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IMAGE CREDIT: Photo courtesy of HDR © 2021 Dan Schwalm

Breaking Barriers with a Resilient Construction System

As our world evolves, the ability to create space that can adapt is more important than ever

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that resilience is important. In a world that is always changing, the ability to adapt is crucial. For those that value an eye to the future, resilience and sustainability go hand in hand. If sustainability is about protecting and maintaining our resources, resilience is all about our ability to survive and bounce back from sudden or chronic disruptions. 

Today, we need them both. Not only are our resources threatened, our world is changing quickly. Economies rise and fall. Technology gallops along. Climate change directly impacts our lives with extreme weather, storms, and natural disasters. 

Resilience has become a movement unto itself. The 100 Resilient Cities project challenges and guides cities to look their shocks (e.g. massive natural disaster) and stresses (e.g. chronic unemployment) in the eye and lay out a roadmap to address them. 

Resilience, by definition, is the ability to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of these challenges. 

So, what do DIRTT interiors have to do with resilient cities and natural disasters? Well, lots of people are talking about resilience in infrastructure and buildings. It’s part of the 100 Resilient Cities framework. LEED has introduced two pilot credits dedicated to resilience and the architecture firm Perkins & Will introduced the RELi resilience design criteria

We think interiors can and should be resilient too. DIRTT is inherently part of the function of your space and tailored the unique needs of every place it’s used. It goes without saying it needs to be part of your resilience plan. Here’s a look at how DIRTT modular interiors survive, adapt, and grow. 

Powerful compatibility

Image Credit: J. Michael Worthington, Jr.


To survive, you have to start by being prepared. And your DIRTT space has uses modular walls made from sustainable materials - easy to assemble, easy to disassemble. 

What does this look like when a real-life shock hits? After DIRTT installed a new teleconference room at a government building, a two-foot wave flooded the space. The water destroyed the drywall, but the DIRTT panels sustained no damage and protected the technology behind them. 

If the water had  damaged the tiles, we could have removed just the damaged panels and replaced them, rather than ripping out the entire wall. 

Survival is also about bouncing back: how quickly can you be back up and running in the most economical way possible? 

The DIRTT Construction System empowers speed. If the government client had needed new panels to replace the damaged ones, we’d be able to produce them in two weeks. Then we could install them in a matter of minutes. And there’d be no time wasted going over design details because everything’s on file. 


We recently worked with a technology company in Utah. They moved into a temporary office space while their permanent space was built, but wanted an interior solution that could move with them when the time came.

To achieve this, we collaborated with them to design a solution that worked in both spaces. This allowed their investment to move right along with them. 

Companies change. They shrink and grow, often with the economy. Needs change. DIRTT spaces have the ability to quickly adapt. If you suddenly need new desk space, we can look at the components you have with our software and help you reconfigure with what you already have. 

Instructure Case Study



In a world that constantly changes, we must be able to evolve to keep pace. 

Technology advances every day. DIRTT integrates technology behind our walls, using quick-connect components. When new technology comes out, you can simply remove a panel, swap out the old for the new and be back in business. 

In addition, DIRTT components are multi-generational. This means that new DIRTT components will always fit the old ones. If your old finishes go out of style, you don’t have to start from scratch. Just refresh. And do it with less waste. 

Create dynamic, resilient spaces

IMAGE CREDIT: Latitude Photography

Why it matters

Everything is connected. That means having a resilient interior doesn’t just save you money and time if you face a shock or stress (though it will). It bolsters your company and the world. 

If your interior can bounce back or adapt easily, you can focus on what matters for your organization. This makes your leadership and systems more resilient. And more resilient organizations make more resilient cities, which in turn make a more resilient world. 

Resources and Further Reading

The Rockefeller Foundation: 100 Resilient Cities

Sustainability Degrees: Sustainability vs Resilience: Why Bouncing Back is the Way of Future

Constructible: Resilience Planning in Design and Construction

Green Biz: Why Resilience is Essential in a Volatile World ↗

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