Member Spotlight: Thomas J. Kita
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Thomas J. Kita, Principal Consultant and CEO for BD Hatchman Inc. / Building Envelope Solutions LLC. in San Antonio, TX. 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.
Thomas J. Kita
Tom Kita is the Principal Consultant and CEO and founder of BD Hatchman Inc and its subsidiary Building Envelope Solutions LLC., with 21 years of providing professional consulting services, to the Construction Industry.
Tom is a top-industry professional competent in roofing, FM Global windstorm validation / hail damage assessment, exterior wall waterproofing, below earth waterproofing, air barriers, fireproofing, masonry, and lightweight insulating concrete technologies. He regularly collaborates with Owners, Architects, Structural Engineers, Consultants, School Districts, Universities, City, State, Federal Agency’s, General Contractors, and Sub-Contractors. He has generated hundreds of specifications and details for projects throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
Tom provides Building Envelope Consulting to the Institutional, Industrial, Commercial, and Residential communities. His peers have bestowed local, regional, and national awards in acknowledgement of his dedication to the construction industry.
Tom Kita is active in the ABAA as a Licensed Field Auditor and Co-Chair of the QAP Committee and member of the Marketing Committee. Tom is an advocate for the advancement of air barrier technology in the Construction Industry.
Name: Thomas J. Kita
Title: Principal Consultant and CEO
Firm: BD Hatchman Inc. / Building Envelope Solutions LLC.
City: San Antonio, TX
What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession as a Building Envelope Consultant?
A: I began my journey as a materials testing technician learning how different materials interact. Working and going to night school, I achieved an Associates of Arts degree with a concentration in Mathematics from the San Antonio College, and then a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Texas at San Antonio. After a brief period as a hospital administrator, I learned how dependent you are on your staff, and what constitutes a real emergency.
I accepted a position as a manufacturer’s representative for W. R. Grace Construction Products Division specializing in problem solving architectural and engineering building science. I learned that the science of problem solving, combined with the specialized professional building science training, is in high demand. I soon recognizing the necessity for competent professionals to help guide Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and Sub-contractor.
I decided to take my lifetime of knowledge in the construction industry and continue my educational path. The ABAA was crucial to provide the education needed to advance my career and mentor others.
Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?
A: Yes, education. Education is what separates one consultant from the next. We have found that education does not have to be solely focused on the construction industry. The ability to analyze complex issues is relevant to help clients. Each case is different and can require a broad range of advocacy.
What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career?
A: One of my most admirable peers is Roy Schauffele. He encouraged me to join the ABAA, he has always been a valuable source of knowledge, and is a loyal and trustworthy friend.
What led you to become an ABAA member?
A: It was through a recommendation from my friend, Roy Schauffele, and based on my own research of the merits of the ABAA. The ABAA is a respectable organization and I am proud to be part of the forefront of construction technology.
Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?
A: I am incredibly involved in the ABAA. I have been a Licensed Field Auditor for almost a decade. I have performed dozens of ABAA presentations for industry professionals, a co-chair member of the QAP committee, and a member of the marketing committee.
How long have you been in the industry?
A: Approximately 40 years.
What major changes have you seen?
A: Quality Assurance Testing is paramount. We must be validating the installation of these materials. Complications arise as some of these products are not easily installed, it is only with testing and mentoring can we ensure that the products will perform as designed.
What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?
A: Patience, diligence, and integrity.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
A: As a consultant, you must be knowledgeable and competent. Understand the history and stay up-to-date with the industry. You must be willing to teach and mentor at the highest level of professionalism.
What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten year’s time?
A: I think it will be similar, hopefully with more ABAA audited projects. My company continues to pursue high-level education to stay in front of the industry. I believe having the right consultant leads to a well built building; it’s about the Owner receiving the quality product they agreed to purchase.