News Release

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Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


Georgia Piedmont Tech Hosts National Building Automation Workshop

Clarkston, GA - February 26, 2013

The Division of Industrial and Occupational Technologies of Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) hosted its "Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow" workshop February 21-23, 2013, at the school's DeKalb Campus Conference Center in Clarkston.

The three-day workshop served as a platform during which building-automation educators and professionals from around the United States gathered to tackle breakthrough discussion topics and latest technological solutions in the building automation system (BAS) field. A BAS is a network of small, dedicated microcomputers designed to control various parts of a building, such as lighting, heating, air conditioning, elevators, blinds, boilers, chillers, fans, and other parts of the building infrastructure. Session topics included: 'GPTC Building Automation Systems Program Structure,' 'Building Automation Systems & Employment,' Building Automation Capabilities,' and 'Staffing Strategies.'

The workshop was a product of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported partnership between GPTC, Laney College in Oakland, Calif.; Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, Wis.; Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory in Berkely, Calif.; and the University of California, Berkeley. The partnership formed as a result of the NSF's funding, announced this past September, of the Building Efficiency for a Tomorrow (BEST) Center (based at Laney College) with a prestigious four-year, $3.5 million Advanced Technology Education (ATE) grant.

"The BEST Center is the first National Science Foundation center to be dedicated to building systems technology and operations," says Brian Lovell, a former adjunct instructor with GPTC's Division of Industrial and Occupational Technologies, as well as one of four co-principal investigators with the Center.

The aim of the Center is to promote building technician education, which improves energy-efficient and sustainable operation in the United States. The Center will develop curricula for two-year colleges throughout the U.S. to educate building-control technicians, incorporating energy-efficient technologies and practices. In addition to hosting instructor workshops around the country, the Center will develop and distribute educational resources and support collaborations to meet the urgent need for skilled workers in sustainable operations.

"The National Science Foundation award will allow Laney College to become a national hub for advocacy in this crucial area of climate-change abatement through efficiency," said workshop presenter Peter Crabtree, principal investigator for the Center and also dean of Career and Technical Education at Laney College, upon last-fall's announcement of NSF's funding. "Brian is an amazing industry insider and has done amazing things here at Georgia Piedmont Tech," said Crabtree.

Georgia Piedmont Tech is among the first community colleges in the country to establish an associate of applied science in building automation systems degree program. Adjunct instructor Lovell is chiefly responsible for the coordination of the building-automation function of the Center.

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.