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Dri-Design Creating a Corporate Presence for restaurant supply company KaTom

   Author: Kate Gawlik
Location: Holland, MI

Holland, Mich., May 2, 2014: A long, monotonous headquarters was not the image restaurant supply company KaTom was looking to portray when it moved to Kodak, Tenn. The group, therefore, set out to reimagine the 2005 log home manufacturing facility it purchased to serve as its new headquarters. A Dri-Design Wall Panel System helped achieve this goal by creating a welcoming structure reflective of the company culture and purpose.

Under the lead of architectural firm R2R Studio LLC, Knoxville, Tenn., KaTom personnel reviewed photos of previous Dri-Design projects to discover the versatility of the panel profiles, available configurations and color offerings. The team wanted to add dimension to the original metal building, inviting customers and employees to the site. Dri-Design 0.080-inch aluminum panels were manufactured in three colors—Copperwire, Dovetail and Gauntlet Gray—to create a corporate presence. Dri-Design made the mixing of panel sizes and colors uncomplicated.

"The shop drawing review process is critical and very helpful when working with patterns, colors and a variety of panel sizes on a building," said Lisa Bengston, AIA, LEED AP, with R2R Studio.

Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design, added: “Our team is always focused on delivering a top quality product. A vital aspect of this includes supporting the design and construction team through the specification and installation processes. This customer service, from start to finish, is a core attribute of Dri-Design.”

R2R Studio had never worked with Dri-Design panels. What attracted them to the system was the panels’ aesthetic appeal, functionality and technological advancements. Ease of installation also made the list. "The Dri-Design panels were able to be installed over the existing metal building facade, lowering the risk of exposing the occupied offices inside to water penetration," Bengston said. "This method meant that the occupied offices inside suffered minimal disruption during the construction of the new facade."

Rhett Coleman, LEED AP, senior project manager with general contractor Blaine Construction Corp., Knoxville, noted the panels were quick and easy to install. A plywood substrate and air barrier were fastened to the building before the Dri-Design panels were installed over the existing vertical ribbed metal panels. Keith Edmondson Construction, Knoxville, installed 3,877 square feet of the Dri-Design panels. Stone veneer and EIFS complete the exterior look.

The Dri-Design panels clad a new 2-story lobby and entrance that add a dramatic effect to the building. An observation tower in the lobby is accessible via a spiral staircase. Interior spaces were reconfigured and remodeled to accommodate additional offices; a five-bay loading dock; more warehouse space; and Chef Supplies by KaTom, a retail store that is open to the public ( When KaTom employees want to take meetings outside, they now can gather on first-floor porticos and second-floor balconies that were added on each side of the building.

“When the folks at R2R Studio first showed me the Dri-Design panels, I knew instantly it would be the perfect complement to the plan we had for our new headquarters,” KaTom Founder, CEO, and President Patricia Bible said. “Still, I could not have imagined how magnificent the final product would be. What we have now is a building that is both welcoming to customers and befitting a company that is a leader in its industry. And the fact that we were able to move in and start work in our new home while the panels were being installed was a huge selling point for me.”

For more information about the Dri-Design® Wall Panel System, call 616-355-2970 or visit

Dri-Design was founded in 1995 to solve significant problems with traditional metal panel systems—delamination, staining because of the effects of weather on joints and gaskets, a lack of color and texture options, the rising cost of production and inefficient installation practices. Advanced engineering and technology brought about the Dri-Design® Wall Panel System. The panels can be installed over commercial-grade Tyvek onto plywood, or they can be used as the most sophisticated outboard insulation pressure-equalized rainscreen. The 100% recyclable panels can be manufactured from a variety of materials, including zinc, copper, stainless steel, and painted and anodized aluminum. Panels are available in any Kynar color and are sized and detailed to meet the specific requirements of each project. Unique profiles include: Shadow, Tapered, Perforated, Embossed, Textured, Dri-Design® with Corian® EC, Imaging Technology and Inspire. These options create angles, textures, depth, images and performance that cannot be matched. The Dri-Design® Wall Panel System is Dade County and AAMA 508-07 approved.

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