Swarm recognizes Raydeo Enterprises for woodwork on Kendeda Building

The Kendeda Building Swarm has given a Changemaker Award to Raydeo Enterprises, which re-milled, finished and installed the salvaged wood that dominates the interior of the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech.

Raydeo “turned waste into gold,” the Kendeda Fund’s Dennis Creech said in announcing the award at a ceremony earlier this fall. Southface — which operates the Swarm — released a video this week on Raydeo’s work.

The wood that Raydeo restored included fallen trees that became work counters, roof underlayment that now is wall paneling, and heart pine joists from the campus’ landmark Tech Tower that now serve as stair treads.

Raydeo project manager Keith Lutz stressed that meeting the Living Building Challenge’s Red List was among the most difficult tasks faced by his company on the Kendeda project.

“You work with a lot of different materials and chemicals that you learn along the way that you don’t have to,” Lutz said. “We had to carefully go through really everything we use in the shop — all the finishes and glues — [and] they all had to be vetted against the list.”

While the 33-year-old Cherokee County company had a long track record on sustainable practices, it hadn’t cracked the nut of recycling scrap, Lutz added. But the Kendeda project provided an opportunity for Raydeo to set up a program to send valuable leftovers to Atlanta’s Lifecycle Building Center.

The Kendeda Fund contracted with the Southface Institute to set up the Swarm, a network of contractors on the building. During the last month’s Greenbuild Conference in Atlanta, the Swarm presented its final Changemaker Award to Skanska USA, the building’s general contractor. Other Changemakers include Thomas Concrete and Eckardt Electric.


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