How a Bernhard Crew Stuck Together, Became Family, and Built the Raleigh Skyline


As new projects are started, it’s common in the contracting industry for a crew to shuffle their roster with new incoming workers while outbound members join new teams on different projects. This may be the norm for some, but certainly hasn’t been for one Bernhard crew in North Carolina.

A group of 26 crewmembers have stayed together and are finishing their third project in the Raleigh area with plans to stay together for a fourth.

“I haven’t seen anything like it,” said Stacy McKillips, superintendent. “There is definitely a culture here now where we have more of a family than a crew.”

Beginning in July 2017, the crew of 26 has worked on three high-rise apartment buildings (two in Raleigh and one in Durham) totaling more than 1.4 million square feet and 84 stories. North Carolina residents will have seen the result of the crew’s work over the years with the construction of Durham City Center, FNB Tower, and one of the tallest high-rises in the North Hills area, Kane Tower, a 35-story residential tower that is projected to be completed in April 2022. These buildings are some of the latest in Bernhard’s storied 20+ year history working in the Carolinas.

The group of mostly plumbers, sheet metal workers, and pipefitters, includes multiple father-and-son pairs, a father-daughter duo, and even a set of identical twins.

“Even though each person is different and there are so many different backgrounds, everyone gets along,” said Chris Esposito, plumbing superintendent. “Ego gets left at the door immediately and everyone understands they are on the same team and the same level. With that mindset, each member is held accountable and that has created some incredible results.”

The expertise of the group and track record of success is part of what keeps them together. Leveraging the team as a one-of-a-kind asset has increased the demand for their high-quality work.

“We’ve had a pretty impressive run where one project ends and then we’re ready to go onto the next one all in the same region,” said McKillips. “Everyone agrees it makes sense to keep this team together. The results speak for themselves.”

Aside from the connections the workers have made with each other, supervisors and managers have benefitted from the continuity just as much.

“Each job you’ll usually go through learning periods and have to hope the crew catches on quickly,” said McKillips. “These projects don’t have that trial and error period. No one has to play catch up, which greatly increases our efficiency.”

It also enables the team to employ creative solutions to project challenges. For construction of Kane Tower, Bernhard installed piping as individual floors were built to meet demands of an aggressive timeline. This work, along with off-site manufacturing of key mechanical and plumbing components, has helped put the project four months ahead of schedule.

Without a dramatic learning curve, the project site has also become safer, which is always Bernhard’s top priority.

“When you work with new crewmembers, you don’t know what their habits are,” said Pablo Gomez, foreman. “I know exactly the training everyone on this crew has received and I know they practice safe procedures because of our time working with them. That level of comfort allows us to focus on our task with the trust that we are all doing what we’re supposed to.”

The team’s collective experience and knowledge of safety practices is a trademark of Bernhard’s approach to a safer workspace. Bernhard instills safety at every job site with an industry-leading safety training program geared to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, safeguard all persons who enter, work, or live near worksites, and meet or exceed regulatory standards.

The team is scheduled to begin work in 2022 on The Cardinal at North Hills East Tower addition. The 453,390-square-foot building will bring 18 stories of residences and upscale amenities to The Cardinal senior living community. The project is located just blocks away from Kane Tower.

Although the crew are professionals with decades of experience and projects between them, they admit to feeling a sense of pride with what they’ve accomplished together.

“I catch myself noticing the skyline when I drive down the highway,” said Gomez. “It brings back a lot of memories of days on the job with people I now consider good friends.”

If you are interested in opportunities in the craft job market and would like to know more about the benefits of a career with Bernhard, visit for more information.


Job Market Exploding Across the United States for Craft Workers as Previous Generation Nears Retirement

By: Craft Recruiting Team at Bernhard


Anyone living in major cities across the United States is sure to have noticed the increasing amount of construction projects around them. Cranes and new high-rise buildings are filling city skylines and the construction industry as a whole is expected to see more than 12% growth (compared to 7% for all other occupations), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. With heightened employment opportunities and industry growth expected on the horizon, why are recruiters expressing concern?

“We’re about to see a large chunk of the craft workforce entering that retirement age,” said Ralph Stingo, North Carolina Business Unit Manager. “There could be a mass exodus of the workforce and that includes mostly upper management and supervisors.”

