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Joe Coulson

Member Spotlight: Joe Coulson

The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Joe Coulson, Project Manager for P. J. Spillane Company, Inc in Everett, MA. 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.

Joe Coulson

Name: Joe Coulson
Title: Project Manager
Firm: P. J. Spillane Company, Inc
City: Everett, MA

What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession as a Project Manager?


A: I worked with my father in field for a couple summers. I liked the work and the people that I worked with. I was always learning new things. I followed up with an engineering degree from Umass Amherst and started working in the performing takeoffs and assistant project manager duties. I really enjoyed the complete role of pricing, procuring a project, working through the project and following through until they were complete.

Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?


A: I think it’s important for all aspects of the construction & management team to understand the importance of the building envelope, from architects, engineers, building engineers & managers, etc.

What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career? 


A: My father certainly initially got me started down this path and opened the door for me. Once I started in the office I dealt more frequently with my current bosses Chris Kelley & Sarah Spillane, who have taught me the industry & business side of the field.

What led you to become an ABAA member?


A: ABAA is frequently involved in our projects, as air barrier installations are a specialty of ours.

Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?


A: No, but our installers are ABAA certified installers

How long have you been in the industry?


A: 11 years.

What major changes have you seen?


A: There are certainly more players in the field these days. Both installers & manufacturers. Also, the addition of thin film AVB products and liquid applied flashings have changed installation processes & how much labor is required to complete the work.

What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?


A: I think the biggest thing is putting in the time to make a plan and to follow through with it.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?


A: Do not be afraid to ask questions!

What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten years’ time?


A: It looks like permeable AVB & rainscreen systems are becoming more popular. I expect that will continue for the years to come.

April 23, 2021