November 15, 2023

RMF's Jeremy Bartlett Answers Questions for The BCxA Corporate Spotlight

A previous version of the BCxA Corporate Spotlight: RMF Engineering, Inc. was posted on the Building Commissioning Association website on October 12, 2023. 

Building Commissioning Association Corporate Spotlight: RMF Engineering, Inc.

Tell us briefly about your company (history, locations, lines of practice).

RMF is an international engineering firm established in 1983 in Baltimore, MD, and has slowly grown to 250+ employees with a focus on commissioning. As a full-service firm we offer:

  • Infrastructure Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Building MEP Engineering
  • High-Performance Design
  • Master Planning
  • Assessment Technology
  • Energy Assessments
  • Landscape Design
  • Construction Quality Management

Do you have a commissioning pioneering/success milestone you would like to share?

RMF is in the process of conducting a Sustainability Review of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK. RMF was not only the mechanical/plumbing design professional for the laboratory, but we also provided commissioning services during construction. Over the past ten years of occupancy, we provided continuous and monitoring-based commissioning services as well as recurring site visits to evaluate system operation. We are excited to continue our work with the Medical Research Council to evaluate system operation at the 10-year mark further and determine if designed sustainability goals are still being achieved.

When did the company initially engage with the BCxA – when and why?

RMF has been a Certified Commissioning Firm since 2013, one of the first 10 CCFs in the country, and our past CEO, Duane Pinnix, was one of the first Certified Commissioning Professionals to go through the certification program. We have had team members participate in local BCxA chapter board positions, including Ken Hahn, Jim Givens, and Jeremy Bartlett.

RMF has been commissioning projects since 1985, when we were awarded our first ASHRAE commissioning project at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, MD. We have been advocates of building commissioning for nearly 40 years. RMF engaged with the BCxA early as we saw that both organizations had similar commissioning approaches. Ken Hahn, our Field Services Division Manager at the time, started engaging with the BCxA approximately 20 years ago. We have worked with the BCxA for nearly half of our corporate history.

Tell us what it means to be CCF providing a CCP to projects.

To be a CCF, or CCP, means you are an advocate for the commissioning process, an advocate for owners, and have a passion for participating in building sciences and construction. You are a leader in the industry and have a voice in defining commissioning standards. Do you have an interesting/important representative project example you can share?

We are really excited about several projects we are currently working on. One of which is a Fire Alarm Replacement Project at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex. The project includes a complete fire alarm system replacement across 13 capitol complex buildings totaling 3.6 million GSF of renovated space. The project includes multiple nationally recognized historic buildings, including the Matthew Ryan Legislative Building, constructed in 1893, and the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, constructed in 1906.

Future of Cx – What are you seeing that is shaping the practice of commissioning in your markets?

Our traditional commissioning clients are now asking for enhanced services in line with construction quality management (CQM) services. We see close alignment with the commissioning provider and CQM provider skillsets.

Recommendations for new entrants to the profession of commissioning.

If you are looking to enter the profession of commissioning find a way to get as much field experience as possible. This can be through design services, construction administration, internships with contractors, independent certification on various building automation control systems, etc. A qualified commissioning provider needs to understand the MEP installation process the challenges faced by the contractor and can troubleshoot system operation. Hands-on experience with equipment installation is invaluable. At RMF, many of our commissioning providers are former contractors with extensive hands-on installation experience.