Delivering the Impossible
Bernward Consulting Associates builds reputation on integrity, quality
For Carl Neimeyer, certified professional engineer and President of Bernward Consulting Associates, LLC, there is no project his company can’t succeed at. “As we often said in the Navy, the difficult is done immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.”
That level of dedication is what defines Bernward Consulting Associates. “We are the people you want on a project. We deliver the best results with the least amount of hassle,” Neimeyer says. The company is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. “We have built our reputation on integrity, quality, safety and value,” he says.
The company is a premier provider of general and mechanical contracting services for Baltimore, Northern Virginia the Washington metropolitan area. “We work in a wide array of market sectors, including educational facilities, fitness and aquatic centers, liturgical spaces, health care facilities and research labs,” Neimeyer says.
Among the company’s services are commercial and federal interior construction, building restoration and historic renovation. “Our interior construction services include framing, drywall, acoustical treatment and ceilings—nearly everything but the paint and floor tile,” he says.
In 2018, the company added mechanical contracting to its slate of services and is now a full-service heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) service provider for both federal and commercial customers. “I did mechanical contracting in the military and loved it,” Neimeyer says. “I always knew I wanted to add this service offering.”
Headquartered in Severna Park, Maryland, Bernward’s team has vast experience and expertise managing multimillion-dollar projects, according to Neimeyer. The company has both HVAC and construction managers on staff to serve a variety of project needs.
Neimeyer got his start in general and mechanical contracting while serving in the U.S. Navy. “I joined the Navy after graduating from college with a degree in mechanical engineering. At that point in my life, I wasn’t ready to sit behind a desk reading CAD drawings all day,” he says. “My wife, Laura, was on active duty with the Navy and encouraged me to join.”
As a construction manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, both in Jacksonville, Florida, and at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Neimeyer managed large federal construction projects. “I managed projects that in total were in excess of $125 million, including a multiphase hangar renovation, restoration of the granite façade of a library and the engineering building at the U.S. Naval Academy, and the renovation of a fire-training facility.”
Neimeyer’s favorite projects while serving in the Navy include a $9 million historic renovation and modernization of an administration building and a full rehabilitation of the controls in the high-temperature, hot water plant at the Naval Academy. “I also managed the third phase of the organ renovation at the Naval Academy Chapel. I trained as an organist in high school, so the project was very special to me.”
For his work in the Navy, Neimeyer was recognized as an emerging superstar in the architecture, engineering and construction industry in Building Design+Construction magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2015 ranking.
“I’ve always enjoyed this type of work,” he says. “My first job in high school was in construction. I’ve always had a knack for working with my hands.”
Though Neimeyer enjoyed serving in the military, by 2015 he and his wife were ready to settle down. “Our most recent duty station was to Annapolis. We really liked the city and had purchased a house.” With three children and one on the way, the couple both decided to take honorable discharge.
Exercising His Network
From his early years, Neimeyer dreamed of owning his own small business, and in 2016, he opened the doors of Bernward Consulting Associates. “From working in the military, I already had a ton of contacts. Getting work when I started was just a matter of exercising my network,” he says.
The company’s first project was a 10,000-square-foot tenant renovation. “The project included demo of the office to create a larger space, as well as asbestos removal. It was a fast turnaround. We had two and a half weeks to complete the job over Christmas,” Neimeyer says. “We did fantastic without a hitch and even finished early.”
One of Neimeyer’s favorite projects as a business owner was a renovation of the Good Shepherd Room at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Severna Park. “We took a completely underutilized space and turned the 1,000-square-foot room into a soundproof nursery for young families during Mass,” he says. “The project was gratifying because this is my church, and my kids use that room all the time.”
Neimeyer looks forward to an upcoming project for the Naval Academy. “This time we’ll be working in the academy’s dental clinic. The project will give the clinic the ability to run heated and chilled water simultaneously.”
Best in the Industry
Bernward Consulting Associates is a fully unionized company—something Neimeyer was always committed to. “The best way to ensure you have well-trained people is by hiring employees who are part of a union,” he says.
The company currently has 20 employees—all of whom have health care coverage. “One of my biggest goals from the start was to ensure that everyone working for me is paid a living wage with a good benefits package that includes health care coverage. I want people fighting to work here,” he says.
Neimeyer prides himself on having the hardest-working, most intelligent employees in the industry. “I have been very selective in who I hire,” he says. “Our team is motivated, smart and brings to the table innovative solutions and a strong work ethic.”
Safety is always top of mind for the company. “We do a great deal of job preparation and analysis to make sure we’re identifying potential risks, each and every day,” Neimeyer says.
He says that making sure everyone is on the same page—both client and employees—is critical to the success of a project. “I’m out there on job sites, ensuring the guys in the field have a clear understanding of the job, and we’re always in communication with the client.”
Though the company is still relatively new, Neimeyer credits the company’s success to its versatility. “We are exceptionally versatile. There’s very little we can’t do, and we’re very easy to work with.”