Leveraging BIM, Prefab to Achieve Turnkey Success

Every minute mattered for the McKenney’s team as they worked to design, build, test and guarantee 24/7 operation of a 30,000- square-foot central utility plant for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of carbon fibers. This large complex project, located on 600 acres in Moore, South Carolina had a tight 18-month completion schedule in order to support the owner’s production schedule.

As prime contractor, McKenney’s leveraged in-house design, building information modeling (BIM) and prefabrication capabilities to develop a turnkey solution that met the requirements of this fast paced, multi- faceted project. The scope for the McKenney’s team included site work, plant facility construction, hardscape and landscape, HVAC, plumbing, process piping, and plant-wide controls. The completed plant supplies: 85,000 pounds per hour high-pressure steam, 280 GPM reverse osmosis water, 1750 GPM process condenser water, 2250 GPM process chilled water and 5600 SCFM compressed air to the new state of the art manufacturing facility. The team completed the detailed system design in 3D space and also assisted with the design of the automated process control and metering system. This automation system allows plant operators to continuously monitor and control the energy delivery of all five utilities—all in real time.

The team partnered with well-established general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie to build the 30,000- square-foot facility that would house the required process equipment. However, due to the density of piping required and the tight timeline, there was only one path to success. The McKenney’s team leveraged in-house virtual construction (VC) resources to construct BIM models and prefabricate nearly 100 percent of the plant piping which allowed the systems to be constructed concurrently with the construction of the plant, saving significant time and labor on the jobsite. Prefabrication of the piping including over 50,000 diameter inches of welds in five different metal alloys was done at the pipe shop on the Atlanta campus. The attention to design, quality and pipe shop efficiency allowed the team to build the plant in 3D space and then ship it to the jobsite in South Carolina just in time for installation. By leveraging “in-house” BIM, prefabrication and turnkey project management, the team was able to turn over a sophisticated, fully operational CUP with automated controls-on time and on budget.


  • Build a central utility plant (CUP) from the ground up in 18 months while managing complexities with scope and subcontractors
  • Complete the detailed mechanical design and assist in the design of automated controls for complete process control and metering


  • Acted as prime contractor and partnered with a well-established GC for building construction
  • Applied virtual construction processes to create accurate BIM models
  • Leveraged BIM to prefabricate nearly all piping in the Atlanta pipe shop
  • Shipped fabricated piping to CUP in South Carolina just in time


  • Completed project on time and on budget
  • Delivered a sophisticated CUP with automated controls
Project Name

Electric Power Generation Company Central Utility Plant


Moore, South Carolina


Owner: Multinational Carbon Fiber Manufacturer
General Contractor: Noresco
Architect: Stantec
Engineer: Stantec
Contractor: McKenney’s Inc.