In a 2017 report by the National Center for Construction Education and Research, it was projected that 41% of the construction workforce will enter retirement by 2031. An already expanding industry with nearly half of the workforce retiring will create an enormous job market for career-hungry job seekers. This level of opportunity for placement and promotion may not be seen again in the industry.

“This will be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone entering the job market,” said Philip Garcia Jr., Executive Vice President at Bernhard. “Craft work is an incredibly quick track to a secure a career immediately after school or in some cases, you can enter your career and receive training while on the job.”

Bernhard believes training for craft employees will only add to the high quality standards the company has and as such, offers craft training and apprenticeship programs at several locations around the country.

2021 has seen a 46% increase in trade-based jobs since the same time last year and Bernhard is uniquely situated to offer a career for those seeking a start in the construction sector. Out of the estimated 1 million crewmember jobs in the United States, Bernhard has offices in 33% of the locations including the largest markets of Texas and Florida.

“Location versatility is a huge bonus for Bernhard,” said Richard Purcell, East Coast Labor Coordinator at Bernhard. “Someone interested in this career would have unparalleled flexibility on where they choose to work.”

Those new to a career in craft work can also expect a multitude of other quality of life and professional perks craft employees at Bernhard enjoy:

  • Comprehensive benefit package including competitive pay rates, health benefits, PTO, Holiday pay, and 401k employer match.
  • Paid, on the job, industry and trade specific training and testing, that not only supports continued skills development, but also career advancement within Bernhard.
  • A safe and hazard-free work environment. Bernhard prides itself on creating and implementing the most current safety practices on all of its office and work-sites.

“Because we are in the industry every day, it’s easy for us to see the trends and project these huge moments that others may not be aware of,” said Patrick Sanders, General Superintendent in Florida at Bernhard. “I hope those in trade schools and apprenticeships right now realize the opportunity that’s in front of them.”

If you are interested in opportunities in the craft job market and would like to know more about the benefits of a career with Bernhard, visit for more information.


Bernhard Instrumental in First C-PACE Project in New York City and Largest in the United States

By: Ryan Hoff, PE, CEM, Project Manager at Bernhard


When we think of improvements, we often think of “bigger, better, faster, stronger.” Instead, perhaps we should be determining when less actually becomes more. Bernhard and Petros Partners recently demonstrated that less is more when it comes to carbon emissions and less traditional loan financing.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing is at the core of this new philosophy. C-PACE is a program created to give building owners a path to finance projects that increase building efficiency (and therefore reduce energy use and carbon emissions and create more sustainable buildings). This program is unique because the financing can fund up to 100% of all project costs that contribute to energy use improvement and it’s now available in a majority of states.

Although paramount to the process, financing is just one part of the deal. C-PACE needs an energy model of the project’s baseline, design building and an evaluation of the project budget in order to move forward. That’s where Bernhard’s team of experts come into the picture. Bernhard has been providing these crucial energy audits for C-PACE financing since 2017 and we work hard to fully understand the differences of each state’s C-PACE program to help determine the maximum amount of financing for which a project is eligible.

To date, 38 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to allow the use of C-PACE financing. For most states, the savings over the term of the loan must exceed the total loan principal. The recent, historic project in New York will do just that. This project at 111 Wall Street will retrofit the 900,000-sqare-foot tower for efficiency, resiliency, and local law compliance. Not only is this the first C-PACE project in New York City, but it is also the largest C-PACE loan in United States history. It is estimated to save $3.0 million in annual energy costs and avoid $850,000 in annual Local Law 97 fines starting in 2030.

According to Real Estate Weekly, by 2030 the program will create 689 green jobs and reduce 447,600 metric tons of CO2e from our atmosphere, an equivalent of taking 97,344 passenger cars off the road for a year.

For this groundbreaking project, Petros Partners is the financial group providing the loan and Bernhard provided the energy audit. The building was flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and ownership has struggled to operate at anything exceeding 50% occupancy. The building required a major renovation and a final decision was made to creatively combine C-PACE financing with standard loans to complete the work.

