A Contractor of Choice

Thieneman Construction
Written by Claire Suttles

Thieneman Construction, Inc. (TCI) has completed over 220 jobs with a value of more than $400 million since it was launched in 1999. TCI focuses on the water and wastewater industry, including municipal and private water plants, municipal wastewater treatment, wastewater collection, wastewater reuse, and residuals management. Committed to providing quality, local work, the Indianapolis-area business has offices in Westfield, Indiana and Merrillville, Indiana.
TCI delivers a complete solution to its customers. And because the company self-performs, the team can control the entire process from start to finish, ensuring quality. TCI’s full range of services covers structural demolition, dewatering, earth retention, mass excavation, site utilities, process equipment installation, piping, and structural concrete placement. A typical job includes designing and building a new treatment plant, interceptor, lift station, or water booster station, or revamping a system to improve its integration.

When dealing with mechanical systems, the team can handle water treatment, utility piping, process piping systems, chemical/physical WWT, and retrofit, shutdown, and bypass systems. Site work capabilities include structural excavations, mass excavation, sheet piling, dewatering, site utilities, and H-pile lagging. When working on concrete construction, the team handles everything from structural foundations and heavy equipment foundations to architectural concrete panels, walls, and decks. When it comes to process equipment, TCI specializes in process equipment installations, system commissioning, and retrofit and demolition services.

The company prides itself on delivering affordable infrastructure improvements that meet the highest health and safety standards. To achieve this, the team collaborates with industry insiders such as government regulators and equipment manufacturers.

Strategies for success
Kenneth D. Thieneman launched TCI in 1999. Since then, the company’s relationships with industry insiders—owners, engineers, subcontractors, and vendors—have been critical to lasting success. These relationships were carefully, and consciously, built over time. “Our relationships are built through trust, hard work, and integrity,” Mr. Thieneman comments on the company website.

Mr. Thieneman also emphasizes the team’s ability to self-perform and deliver quality work. “I promote a company-wide dedication to self-performance and nurturing our in-house technical capabilities,” he comments on the company website. “Our employee ownership culture instills the commitment necessary for our professional development. I believe one’s persistence provides them power to shape the future, which is why our motto is ‘Excellence is the Standard.’”

He goes on to say, “I am rewarded on a daily basis by the complexity of our projects and the accomplishments of our work force. It is an honor to lead Thieneman Construction as a closely-held company committed to solving the environmental challenges of today. I look forward to the future of the water and wastewater industry and how we will contribute to treating and providing fresh water for our communities throughout the world.”

TCI maintains a strong focus on safety while delivering projects. “It is the policy of Thieneman Construction, Inc. to strive for the highest safety standards on our projects,” the company website reports. “Safety does not occur by chance. It is the result of careful attention to all company operations by those who are directly and indirectly involved. Employees at all levels must work diligently to execute the company’s policy of maintaining safety and occupational health.”

TCI’s safety program is designed to comply with all federal, state, and local regulations. The program maintains a strong focus on the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 (OSHA), as well as any OSHA regulations that specifically apply to the company’s construction operations.

The company expects employees to take personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of their co-workers. “It is the obligation of all employees to be knowledgeable of the standards established by these agencies and to implement the rules and regulations contained therein on projects under their direction,” the company website states. It then goes on to say, “If every employee views accidents in the same way we consider all other aspects of our operations, we will be in a better position not only to control accidents but also to improve the total performance of our company. It is therefore of utmost importance that all aspects of our safety program be strictly adhered to and that the intent of this program be followed to the letter.”

A fulltime Corporate Safety Director helps employees adhere to strict safety standards and maintain compliance. Specific aspects of TCI’s safety program include new employee orientation, continuing education, training programs, and job-specific safety plans.

The team understands the importance of community and takes an active part in local industry events. For example, TCI was a gold sponsor of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District’s (MSD) Field Day in February. The MSD Field Day is an educational opportunity for people working in construction and engineering. The event provides an avenue for professional development for a wide range of industry insiders including contractors, developers, builders, inspectors, regulators, vendors, realtors, and floodplain and storm water experts. TCI also helped sponsor the Indianapolis Airport Authority’s Business Diversity Outreach Event in February.

Projects and awards
TCI’s work has earned several industry awards. In 2014, the company won the ACEC Engineering Excellence & Grand Project award for the Broad Ripple Dam rehabilitation. Located in Indianapolis, the $1,428,839 project dealt with a new low-head dam in the White River. In order to carry out the job, the river had to be blocked during each construction phase. This created an extra measure of complexity, since the team had to deal with redirecting the flow of the water while simultaneously carrying out the construction work.

The company won a Concrete Achievement award from IRMCA (Indiana Ready Mixed Concrete Association) for its work on the Fall Creek Water Plant’s dam in 2014. Worth $1,087,838 and located in Indiana, the project involved sheeting, demolition, and concrete, as well as the installation of cofferdam to isolate the area being worked on.

In 2013, TCI earned an Outstanding Achievements award from the City of Tipton in the category of Concrete-Special Structures. The recognition came after the company completed an overall upgrade to the city’s water treatment plant. The work included the demolition of two old clearwell storage tanks and construction of a new clearwell storage tank; demolition of two old detention tanks and aerators; and the construction of two new detention tanks and aerators. The team also installed new media and rehabilitated four filter tanks. The total contract amount for the project was $1,133,762.

In 2012, the City of Carmel, Indiana, recognized TCI with an Outstanding Achievement award in the category of Concrete-Public Works. The company completed a $5,140,084 project on the city’s wastewater treatment plant. This job dealt with a new headworks structure and involved new mechanical screens, grit removal equipment and flow splitting weir gates. To complete the project the team had to deal with a number of underground pipe tie-ins.

Completed in just 18 months, the Highland Park Wastewater Treatment Plant is another TCI project that stands out. For this $5,948,936 job located in Highland Park, Illinois, the team upgraded pre-treated and backwash basins to an Evoqua Membrane Filtration System. The work required multiple tie-ins and sequencing in order to transition from an old system to a new one.

Now, TCI is nearing its 20-year anniversary. After nearly two decades of growth and success, Mr. Thieneman’s startup has become a fixture in the Indianapolis area. With a strong portfolio and strategic vision, the business is well positioned to begin its third decade.



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