Member Spotlight: Mike Bingley
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Mike Bingley, Senior Consultant for Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Inc. in Boston, 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.
Mike Bingley AIA, ABAA, NCARB
Mike Bingley is a Senior Consultant in the Boston office of Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Inc. (CDC). A Texas based firm specializing in building envelope services that operates nationally and internationally. Mike attended the Boston Architectural Center earning a Bachelor’s of Architecture degree and is a registered Architect in Connecticut, Florida and in Massachusetts where he partnered to form his own Architectural firm from 2006 until 2011.
Mike has over 30 years of experience in the field of Architecture including the design and construction of multifamily housing, commercial, light industrial, and institutional buildings. His building envelope experience extends from the detailing of numerous air and water barrier systems and includes existing building envelope investigation, evaluation of failed building enclosures, historical analysis, restoration design and repair, field testing, and construction management.
Mr. Bingley served 3 years as Vice Chair on the Planning Board in his community and donates his time to Habitat for Humanity volunteering to help with critical home repairs and review plans for permit for the North Central Massachusetts office.
His professional affiliations include BSA, AIA, and NCARB.
Name: Michael Bingley
Title: Senior Consultant
Firm: Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Inc.
City: Boston, MA
What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession as an Architect?
A: I started out as a History and Anthropology enthusiast in college. My interest in the rise of civilizations combined with my love of art and creating things led me to a profession as an Architect. I did my thesis on urban infill housing. After a decade in the field working with housing authorities and community development programs my path turned more towards “green” architecture. Specifically, building systems like roofs, walls and windows that could be more energy efficient and systems with innovative materials that are considered to be more ecologically friendly. This led me to specialize in building envelope as the next step in my career.
Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?
A: Yes, a better understanding of how our climate affects the building envelope and the cladding systems we design. Take for example the science of vapor drive and how to manage vapor in the design of the exterior wall control layers. Water is the bane of architecture. Most importantly, I would like to see the design and construction world evolve towards a more symbiotic relationship with the elements and the built environment we live in.
What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career?
A: I’ve had the good fortune to work with creative people in architectural design, construction management, scientists, environmentalists, housing and health professionals and have had many mentors who have informed my career path to specialize in the design of the building envelope.
What led you to become an ABAA member?
A: I was working for a firm where the principle was an ABAA member and it was suggested that I join to further my knowledge as an Architect and to keep pace with the rise and importance of air barriers in the industry.
Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?
A: I am a second term member of the Board of Directors and I co-chair the Existing Building Ad Hoc Group for the Technical Committee in an effort to determine best practices for reducing air leakage of existing buildings. I am excited to be a part of both groups and to work with so many talented and dedicated individuals.
How long have you been in the industry?
A: I started drafting in high school and in my first job as a renderer I was paid $3 an hour. I went to the Boston Architectural Center which has a work/study curriculum and started drafting for firms my first year there. I have been working in the field of Architecture and construction for over 30 years now.
What major changes have you seen?
A: I watched as the world went through the energy crisis of the 70’s where saving fuel became paramount. This changed how the industry looked at insulation and the building envelope, although air barrier systems did not get the same attention. I’ve watched the evolution of both built-up and single ply membrane roofing systems and have seen them become more reliable and efficient through the development of new technologies. Similarly, with the advancement of glass and window technologies. Finally, after all other efficiencies within the building envelope were considered, HVAC, electrical equipment and fixtures, water use and even eco-friendly building materials, does the attention turn to the air barrier.
What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?
A: Architecture is an open question in terms of form so flexibility to change with the times and accommodate the clients needs paired with an understanding of architectural building systems and their functions in order to inform your client at the same time are required skills.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
A: Yes, get out of the office and on to the job site. Volunteer for anything work related. Get active in the industry through trade groups and join a related industry organization (or two) like ABAA to further your contact with other professionals and their knowledge.
How much demand do you think there is for people in your profession?
A: A lot. Building envelope and in particular air barriers are experiencing an upward trend in popularity among design professionals and more importantly among clients that see the value of it. Again, water is the bane of Architecture.
What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten year’s time?
A: I think there will be a lot more specialists in building envelope design and sciences. I see the building envelope as the last frontier of the way we build now in terms of energy efficiency and overall building occupant comfort.