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Designing Spaces For Today
Welcome to the end of renovations that make the office a construction zone for months on end. And then you wish you would have designed the space differently.
“Traditionally, office renovations are a series of concessions,” says Geoff Gosling, VP of product development at DIRTT. “Everyone has to have a say and you are making decisions that you have to live with for years. This is an inferior way to design a work space.”
Calgary-based DIRTT (Doing It Right This Time) Environmental Solutions builds pre-engineered and pre-manufactured moveable walls. They can be configured to support existing office furniture and offer storage options. They also eliminate construction waste and future renovation waste – no demolition, procuring and re-building. That’s because once the DIRTT system is installed, it’s easy to change the configuration of the offices without major renovations.
“Even a lay person can do it,” Mr. Gosling insists. “This technology is sustainable from a behavioural perspective. It can change, evolve and adapt to small or large needs. It provides the opportunity to individualize a space. This is critical in giving people ownership of their environment.”
The fundamental assumption DIRTT operates on is that the future is unpredictable and that requires agility in designing spaces to accommodate the unforeseen. “Generally people wait to make major reconfigurations to the office,” Mr. Gosling says. “But if you make changes in smaller chunks your space stops being a barrier and becomes an extension of the culture and addresses the needs of the individual at that particular time. This allows self-expression and individual function.”
DIRTT uses a software program created specifically to design, specify and manufacture the walls. ICE® minimizes the complexity of design for clients and manufacturing costs. It allows designers to work with DIRTT Walls without in-depth product knowledge, such as how modules connect together and other specifications.
“ICE® sets us apart from our competitors and allows us to seamlessly and radically change our product over time,” Mr. Gosling says. “ We never build the same thing twice. That’s the nature of our world.” It’s also the nature this innovative company.
“Regardless of what we have done to date, we are never satisfied if we are not stretching the definition of the technology and design,” Mr. Gosling explains. “We’ve already significantly changed the way people look at the nature of their built environments.”
For now DIRTT is focusing on offices. Their future lies in residential construction as well. “When the kids go off to college, you don’t paint their room. Their room is gone,” Mr. Gosling says. “DIRTT is about addressing what the world is about today.”