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IMAGE CREDIT: Sally Painter

Eliminating Waste With DIRTT’s Adaptable Construction System

How industrialized construction allowed one company to divert 22,565 pounds of debris from the landfill on a single project

Building exteriors often stay relevant for decades, but interiors spaces are in constant need of change. Needs shift. Economic forces come into play. New tenants have different requirements. Evolving trends can make designs seem dated. These are just some of the reasons why organizations want their interior to evolve over time. That’s why we continue the cycle of building interiors with drywall, using them for a while, tearing them down to respond to change, and then building them again. It’s so normal that we fail to recognize how damaging this mentality is to the environment around us.

What if we could break this damaging cycle? What if we could create interiors that aren’t disposable? Can spaces be as dynamic as the organization’s inside of them? And can we create a cycle that is less harmful to our planet.  The answer is yes.

Renovation usually creates a lot of construction waste

A large percentage of landfill is made up of construction waste

APEL Extrusions

It’s 2014. APEL Extrusions, an aluminum manufacturer, is building an office space for their 80 employees with the help of their local DIRTT Construction Partner, Eteriors. They set out to build 5,100 square feet of DIRTT on the first floor of a building. The area would be complete with meeting rooms, offices, and employee break-out areas. The other half of the first floor would be dedicated to the manufacturing side of their business.

Original installation on the first floor

APEL in 2014

Four years later

By summer 2018, APEL had evolved. Their production needed to increase to meet the demands of their business. Their employee count had also grown. And, they needed their space to respond. The solution was to move their office from the first floor to the second so that the original floor could be fully dedicated to manufacturing.  

Using DIRTT’s proprietary ICE® software, it was determined that APEL could reuse 98% of their current DIRTT solutions in a reconfiguration for the second floor. 

DIRTT technology also calculated which additional solutions were needed to ensure the interior would match their new needs. ICE visually demonstrated how the reuse of these solutions would look in their updated space.

The reconfigure visualized in ICE and the updated space

IMAGE CREDIT: Sally Painter

Rapid timeline

Once the new layout was calculated and planned, it was time for the heavy lifting. The DIRTT interior on their first floor was disassembled in just three days. The lack of noise and debris meant APEL's employees could keep working in the space during construction.

Once the DIRTT solutions on the first floor were uninstalled, it only took one week for the DIRTT solutions (new and old) to be re-installed on the second floor. Then they were able to expand their manufacturing to the entire main floor to keep pace with production demands.

CAPTION: APEL updated their space without having to tear it down

IMAGE CREDIT: Sally Painter

IMAGE CREDIT: Sally Painter

IMAGE CREDIT: Sally Painter

The power of DIRTT

Reconfiguring APEL with this level of sustainability could only be achieved with an industrialized construction approach. It provided APEL a responsive space. You can’t reconfigure drywall. You can’t recycle it once it’s torn out either.

If this space been built conventionally, APEL would have needed to demolish their office environment on the first floor, put it all in the landfill, and start the second floor from scratch. All with a negative impact on the environment. The project’s schedule would have been significantly longer. And it would have cost a great deal more. APEL’s initial investment would have gone to waste. And so much more embedded carbon would have gone into the build. 

Keep your space relevant as your organization evolves. Stop the cycle of treating interiors as disposable. When interiors can respond to change, the environment doesn’t suffer. Plus, money is well spent and time is saved.  

Relocated and reconfigured to save time and money

IMAGE CREDIT: Sally Painter

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