Energy improvements included:

  • Replacing all existing lighting with LED lighting
  • Redesigning and replacing a majority of the existing HVAC system with modern energy efficient systems
  • Replacing all existing plumbing fixtures with new low-flow fixtures
  • Replacing all existing elevators with new high-efficient elevator system
  • Abatement and removal of hazardous asbestos containing material

Along with the estimated energy and operation costs, the project is estimated to decrease carbon emissions by 42%. The energy conservation project is being paired with an architectural renovation that anticipates enabling the building to reach full occupancy again. The aging infrastructure, high energy utility rates, and Local Law 97 all make New York City a prime market for additional C-PACE projects, and the 111 Wall Street project is a clear example of how successful they can be.

This is just one example demonstrating how Bernhard can help building owners pursue C-PACE. Our team of experts have completed C-PACE energy audits in 13 different states and have identified more than $830 million of C-PACE financing for our clients. Our projects have ranged from $1 million to $89 million and have included new construction or renovations in buildings such as:

  • Offices
  • Apartments
  • Hotels
  • Sports complexes
  • Warehouses
  • Hospitals

If a project is ongoing, our experts are able to partner with a financial group and identify the amount of C-PACE for which the project is eligible. If determining energy savings opportunities or the replacement of aging infrastructure is the goal, Bernhard has a full mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) design team with an emphasis on sustainability, which works to:

  • Identify the energy conservation measures
  • Make a business case for energy efficiency
  • Design the project
  • Provide PACE energy audit
  • Provide commissioning
  • Provide measurement and verification

We have specialized expertise in energy audits for C-PACE financed projects and we know how to help you maximize your budget, leverage savings and be part of creating a more sustainable future. Learn more about our commercial energy audit services here.


Bernhard Connect® Modernizing Energy Data Management with Customers in Mind


Throughout its storied 100-year history, Bernhard has consistently shown a commitment to innovation with the ability to adapt and evolve to best fit the industry’s needs. Innovation and improvements big and small have created the expertise and talent we know at Bernhard today.

Recently, facility managers have truly began to harness the power of energy and performance data and analytics, but are burdened with outdated tech and a cumbersome user interface. Bernhard leaned on their willingness to innovate and set out to modernize the available technology.

“This hasn’t been a traditionally high-technology industry,” said Stephen Heard, Senior Director of Software Development at Bernhard. “We hope by modernizing the services we’ve performed for decades, we can be the driving force for a technological revolution.”

Bernhard Connect® is the culmination of years of experience in engineering analysis, measurement and verification, and automatic fault detection. Developers have taken their experience and built a scalable, performant platform that executes at a level not previously possible. Bernhard Connect® is modern software that has been built using underlying engineering techniques that have been honed over the last decade.

How Connect Works

The real-time cloud processing power of Connect provides data in a centralized hub, giving facility owners and staff direct access to energy and performance analytics with the push of a button. To enhance user experience, the platform offers multiple views of energy usage and equipment operation data that can be shown from an entire system perspective, for one building, or even drilled down to one data point. Services available through the Connect platform include measurement and verification, data collection and archival, utility management and automatic fault detection.

Connect receives data from outside sources such as third-party hardware, utility websites, client databases, manual entry, and automated data collection processes. The ability to automate these data collection processes allows for seamless integration with existing workflows without disruption to operations. Another key component of Connect is the Bernhard Data Collection Device (BDCD). The BDCD is securely installed within existing Building Automation System networks to collect massive amounts of equipment performance data.

“By really utilizing the power of Connect, each user obtains a customizable gateway into the most impactful data analysis for their facility to operate at its peak,” said Rachel Poff, Bernhard Connect® Product Manager. “Connect was truly made with the client at the forefront of the design process because it more tightly aligns with what our customers actually need.”

Security First

Understanding that security measures must be at the forefront of any software design in a rapidly-changing digital world, Bernhard engineers built Connect with a hyper focus on security from the beginning of the process and even utilize a third-party security assurance report to back it up. The system is vetted through IT professionals at each facility to ensure the system is good to go and compatible with their standards.

The Bernhard business model is unique. Varying teams within the company need data for differing
uses and because those teams use this data in the facilities they operate in Energy-as-a-Service
partnerships, the engineers know exactly which data points make businesses better. The first-hand usage of these technologies every day in the systems being managed lends credit to the notion that the developments in building automation and control systems being made simply work better – for Bernhard and for clients.

Data at Your Fingertips

The data within Connect provides clarity for clients and removes any guesswork on what their energy bills will look like. Clients can use the detailed analytics Connect provides to find and focus on an issue in order to take action sooner. Bottom line: By using Connect, managers have direct access to data that is most important and useful to them.

