Member Spotlight: Pamela Jergenson
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Pamela Jergenson, Principal Consultant for Braun Intertec Corporation in St. Paul, MN. In this feature interview, learn what made her become an ABAA member, what led her on her career path, and get her perspective on the future of the air barrier industry.
Pamela Jergenson, CCS, CCCA, BECxP, CxA+BE
Ms. Jergenson is a Principal Consultant in the Building and Structure Sciences Group at Braun Intertec. Pam is a Certified Construction Specifier (CCS) and Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA) from Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), Building Enclosure Commissioning Process Provider (BECxP) and Accredited Commissioning Authority + Building Enclosure (CxA+BE) from University of Wisconsin-Madison, ABAA Licensed Field Auditor and Certified Speaker with Air Barrier Assocation of America (ABAA), and Advanced Communicator Gold and Advanced Leader Bronze with Toastmasters International. She has over 35 years in construction with nearly 30 years in investigation, survey, design, construction observation, and construction contract administration of new and existing building enclosure projects; with expertise in exterior walls.
Name: Pamela Jergenson
Title: Principal Consultant
Firm: Braun Intertec Corporation
City: St. Paul, MN
What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession with a manufacturer?
A: No child, or even young adult, says, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a building enclosure consultant!” But here I am in construction for the past 35+ years still learning how to do it right, how to do it better, and how to teach others the same. The building enclosure forensics and the continual change in buildings, materials, systems, and codes is what makes building enclosure consulting intriguing for me.
Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?
A: Everyone in this industry must experience work on the construction site for several days every year. Nothing teaches better than real-life application of materials and systems in today’s buildings, out in the weather. A deep understanding of how all these pieces are put together in our complex buildings can only be achieved by being “in the trenches”.
What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career?
A: Although I have never formally had a mentor, I consider all of those around me, from my co-workers and supervisors, people in the field and in professional associations, and even personal friends and family members; to be apart of guiding me in my career. Perhaps discussing a critical detail with a contractor, reviewing others’ comments on a report, or even hearing those “wise words” that come from my children have become the nudge to strive for betterment.
What led you to become an ABAA member?
A: Initially licensure in the ABAA field auditor program brought me to ABAA, then it was attending continuing education and working on a committee.
Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?
A: I’ve been involved in the Terminations and Flashings committee, am an ABAA licensed field auditor (Thank you, Peter Spafford – rest in peace), and am an ABAA approved speaker.
How long have you been in the industry?
A: In construction for over 35 years with the last 29 years in building enclosure consulting.
What major changes have you seen?
A: Air barriers have been a major change. In the 80s we did not have much of the air barrier concept. We built holes into buildings everywhere. Now we regularly see those holes we built when creating building additions or during forensic investigation and wonder how did we ever think this was energy efficient?
What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?
A: An open mind is a true asset for working with others, solving construction issues, and learning the next new building enclosure concept.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
A: Work out in the field as much as you can. Listen to the winners and the elders from co-workers to others on the construction team. Always strive to learn more and be better.
How much demand do you think there is for people in your profession?
A: The demand should be bigger from what I experience in the field. Most building owners just don’t know it yet …
What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten year’s time?
A: I cannot imagine. I had no idea we would be where we are now. Based on that, I’m prepared to expect just about anything.