilation type (mechanical or natural).  Current standards or program descriptions do not provide detailed guidance for determining what level of CO2 should be considered the maximum concentration to expect, and those that do provide guidance are generally based on a single value above the ambient concentration.  This session describes how to determine a level for CO2 concentrations for an outdoor airflow monitoring program or as part of the upper control limit for a demand-controlled ventilation system.

The Integration of a Smart Grid and Smart Buildings

The smart grid is developing and moving forward buildings and the built environment will be interacting more closer with the electric utilities. The communication will be in both directions, with the utility working to balance the grid supply and demand through methods such as signaling requests for demand response measures, real-time price adjustments, etc. This is an evolving field and, while there are some differences in the need for and how a smart grid might function in the various regions of the world, there are some common factors as well. This seminar provides an overview of the smart grid particularly as it relates to buildings and their systems, and includes material and topics outlined in ASHRAE’s Smart Grid Application Guide.

International Energy Efficiency Standards and Guidelines

This session provides an overview of the development of energy efficiency standards and guidelines in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other regions of the world.  Also covered is a comparison and discussion of how these will help lead to the design and operation of High Performance Buildings.

The 'Green Awakening'

Awareness is rising within society as a whole about the issue of determining a building's carbon footprint.  New regulations are in works that will require compilation of greenhouse gas emissions, and programs likely will come about that involve carbon emissions trading or perhaps a 'carbon tax'.  In a period with increased awareness of the potential for global climate change, the building industry may soon be required to account for carbon emissions in existing or future projects.  This session provides an overview of the rapidly evolving regulatory and economic market changes, and discusses methods and procedures for completing a building CO2 footprint.

High Performance Building Design – What the Future holds for the Direction for our Industry

During the past two decades we have seen the growth and maturation of the green or high-performance building design concept.  The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program was one of the main pioneers in this and ASHRAE’s Standard 189.1 helped evolve this concept into mandatory building codes.  This session provides an overview of how building systems have evolved to meet the demands for green building design and where we are headed in the future in this arena.  Also covered are topics such as the evolution of building codes to include green or sustainability features, how a building designer can include these concepts in their designs, the impact of new technologies such as a smart grid and BIM on the design, and discussion on how this will impact the industry.

ASHRAE Standard 189.1 and the International Green Construction Code
ASHRAE, in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council and the Illumination Engineers Society, developed Standard 189.1 for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings with the initial release occurring in 2010. The Standard provides the minimum requirements for a high-performance green building, and was developed with the intent to provide a balance of environmental factors involved with designing, building, and planning for the operation of buildings. Since the initial release, the Standard has continually evolved as a result of changes in the industry and in relation to other Standards such as 90.1 This session provides a detailed summary of the key requirements in this Standard and how it relates to the International Green Construction Code with the 2021 code cycles revisions.
Thermal Comfort as Related to Energy Consumption: What is the Balance?

Maintaining thermal comfort within an occupied building requires energy, thus optimized solution methods for balancing energy use with indoor environmental quality (adequate thermal comfort, lighting, etc.) are needed. Current building temperature control systems do not adequately take in account the adaptive capability of the occupants, but this concept can be used advantageously during implementation of demand response.

Demand response programs commonly include temporary adjustments to space temperature set points and thus can affect the occupants’ thermal comfort perceptions. How to balance out the overall energy consumption and peak demand for cooling or heating within buildings with the need for maintaining adequate thermal comfort in the built environment is an issue important to system designers, building operators and society as a whole.

This session provides an overview of the historical development of thermal comfort perception, the two primary approaches used to predict and evaluate thermal comfort, and how these are incorporated in ASHRAE Standard 55. Also covered is a discussion of how thermal comfort considerations can be factored into demand response measures, addressing the conflicting balance between energy consumption and thermal comfort, and a vision on how to possibly achieve an overall optimized balance.

Resilience in Building Design to Support a Resilient Society
A number of major events (natural and human caused) have led to an increased awareness of the need for our built environment to be designed and constructed for better resiliency. Take for example the hurricane induced shutdown of the electrical grid in Puerto Rico or the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy in the northeastern U.S in 2012. Buildings must also be able to adapt to human caused issues such as terrorist attacks, etc. These events point out the vulnerability of buildings and the built environment. This talk will cover the potential areas for focus in upgrading our systems for resiliency as well as some of the recent trends and technology changes needed for increasing our ability to maintain resiliency in the built environment. The topics covered will range from individual building systems up through the building, regional and societal levels.
Decarbonization in the Built Environment. What is it, and the Pros and Cons?

The concept of decarbonizing our society is becoming a hot topic in global society. Within the built environment, the intent is to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. This can be achieved in many ways, the first of which is reducing the overall energy consumption. The next, and more complicated, method is the determination of what the energy use and sources are for the building.

This topic is an overview of the overall ‘decarbonization’ process within society and for the built environment. It covers the background of why this is important, the external issues both political and technical (such as the carbon footprint of the electrical grid) and how building owners and designers can plan for a reduced carbon footprint in the coming years, along with the potential downsides to look out for.