Case Studies

Keystone Constructors Inc.

Never Sacrificing Quality

Keystone Constructors Inc. (KC INC.) launched in 2002 with a desire to provide the Southeast region with cost-efficient industrial construction, plant maintenance and outage support that never sacrifices quality. The firm, which operates out of 40,000 square feet of shops/office in Gaffney, S.C., proudly serves South Carolina’s upstate area, which includes Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson, Cherokee, Union, Pickens, Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, and Oconee, among others. As well, the company holds licenses in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma and Louisiana, and retains Certificates of Authority to do business in Texas and Arkansas.

KC INC. vows, according to its website, “to create value for our customers by providing equal or greater services at a more competitive price tag.” From the president of the company, James Penn, to his youngest employee, each member of the firm is instilled with the drive to provide construction management services that meet or exceed client expectations in regards to quality, schedule and performance.


The firm prides itself on being a full-service operation that can offer a variety of services to industrial and manufacturing companies throughout multiple sectors, including chemical, food, automotive, textiles, pharmaceuticals and power generation. KC INC. has the capability to manage a project from concept to completion, emphasizing the self-performance of mechanical, electrical and HVAC work, and the company is a licensed general contractor. “I’d say that our niche, though, is process piping, equipment installation, electrical and controls,” says Penn.

KC INC. typically offers these services to high-profile clients in need of plant maintenance, such as GE Energy, H.J. Heinz Co. and BMW. The business becomes involved in all aspects of facility upgrades, and truly takes ownership of each project. From engineering and budgeting though system commissioning, KC employees remain focused and dedicated to the project at hand, whether it’s service expansions and facility modifications or ground-up construction and installations.

The company fabrication capabilities include ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code construction, as well as platforms and mezzanines, stairs, handrails, and ladders. KC INC.’s electrical services include power distribution up to 15 kV, motor controls, process controls, telephone wiring and more. The overall goal is for KC INC. to effectively use its superior knowledge and expertise in all aspects of plant maintenance and repair in order to converge with or surpass client expectation. Penn points to the following three projects as being some of the firm’s finest work:

“We finished one here locally for BMW last year. We used our general contractors license to compete as a prime contractor for the North Assembly Energy Center, where we subcontracted the civil/structural work and self-performed the larger mechanical and electrical portion of the project.”

In addition, he points to a General Electric turbine facility in Greenville, S.C., where KC INC. pre-fabricated process piping to install around the facility’s turbine generator.

Lastly, Penn is especially proud of the design-build work that the firm did for Ascend Performance Materials LLC. He explains, “This project had unique electrical requirements for relocated European equipment that included a new electrical switchgear building that had to be installed. Working closely with the owner to design and install the concept from the beginning. We received and set all the equipment and had to transfer the in coming power to the European requirements. It was a $5 million project, which included structural modifications, concrete demolition and new foundations for all the equipment.”

Earning Positive Referrals

Martin Shaffer, the project manager of Ascend Performance Materials, had the following to say about working with KC INC.: “This project involved re-erecting production equipment from South Africa and our needs were for flexibility to perform with minimal design documentation. Flexibility in how they contracted with our project team to perform their work was critical. In particular this project involves electrical work that ranges from installing high voltage substations, UPS systems, variable speed drive systems to lighting and fire alarm systems. They have brought to the table expertise, a workforce that is motivated and cares about the quality of their work.”

Such referrals have become the norm for KC INC. over its 10-year history. Penn and all in the upper management of the firm are well aware that the key to business is through customer satisfaction, which leads to repeat business. Especially in this economy, strong word-of-mouth is about the most valuable commodity in the industrial contracting marketplace. Good referrals and a diverse set of operation is what Penn is counting on heading to the future. “The economy has been tough,” he says, “but I feel we’ve diversified and have the ability to utilize our general contractors license if need be.”

Everyone at KC INC. is committed to finding solutions for the customer, implemented with a safety program that goes beyond legal requirements. Even if it means taking on new skills, and further diversifying operations, the staff at KC INC. are willing to do it so long as it can help the customer. Such dedication is a hallmark of a successful business, and Keystone Constructors Inc. possesses that quality in spades.

Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in US Builders Review” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.


Spring 2018



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.