I first met Travis Brungardt when I was asked to join the BS* + Beer Show as a co-host. Travis’s creative way with words has always made my ears perk up. Based in Johnson County, Kansas, he is a seasoned builder and co-owner of Catalyst Construction, which he founded with Joe Cook in 2008. Travis started his local chapter of BS* + Beer, and is a great advocate for the industry on Instagram (@catalystbuilt) and in various in-person forums. He is a lifelong learner, which I deeply respect, and he represents a part of the country that doesn’t get a lot of coverage on GBA. (I’m working to change that.) And, because he often proclaims himself to be a newbie when it comes to building science, I thought getting his perspective would be valuable to the site, which is intended for all levels of building science enthusiasts.
Kiley Jacques: When were you first introduced to building science principles and what form did that introduction take?
Travis Brungardt: It was about 15 years ago, I was taking a class to get my contractor’s licensing. Mark LaLiberte, co-founder and president of Construction Instruction, was brought in to give a talk, “Introduction to the Building Envelope.” He inspired me. He talked about some of the things I had been doing for the production builder I was working with at the time. I thought I was good at those things, only to find out the critical details weren’t being carried out. For example, the idea that Tyvek can also be an air barrier if it is well detailed—I never thought about that, I just wanted to keep water out. Mark made me start to think differently about what I was doing.
KJ: What kind of obstacles do you face working in a…