“Connect was built to be better than what had been used for decades,” Heard said. “There was a need to develop it so that we can execute our advanced engineering techniques at a large scale. Existing software packages simply couldn’t produce a good enough result, and manual techniques weren’t agile enough to use on massively large projects like Energy-as-a-Service,”

Greatly improving on navigation and overall user interface of previous platforms, Connect uses modern software design vs. relying on outdated technology that greatly hinders the user experience. Instead of forcing users to understand different applications for each data point, Connect brings it all together under one platform. Clients can find trends, faults, invoice data, and savings reporting in the same place. Connect also reduces false alerts. Previous technology and platforms would routinely inundate users with false alerts and make it difficult to spot the actual faults and focus in on issues.

Information That Teaches and Learns

Once the data has been received, it begins processing within Connect’s highly scalable data pipeline, which is able to perform millions of real-time calculations on the incoming data. This device is the foundation of Bernhard’s energy, analysis, and automated fault detection systems. Our energy engineers continually analyze data trends to identify operational issues. If an issue is identified, they will work with the facility management staff to troubleshoot the problem until it is quickly resolved.

“Data provided by Connect offers better insights into equipment performance, which correlates to better informed decisions,” Poff said. “Better informed decisions lead to more efficiency, and more efficiency ultimately leads to better business.”

To learn more about how Connect can improve your data management, visit


Bernhard’s Engineering Division Highlights Resilience and Adaptability

By Tony Robeson, Vice President – Engineering, Bernhard


This year, a fateful one, our engineering division turns 25. In a quarter century, our design and energy engineers have helped public and nonprofit institutions such as hospitals and higher education campuses and facilities expect more from their energy systems, new construction projects and existing buildings.

We’ve scaled with our clients throughout the years, from providing traditional design services for nine-figure greenfield builds to managing monthly utilities and everything in between. We’ve helped Owners set aggressive energy savings goals, then cheered as they achieved year-over-year energy savings across entire campuses.

Since its beginning, Bernhard’s engineers have also served clients in an “on-call” capacity. A common procurement method for public institutions, these contracts are convenient for completing projects that fall below a specified dollar amount (for instance, $1 million). A team of on-call consultants stand ready for small-scale renovations on a hospital or university campus, equipment upgrades, or critical emergency-responses.

These contracts relieve administrations of some of the more tedious procurement processes for ongoing needs. Through on-call contracts we have developed long-term and strategic partnerships with our clients, helping to solve problems as their ‘boots on the ground’ and serving as an extension of their own staff, helping to plan for the future.

Owner Advocacy and New Solutions

One of Bernhard’s bedrock principles is what we call “Owner Advocacy” — advancing in design and construction the Owner’s mission, vision, and goals. An on-call relationship helps us to see that vision and adopt that mission more fully.

The problems we are helping solve today are complex and unprecedented. As many of our clients are healthcare institutions, we have mobilized our staff to create a ‘think tank’ for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — this includes analyzing indoor air flow, ventilation and exchange rates, filtration and exhaust, even medical gas volume (oxygen) for lifesaving equipment such as ventilators. We fully immerse ourselves in the Owner’s day-to-day needs and goals so that we can provide meaningful counsel when adaptation is required.

The Parkland Project

At Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, our engineers did this for a roughly 55-bed Tactical Care Unit designed specifically for highly contagious COVID-19 sufferers.[1] We consulted with clinicians and scientists, frontline health care workers, as well as custodial and sanitation staff. Knowing that the air itself can be a vector for this virus, we worked to ensure patients in a negative-pressure isolation space had air optimized for exchange and temperature; that the opening of a door across the unit could not result in a backdraft or other interruption in airflow. We worked with staff to design spaces for the proper donning and doffing of PPE. The exhaust air pulled out of the treatment space passes through a high-tolerance HEPA filtration system to scrub contaminants so they are not able to migrate out of the patient care space.

Our goal is to be a trusted partner. That trust was established with Parkland through a large energy retro-commissioning program that saves roughly $800,000 each year. This project afforded Bernhard and the hospital familiarity, and that made our service early in their COVID-19 response fast and expert. In the end, Parkland will return to normal operations, with a census hovering north of 100% occupancy. That patient population still exists, and the moment the hospital is able to scale back on its COVID-19 response, it will have to decontaminate, readjust and return to spaces optimized for different treatment priorities. Our team will be at the ready.

