Value-engineering of the Highest Quality

Kiehm Construction
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Since 1979, Kiehm Construction, Inc. has established itself as a trusted partner to customers across the United States. The full-service design-build construction company creates value-engineered structures of any size. It has extensive experience in commercial, industrial, retrofit roofing, self and mini-storage and airplane hangar construction. By standing the test of time, each project is a testament to Kiehm Construction’s quality and expertise.
Based in Lakeville, Minnesota, Kiehm Construction began as a steel erector performing independent work for general contractors, developers and clients in markets throughout the United States. Repeat work for customers has taken the company as far north as Alaska; along the East Coast in Maryland and Connecticut; south to Florida; and, of course, across the Midwest.

“We started in the ag-market doing farm buildings, grain tanks and drying systems – that type of thing,” said Marty Kiehm, owner of Kiehm Construction. “From that, it evolved to more commercial, institutional type projects and basically grew.”

The company operates with the highest levels of integrity, functionality, and flexibility to build with its customers’ business in mind. Before plans are drawn up and ground is broken, Kiehm Construction begins its projects by undertaking a thorough analysis of customers’ needs and each project’s unique requirements. It designs every project it undertakes and in doing so it controls the architectural, engineering and material costs being incurred while never compromising on quality.

In establishing clear expectations before project commencement, the company always achieves its project’s goals. Kiehm Construction boasts extensive industry knowledge and the expertise necessary to maximize cost-effectiveness for customers by creating efficient and productive environments.

“We have a true understanding of value-engineering. We’re always willing to look at new and better methods for our customers. We work very hard to understand what our customer does and what their needs are. We are very process-oriented with our customer.”

Design, layout and construction are designed to satisfy the clients’ immediate needs while also considering future applications. Throughout the design-build process, Kiehm Construction provides a single point of contact for its customers and has a pool of highly skilled and trusted subcontractors from which to draw.

The company takes great effort to ensure its customers are made aware of the materials and methods that can be incorporated into the design of their projects. It becomes the ideal design-build partner by assisting customers with the logistics of each project. Kiehm Construction ensures that projects are completed on time and on budget.

Steel construction provides a number of advantages for Kiehm Constructions’ customers. “It’s a very cost-effective structure. It has flexibility so that, when you go back to a client in the future, you are able to expand off of their existing facilities quite easily. If they need changes made once they have the structure – removing a wall or redesigning and adding to the building – it’s very simple.”

In 2001, Marty Kiehm expanded into the light-gauge steel framing industry, starting Custom Stud, Inc., which complemented the company’s capabilities. Kiehm later merged both entities to provide customers with an even broader range of services. The company incorporates modern design elements to optimize the usable space and user-friendliness of each build. Kiehm Construction offers complete site layout, design and in-house erection services to minimize the costs incurred.

“We manufacture a lot of our light-gauge framing. For the self-storage industry, we have a pretty sophisticated system that we have designed combining light gauge steel framing, poured concrete and pre-cast panels.” All of those pieces, as well as many other miscellaneous products such as roofing and framing components, are designed and fabricated in-house.

Kiehm Construction is thorough and detail-oriented from project design through construction. Its experience as a builder of pre-engineered structural systems, pre-cast and composite wall systems, conventional and pre-cast mezzanine systems and masonry always brings clients a return on their property investment. “We have very aggressive schedules in building projects and, the more components you can control, the better you can control the schedule.”

Kiehm Construction’s diverse portfolio of projects includes manufacturing spaces, Class A office space, warehouses, retail and shopping complexes, storage facilities and airplane hangars. “We’ve seen cold storage; we’ve seen self-storage; we’ve seen aircraft hangars; we’ve seen service garages, implement dealerships. It seems like those different projects have a lifecycle of their own, and then, to some extent, they have reoccurring life cycles,” he says of projects that come in waves depending on a sector’s strength.

“Most of the time, people think of a self-storage facility as a thirty-foot-wide building, two-hundred feet long with doors on both sides. Not that we haven’t done a few of those, but our self-storage is typically a footprint on a building, usually forty to fifty thousand square feet, two-storey, with drive-through tunnels and access points.”

When it comes to the company’s design and construction of aircraft facilities, Marty Kiehm brings thirty years of personal knowledge and experience as a pilot to the company’s hangar design services. Using his expertise, Kiehm consults with customers to design a hangar or facility that meets the needs of both pilots and aircraft in the design and layout.

Kiehm’s experience as a pilot distinguishes the company’s aircraft facility projects which helps Kiehm Construction’s expanding market footprint. “Being able to fly is a tool I use to service a larger area and be able to coordinate projects at longer distances. If I wasn’t able to travel by aircraft, I would not be able to service as large an area as we do.”

Kiehm Construction offers bi-fold, slider and single-lift doors as well as wall and floor construction options such as precast and energy-efficient composite wall panels or high-gloss epoxy floors. It also gives choices when it comes to security, lighting and automation.

Kiehm Construction has found another niche for itself as a retro-fit roofer. “Our roofing products far exceed anything that will go on a conventional roof.” The company engineers and builds roofs and provides customers a lifecycle cost analysis tht are second to none in the industry.

Kiehm Construction is unmatched in terms of its onsite roll-forming of panels up to 250 feet long which results in a no-splice roofing system. Benefits of this roofing system include the elimination of leak points and a long-lasting, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing final product.

At the heart of Kiehm Construction is a group of long-standing and highly skilled employees who reinforce the company’s reputation for customer relationships and quality. “I have been blessed with a lot of good people who have been with me for a long time. They are the core of the company, and they do a great job in the field.”

Naturally, as the result of strong customer relationships and the consistent delivery of quality projects, Kiehm Construction continues to grow. “We are trying to remain flexible,” said Kiehm. “At the same time, we are trying to grow the company.”

Kiehm Construction continues to identify opportunities in the marketplace in which its products and services are applicable. At the same time, Kiehm Construction is dedicated to finding new methods, materials and technologies that will continue to improve the quality being offered to its customers.

“I think that our innovation and use of new products sets us apart from a lot of people who continue to do the same old thing over and over again,” Kiehm concluded. “Maybe not necessarily less expensive options, but a better value – a better return – for our client. I would say that our emphasis is on innovation and being able to serve our clients better.” And, these efforts have helped Kiehm Construction truly take off.



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