Member Spotlight: Torrance Kramer
The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) dives inside the career of Torrance Kramer, President of Accurate-Airtight Exteriors in Madison, WI. 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.
Torrance Kramer has been passionately working to reduce energy consumption in buildings across the country throughout his career as a energy engineer and building envelope consultant. Having completed thousands of comprehensive energy audits on various buildings types, he began to see the lack of understanding in air barriers. This led to specializing in air barrier testing and he began testing building air barriers and conveying the necessity for an effective air barrier in the older building stock. Have consulted on many existing buildings leant itself well to commissioning enclousre of new construction buildings.
He has tested air barrier tighness on most building types; from military to municipal to multifamily. For the last 6 years he has operated Accurate-Airtight Exteriors which tests, repairs, and consults on quality building air and thermal barriers. The outcome is many more building owners being able to say they have a comfortably tight and energy efficient building.
Name: Torrance Kramer
Firm: Accurate-Airtight Exteriors
City: Madison, WI
What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue your profession in building commissioning?
A: My consulting career started with a certificate program in energy management. My first job while in and after college was completing residential energy audits, which then grew to doing QC for Home Performance projects, which evolved into multifamily energy audits and QC, then onto doing large building blower door testing with thermography. Completing the building envelope commissioning as well was a natural transition. I now operate a firm that completes commissioning, testing, and repair of the building enclosure.
Is there anything that you believe everyone in this industry should be working towards?
A: Striving for standards that promote more air and watertight buildings on each project they come in contact with. Even the slightest changes on each building can make significant cumulative impacts over the lifetime of the building.
What role have peers, mentors, or advisors played in your career?
A: Without some of the great people that I have learned from over the years I would not be where I am today. I am so lucky and grateful to have been surrounded by so many astounding minds that have helped me pursue my goals and succeed. Many of the core concepts, understandings, and findings I have acquired over the years have been from those around me. It is easier to learn how to do great things when you surround yourself with great people.
What led you to become an ABAA member?
A: My goal has been to align myself with the best people and organizations in the industry. Quality promotes quality.
Are you involved in any ABAA committees? Do you have any ABAA certifications?
A: Committees or certificates- not yet. My goal is to participate on a committee level. My challenge is time commitments. ABAA Certifications- interested whether for myself or my staff. ABAA is the future of this industry.
How long have you been in the industry?
A: Since 2003.
What major changes have you seen?
A: Blower door testing becoming more commonplace in commercial buildings. Spray applied air barriers being more widely used.
Zip System sheathing, a sheathing system that is built for tightness becoming a standard building material.
Developers asking for a tight building.
Dreams when I started now becoming a commonplace reality.
What traits or skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in your industry?
A: Resiliency to allow the world to catch to the change we only dream of.
Ability to think creatively and 3 dimensionally. We can’t see through walls, (well we kind of can with infrared thermography) but we have to think through walls.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in your field?
A: Chase your dreams and the rest will follow. Otherwise, it is just work.
What do you think the industry will look like in five or ten years’ time?
A: Hopefully we see the accelerated changes I have seen in the last 5-10 years and it is a world I don’t recognize and struggle to keep up with. If that is the case it means we are on the right track and things have gotten even better for the weathertight building industry. The youth coming into this industry have a lot to offer and am excited about their vision.