Success Stories

Parkland is just one example. At Memorial Hermann in Houston we retrofitted specific rooms in its trauma centers and ER for negative-pressure isolation environments as well. In Tucson, our office made short work of complex new HVAC tubes and filtration.

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Bernhard provided engineering and infection control expertise, including conversion of med-surge and ICU spaces to negative pressure rooms. At another academic medical center, we provided the engineering services to transition an entire patient tower floor into 100% outside air, negative pressure rooms and ward to prepare for the sick.

These successes are a testament to our long-term relationships and our guiding principle of Owner Advocacy.

To learn more about Bernhard’s engineering services, visit


Tony Robeson, PE, HFDP, CxA, NEBB BSC CP

Tony is a Vice President of Bernhard’s engineering division, where he leads design and commissioning teams in our Little Rock office. He has 30 years of experience in MEP design, and has been with Bernhard for more than 20 years. Tony specializes in delivering innovative engineering solutions for healthcare , higher education, and campus energy systems.




[1] “In less than five days, the third floor of Parkland hospital was converted into a … Tactical Care Unit. The large negative pressure room maintains air flow preventing cross contamination The unit is set up kind of like a car wash — one way in and one way out — with an experienced surgical team helping staffers put on and take off their protective gear.” — KERA news

Bernhard’s Project Portfolio Positioned for New Public-Private Partnerships

The Foundations of P3 in Arkansas

By Ryan Corrigan, Director of Business Development, Bernhard


Throughout our history, public projects like the Brooklyn Bridge or the Tennessee Valley Authority have rewarded our nation’s faith in public investment and been points of pride for our republic. Similarly, American commercial enterprises have always been called upon to meet truly national aims, such as Bath Ironworks during World War II, or IBM and Douglas Aircraft throughout the moon race. Some assets truly are public in service and scope, but that doesn’t mean private enterprise isn’t best oriented to design and build, operate, even own these public goods.

Seeing this potential, in 2017, the State of Arkansas wrote and approved Act 813, the Partnership for Public Facilities and Infrastructure Act, that provides public-private partnerships, from design-build projects to energy savings or asset agreements to sale-leaseback (and lease-leaseback) arrangements. More recently, this spring, the state Department of Transformation and Shared Services published the final PPFIA rules. Qualifying project types include state-funded colleges and universities, libraries, hospitals, even ports and water supply systems, and many others.

Many of these facilities are facing a “perfect storm” of rising needs and declining resources. Higher education, for instance, is continually budgeting for upgrades and renovations to aging structures and infrastructure even as institutions project flattening or declining state and local tax revenue, and enrollment.

What is private enterprise if not the search for a competitive market solution to a need that’s unmet? At Bernhard, we’ve been assessing the ways public institutions can address deferred maintenance and construction projects in order to move forward, and we’ve outlined a few advantages to forging public-private partnerships.

Risk transfer

By transferring energy upgrades, maintenance and other costs to a private entity, through public-private partnerships, state agencies are also transferring risks. A massive advantage in these agreements is that the private entity assumes the risk from damage and performance of these energy systems, thus removing both liability and operational forecasts from institutions’ portfolios.

Any large employer is also a large maintainer of systems, from energy to parking, that are not mission-critical and, therefore, placed as a lower priority. By transferring risk associated with these assets to a private partner, universities, hospitals and agencies can redirect resources to further their core mission and create savings along the way.

Private-sector financing

Government bonds are a major investment instrument, but when it comes to financing construction projects, they’re cumbersome. One of the major advantages of P3s for building new, large public facilities is the ability of the private sector to finance them quickly and nimbly.

P3s can help fix costs for public institutions facing austere budgets and hard decisions. Historically, bids for capital projects left institutions with lingering questions and budget unknowns around operations and maintenance costs. In P3 arrangements, costs are known and fixed over the life of the contract.

At Bernhard, we have a team deft at finding financing solutions for large capital projects, many with 20-to-50-year ROI horizons, as well as dedicated project managers who’ve saved clients millions of dollars — a vital component in today’s environment.

