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March 26, 2019
Quality, Industry insights, Community involvement

For me, this is big. The Building Enclosure Council (BEC) Indiana chapter is about to kick off with its first event. Many Indiana owners, design firms and contractors are familiar with terms like building enclosure, building science, building envelope or building skin, but they don't know much about them.  To bridge this knowledge gap, we're part of a group starting BEC Indiana, a community of like-minded professionals interested in improving the design, installation and performance of Indiana building enclosures.    

Where it began

Five years ago, at the urging of Pepper Illinois Quality Director Corey Zussman, I began attending building enclosure conferences such as RCI (now IIBEC), ABAA , SWRI, BEST and Building Science Corp. My eyes were opened to the enclosure's complexity in both design and construction. But as I looked around at these conferences, I wondered, "Where's everyone else from Indiana?"  

Back home, I started to look for local building enclosure organizations. My search was short-lived. While reputable construction industry organizations existed in Indiana, none were dedicated to the study and advancement of the building enclosure. 

Our current quality process at Pepper reflects what we've learned in studying the enclosure. The risks of poor material selection, poor details and poor installation are simply too great to ignore. But our influence is limited to only our projects, and trying to lead change in our local market one project at a time is a slow process.

Time out - what is the Building Enclosure?

The Building Enclosure is any part of the building that separates the exterior environment from the interior environment. (For more on defining the enclosure, check out this great article by John Straube – a rock star of the enclosure community.) 


Exterior environment, cladding, control layers, structure and interior environment

Wait, what about building code?  

Indiana building code and energy codes simply do not advocate for good building enclosure practices. Indiana is cautious to adopt any new code without fully understanding the benefit to Hoosiers. The unfortunate side effect is that our design and construction community is often five to six years behind the cutting edge. Since we are not forced by code to adopt building enclosure best practices, we need a grass roots approach. 

Why BEC?

Of all the organizations to choose from, why is BEC the right choice?

  • BEC chapters include everyone with an interest in the enclosure, including owners, architects, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, consultants, testing agencies and manufacturers.
  • BEC is affiliated with the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS) Building Enclosure Technology and Environmental Council (BETEC).
  • BEC chapters are often a sub-committee of the local AIA chapter, but they also can be independent like BEC Indiana.

Like-minded professionals 

Last fall, I invited 28 like-minded professionals in our market to a meeting to gauge their interest in starting a BEC Chapter. We have a good mix of designers, contractors, consultants and testing agencies.  Everyone agreed the time had come for BEC Indiana. A small group of 10 colleagues partnered with me to form a "core group" that met monthly to establish the BEC path. We now have a board and are getting established as an independent non-profit organization. Our first event is scheduled for April 18 and we hope to see you there!

BEC Indiana will hold quarterly training events with a presentation, networking and discussion opportunities. Events have a registration fee to cover food and venue. All other costs are covered by BEC Indiana Sponsors. Attendees will earn 1.5 AIA CEU's for attending. 


BEC Indiana Goals

How to get involved

  • Attend the first event on April 18. You can register here
  • Join BEC Indiana's subscriber list to stay up to date. 
  • Visit BEC Indiana online to learn more. 

Ben Dykstra is the Chairperson of the board for BEC Indiana. Pepper Construction is a proud sponsor of BEC Indiana. 

About the Author

Ben Dykstra

Ben Dykstra, RRO, REWO, CQM, LEED® AP BD+CDirector of Quality Management, Indiana

Ben Dykstra is director of quality management for Pepper Construction in Indiana. He started his career in project management before transitioning to quality management in 2012, where his passion and commitment to quality extends beyond the planning and execution of the work to the overall functionality and performance of a building throughout its life cycle.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering from Wheaton College and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.  He is a Registered Roof Observer (RRO), Registered Exterior Wall Observer (REWO), a Certified Level 1 Thermographer, and Army Corp. of Engineers Construction Quality Management (CQM) certified.  Ben also is a member of RCI, Inc. and is a Major in the Indiana Army National Guard.