Member Spotlight: Eliot Benor
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Eliot Benor, Managing Member for Building Envelope Testing LLC in Roselle Park, NJ. In this feature interview, learn what made him become an ABAA member, what led him on his career path, and get his perspective on the future of the air barrier industry.
Eliot founded Building Envelope Testing LLC (BET), a NYC based façade testing lab with a full fenestration and building envelope testing facility in Roselle Park, NJ, USA. BET is also a calibrating lab; which means BET build and calibrate their own equipment and instruments to NIST or other nationally traceable standards. Façade and façade component testing is BET’s only business.
Prior to founding BET, Eliot was a senior consultant at Israel Berger and associates NYC and has 30 years of fenestration and construction experience. Eliot is a voting member of ASTM Committees D01, E05, E6 and E36 and a member of AAMA. Eliot is also a member of the NYC Department of Buildings advisory committee’s for Chapter 17, NYC ECC and FISP
Name: Eliot Benor
Title: Managing Member
Firm: Building Envelope Testing LLC
City: Roselle Park, NJ
What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession as a Building Envelope Consultant?
A: I started my building career in the curtainwall side of the business and was lucky enough to have been mentored by giants like Werner Kloke, Ladislav Horvath and Jim Stichcomb. They taught me that becoming an expert means learning your specialty from the ground up.
Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?
A: Quality control. I know it seems biased coming from a testing guy but materials, systems and designs are evolving so rapidly we don’t have that “tribal knowledge” we used to rely on when building an envelope. Today without a formal program for inspections and testing you are flying blind.
What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career?
A: I am a flea standing on the shoulders of giants. If it wasn’t for the friends and mentors who were gracious enough to pass their knowledge to me I would be nowhere so I think its my responsibility to pay it forward to the generation coming up.
What led you to become an ABAA member?
A: I really like the idea of the QAP and having a formalized approach to quality control.
Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?
A: Not yet but I intend to get some of our people more involved.
How long have you been in the industry?
A: Let’s just say I have a caulk gun and glass cutter that are 30 years old.
What major changes have you seen?
A: We are finally starting to realize how important air leakage is – for years we only considered conductive loss/gain and we are finally really starting to look at convective loss/gain.
What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?
A: Perseverance and the ability be objective.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
A: You are starting in an era where the whole of human knowledge sits in the palm of your hand and on your desk. Take advantage of the access you have to knowledge and experience but make sure its not superficial. Dig deeper and ask why.
How much demand do you think there is for people in your profession?
A: I know we are constantly looking for people so I think the demand is high and growing every year.
What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten year’s time?
A: It will be all about energy.