Meeting the backlog of deferred maintenance

P3s are uniquely suited to address deferred maintenance issues. A private sector partner is keen to perform maintenance that sustains assets for their full-service life, and any P3 contract will stipulate appropriate service levels and performance standards for the duration.

While public agencies budget on an annual cycle that often pushes maintenance off, private companies plan to implement efficiencies early and often over the life of systems. Moreover, they’ll invest in costly upgrades if it means offsetting costs later in life.

Performance-based design, operation

Simply put, P3s allow public sector decision-makers to bid projects based not on upfront costs but best-in-class systems, projecting performance out over the life of an asset. That hasn’t been a driving factor in public construction projects. Traditionally, though contractors may offer a short warranty, afterward, the building’s “performance” was the responsibility of the owner. With a P3, the building’s “performance” is now a contractual obligation of the private partner.

For higher education institutions, projects can have an educational component, or support a trend that aligns with the mission of the institution. As an example, they can offer reimagined energy systems on university campuses by way of conservation (“green”) technology. Higher education institutions can realize financial benefits from an investment that also serves as an engineering showpiece for both the university community and visiting scholars or benefactors.

Public prosperity

Some opposed to public-private partnerships ask why public administrators and elected officials would give away public assets so that private companies may profit.

Firms such as Bernhard endeavor to create P3s largely to bring such projects to market. Deferred maintenance is bad for the administrators, faculty and students of a college or university because they cannot enjoy state-of-the-art systems and technology upgrades, but they’re also bad for engineers and builders who wish to embark on such projects.

Arkansas finished its legal framework at an opportune time. As states reopen, P3s can be a way to jumpstart economies. Forging new partnerships that break ground on projects will be an essential part of our return to normal.

To learn more about Arkansas’ new P3 regulations from experienced experts, register for our upcoming webinar.


Ryan Corrigan, PE, CEM, CxA

Ryan is a Director of Business Development for Bernhard with 12 years of experience in the industry. He is a registered Professional Engineer, Certified Energy Manager and Certified Commissioning Authority. Ryan has expertise in the analysis and retrofit of existing facilities with an emphasis on energy infrastructure. He has worked with clients to increase system reliability on healthcare, higher education, industrial, local and municipal campuses.

Workplace Safety and Readiness at Bernhard

By Jeremy Tucker, Director of Operational Services, Bernhard


At Bernhard, we continually refine safety procedures to improve routine operations and to better prepare for action during a crisis. Earlier this year, when the stock market was at an all-time high and operating budgets across most markets were healthy and predictable, our industry-leading safety program was in full effect helping achieve record operational performance. Like any company, we’ve had to pivot, but we were able to leverage an organizational approach to safety that we’d adopted over the years.

Safety is our cornerstone. We understand that influencing safe behavior and safe decision-making at every level is crucial to creating the culture that we have. Our hope is to influence people to draw on S.A.F.E. work goals beyond the workplace and into the community, or “See it, Assess it, Fix it, Every day.” This phrase is an easy mnemonic to orient us toward a safe and healthy work environment, and safeguard all persons who enter, work or live near our job sites. Sounds basic, doesn’t it? This simple phrase has had a profound impact on our business and has helped us navigate the pandemic. Our Operational Response Team implemented a robust mitigation plan for essential workers to continue operations and provided guidance for others working from home. As we plan to mitigate coronavirus-related risks throughout the rest of this year and the next, Bernhard is consulting with clients and implementing additional internal controls as conditions change.

All employees within our construction division remain vigilant at work and continue to share improvement ideas for mitigation efforts. These meaningful conversations promote leadership and empower employees with real time solutions from the front line, allowing Bernhard to maintain strong processes and controls to safeguard them while minimizing the risk of a significant disruption to our customers.

Workplace Safety, Broadly

For us, safety begins with planning, carries through our execution of work, and includes an assessment of the result.  Many other activities and emphasis occur along the way but this cycle provides us with stability to rely on and flexibility to modify our approach when needed.  Both are currently in high demand.

  1. Planning – High level and task specific plans enlist supervisors and workers to collaborate.
  2. Execution Each worker is called upon to perform their respective role and report progress to the group.
  3. Assessment – Team leaders evaluate the group’s performance and provide feedback and direction.
  4. Action – Feedback is shared with all levels of the team and areas needing correction are addressed.

