You won’t believe number five.
We know. You have questions about DIRTT. And for good reason. We’re only 15 years old. Barely a teenager. You haven’t had a chance to get to know how we can save your bacon on your next construction project.
Meanwhile drywall has been around for about a century like an old grandpa. He’s been sitting in the corner for years now. Telling you all the same stories over and over again. You get it. And you probably know there’s a better way of doing things than walking uphill to school. Both ways. In a snowstorm. There’s definitely an easier and more efficient way of getting things done.
What the actual FAQ?
To help you get to know that better way, we talked to our partners. We dug deep to find out the questions they get asked all the time. Some were obvious. Some were hilarious. All of them got us thinking. So here we go with the answers. Just remember, you asked for it. Literally.
1. What is up with that name?
That’s an easy one. DIRTT stands for Doing it Right This Time. You only have to go through one bad construction project to realize that you never want to do that again. But what if you could do it right? Prefabricated construction that goes in easy and looks great. That’s what we’re all about.
2. No but seriously, what is DIRTT?
Let’s start by stopping some of the popular rumors out there. We are not a cleaning company (but we do love clean construction). We are not a landscaping company (but we are all about green, sustainable options).
Here’s the short answer. We help you create the space you’ve always wanted. We use technology and prefabrication to build it quickly, cleanly and sustainably. And the space you get is flexible for the future.
3. What does DIRTT build?
I mean, what don’t we build? We’ve got walls, doors, ceilings, millwork, timber structures, writable surfaces, power interfaces and network systems. Whatever you need. Except maybe a wall full of plants. No wait, we got that too. Got an idea for a way to customize your space? We’ll work with you to make it happen.
4. How do you do it?
DIRTT uses our proprietary software called ICE. It streamlines the entire process from design to day two. It empowers you to create your space. Then it allows you to see what its actually going to look like. You can put on virtual reality goggles and walk through the environment. Or you can explore it by using your smartphone. This gives you and everyone on your team a chance to really experience the space before you sign off. Need to adjust? Do it. All the changes are made in the file and all the cost adjustments are reported instantly.
All that information from the file feeds into our factories. Your new space is custom built down to a fraction of an inch and shipped to site. Once it’s there, spaces are installed it in a fraction of the time of a conventional buildout. And because so much work is done in our factory instead of on-site, it’s a clean install. There is almost no debris to deal with.
Since DIRTT solutions are modular, it makes them flexible. If you decide you need to add offices or move a huddle area, you can. DIRTT can be disassembled and repurposed in your office. Just like we said, quick, clean and sustainable construction.
5. How does DIRTT compare in price to conventional construction?
It’s complicated. There are so many factors that go into building a space. Walls, windows, power, networks. It’s a lot to think about. Luckily, we spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff. And here is what we’ve discovered.
On most projects that use conventional construction there is a 70/30 split when it comes to cost. About 30% of the cost of a project is the materials that are used to make the space. The other 70% is the labor cost of the tradespeople who build it on-site. That means 70% of the money you pay for a space literally walks out the door when the job is done.
DIRTT has a 70/30 split too. But we flip it. With us, 70% of what you pay for is the infrastructure that stays in your building. You get in faster and you get more for your money. You truly invest in your space.
6. So, are you saying it costs about the same?
That depends. Are you looking at the big picture? Here’s where things get interesting.
We all know time is money and, bottom line, DIRTT is going to save you time. Building everything off-site means installation is way faster than conventional construction. In some cases, weeks faster. Or months. Yeah, months. Every day you’re not in your space is a day you are not making money. Think about that cost.
And how about this. What if you need to add another power outlet for a new employee? With conventional construction, that’s going to mean running cable through the ceiling and cutting a hole in the drywall. It’s going to take a while to patch that wall and repaint. With DIRTT, you can pop a wall panel off, add a quick connect power outlet and get back to work. The DIRTT labor costs are less. Plus, there’s less downtime in your office.
So, when it comes to price it’s tough to compare DIRTT with conventional construction, because the approach is so different. But we can make a pretty good financial case for being fast and flexible.
7. Can DIRTT help with the acoustics in my office?
The short answer is, you bet. And just as well as conventional construction. The challenge is this question triggers an avalanche of other questions. How many people are there? What do you want your space to look like? Is your boss a yeller? It’s not just about the walls. We don’t have room here to answer the question in a way that our constructability team would be happy with. But we do have room here and here. Check out those blog posts for all your acoustic needs.
8. Is DIRTT bulletproof?
To date, DIRTT had not done any ballistics test on our wall panels. If that changes, expect a follow-up story. In the meantime, here is the best answer we got from one of our partners. “It depends on the caliber.”
9. Why isn’t everybody using this?
This one’s simple. Humans are creatures of habit. They think it’s easier to do things the way they’ve always been done instead of trying something new. Even if it means sticking with a chaotic, messy, traditional construction process. But now you know that’s just not the case.
DIRTT is a building process powered by technology. We use our proprietary 3D software to help design, manufacture and install fully-customized interior environments. This same software provides clients with certainty around cost, schedule and the final outcome. With modular components and a streamlined construction process, complete interior spaces are constructed faster, cleaner and more sustainably. DIRTT works with nearly 100 construction partners globally. DIRTT trades on Nasdaq under the symbol “DRTT” and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “DRT”.