Workplace Safety, Coronavirus

It has not been easy for some organizations to adapt during this difficult time. Many have had to reduce the very resources that have helped them thrive in recent past. Bernhard has had to adapt but has done so in a way that prepares us for the next cycle, RECOVERY. By using the improvement process, promoting transparent communication with trusted resources, and relying on a safety first culture we are slated to better impact the communities we help build.

Today, we are more committed to serving our clients’ engineering, construction and energy needs with safety at the core of our work. Every project with Bernhard is backed by our assurance of the safest controls to protect our employees, our work, and the communities we serve. To learn more about our safety program click here, or call (225) 706-9280.


Jeremy Tucker, SMS, CRIS, STSC

Jeremy is the Director of Operational Services for Bernhard’s Mechanical Division. With over 10 years of experience, Jeremy holds credentials as a Certified HealthCare Manager, Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist, and is a board-certified Safety Management Specialist.


Offload Energy Operations, Costs for Patient Care

During a national health crisis, hospitals and medical centers must focus on their core mission of patient care— Energy-as-a-Service can help

By Ed Tinsley, Bernhard CEO


When we measure hospital capacity, we count beds. Operating budgets and square footage are sweeping measures of hospital size, but bed counts stand in for patient care, and patients are the purpose. As city and state leaders work with operators to maximize bed counts in anticipation of peak COVID-19 admittances in 30-60 days, hospital administrators are throwing out last year’s balance sheets.

For instance, hospitals and medical centers have reduced higher-margin elective procedures and outpatient surgeries. This loss, coupled with static or rising operating costs, and lower non-operating revenue from investments, will impede the pandemic response. Operating cash flow, net position, days cash-on-hand, even credit worthiness is at risk.

How do we optimize medicine when resources are thinnest?

At Bernhard, we have been implementing a way for hospitals and medical centers to offload a critical piece of operations that has little to do with direct patient care, and nothing at all to do with doctors and administrators — energy.

Energy-as-a Service (EaaS) is a partnership between energy systems experts and professionals in entirely different business verticals who are saddled with facility operations. Our systems engineers evaluate water, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems in order to optimize performance, conserve energy and generate cost savings. EaaS providers like Bernhard create custom improvements so that clients may shift capital back to their core. For hospitals, that’s patient care.

EaaS was created in response to the prolonged “perfect storm” that has confronted the healthcare industry for years. Consider its value, beginning on Day 1:

  • Asset Monetization U.S. hospitals need critical liquidity to meet the daily challenges of operation, and EaaS shifts energy systems from the maintenance-expense column to one that monetizes the asset. EaaS providers buy the right to use the hospital’s energy infrastructure, offering an immediate injection of cash at a cost of capital less than the hospital’s current incremental borrowing rate. For many, the arrangement equates to 50-100 days cash-on-hand.
  • Risk Transfer EaaS transfers the risks associated with plant maintenance, operation, and most of all, scheduled upgrade and capital improvement plans so health providers can be laser-focused on their core mission during this national health emergency.
  • Infrastructure Renewal EaaS immediately offloads critical systems repairs and renewal while cutting energy expenses. EaaS providers are there to serve facilities in the event of a surge in inpatient census.
  • Balance Sheet Flexibility EaaS is structured to be off-balance-sheet for hospital auditors, preserving key credit metrics and satisfying administrators’ aversion to long-term debt.

Further, Bernhard is positioned to provide qualified, trained technicians to run HVAC and plumbing systems when employees are unavailable to work. For Trauma Center-level hospitals around the nation, we help them functionally reallocate critical manpower and budgeting back into care.

These clients are facing a capacity shortage, and we’ve seen EaaS play a critical role:

  • Jumpstarting energy systems in previously unused structures, wings or floor space that create additional emergency response locations.
  • Managing energy and utility operations of any health care provider, from midsize clinics to campuses.

Bernhard has served healthcare, educational, government, commercial and industrial clients nationally for more than 100 years, and today, we are working with those clients and partners to plan and execute a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact us today to learn more about Bernhard and how we can step in and build capacity while improving conditions at this critical moment, or to speak with a Bernhard expert about ways we elevate operations.



As CEO of Bernhard, Ed leads a multi-disciplinary team through development and execution of large-scale, turnkey energy conservation projects. He is a dedicated leader in the industry for his innovative energy conservation solutions and has more than 38 years of experience in facilities engineering.




DISCLAIMER:  The information provided in this article was prepared solely for informational purposes and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell to participate in any transaction. The information provided is not intended to be a source of advice or credit analysis with respect to the material presented, and the information contained herein does not constitute investment advice.

Five Steps to Achieve Your Facility’s New Year Resolution

It’s never too late to work on your New Year’s resolutions! Today, we’re going look at how you can determine your facility’s resolution and make 2020 a year of success.

Step 1: Identify what your facility is trying to change. We all have the best intentions, but it’s important to articulate a specific goal that is measurable and can be achieved within a certain time period.  Attaching a metric to a goal is key for staying on track for success. There are many variables that can be used to measure facility performance. It’s important to narrow your focus and select key metrics that matter most this year.

For example, one of the most common metrics for building energy performance is Site EUI. When major changes are implemented, like controls modifications or equipment upgrades, you will likely see the results in the EUI. This puts you in the driver’s seat to affect positive change. Other examples of key metrics could be: cost per square foot, equipment up-time or availability, number of occupant complaints, square foot per FTE, or number of work orders addressed.

Step 2: Establish a baseline. Before you launch new initiatives, reflect on your facility’s performance and get an accurate understanding of your current state and challenges. Always gather a full year of information, whether it’s a calendar year or fiscal year, so that you can see how your facility operates during each season. Compare your data and identify what has changed during that year.

Ask yourself:

  • Has the campus’ square footage changed?
  • Are any recent changes impacting energy consumption?
  • Are there any expansions planned during this upcoming year?

The answers to these questions will impact your metrics and need to be considered as you’re setting goals.

Next, collect and compile data for all of the major items you want to track. Utility bills, CMMS data, and your O&M budget are all great places to start with data collection. It’s important to establish one key place for this information to live. This may be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or as complex as a real-time analytics dashboard. Adapt this process to your needs to make sure your baselines are accurate and work for what you want to achieve.

Step 3: Make those changes! Much like in our personal lives, there isn’t one resolution that fits every facility.  Once you understand your recurring challenges and the metrics you want to impact, then you can develop a strategy to solve them. Your strategy will be unique to your facility, your staff, and your budget. Some examples include controls upgrades, equipment replacements, or specialized staff training. The building automation system is one place to check for “low-hanging fruit” changes that you can implement like room ventilation schedules or energy-saving sequences of operation.

If you need help identifying energy savings measures, Bernhard can help identify areas that need improvement and what savings you can expect from your upgrades.

Step 4: Measure your progress. Regular measurement and verification of your metrics is key to make sure the changes you implement are bringing you closer to your facility’s goal. There are different methods for measuring savings and tools of all kinds to help you.

  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an easy way to get normalized data that factors in weather conditions or days in the month along with your energy consumption. After uploading your information, the site will calculate a score that indicates your performance compared to your peers.
  • Third party consultants to provide measurement and verification reporting that is tailored to your facility and project.
  • The International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provides parameters for facilities to quantify their savings depending on the project complexity and expected savings.
  • Track savings on your own using the same types of data you’ve already collected in this process.

The frequency of your reporting is another consideration when measuring energy savings. Annual, monthly, and daily reporting all have their own benefits, so choose the method that best supports the business case for your initiatives.

  • Annual reporting provides a long-term look and year-over-year comparisons to the baseline.
  • Monthly reporting is a financial tool that can validate your changes by looking at actual consumption as shown on utility invoices. It gives you time to adapt strategies and make sure the facility is making progress.
  • Daily reporting is an operational tool that looks at what is happening now and answers the question: “Did the choices we made yesterday help performance today?”

Always be sure that key facility metrics, like gross square footage, FTEs, are correct because these numbers can skew the accuracy of your results. You’ll also want to normalize data over long periods of time to account for fluctuations like extra days in a month or unusual weather patterns.

Step 5: Celebrate your wins and lessons learned! Keep your team informed by sharing your results and lessons learned. You can use reports and progress of key metrics to give your team and leadership hands-on feedback on the facility’s performance. By openly discussing what works and what doesn’t, you can continue to try new strategies to optimize operations and move the needle of building performance.

Want more?
To learn more about measurement and verification options and other ways Bernhard can help with energy optimization at your facility, you can reach us at