DIRTT's sustainable modular wall systems are made from FSC-certified, urea formaldehyde-free MDF. Glass and metal can also be used in the products. CALGARY, AB — DIRTT Environmental Solutions has received recognition for its sustainable MDF modular wall systems. Founded in 2004 by Mogens Smed, CEO, the Calgary-based manufacturer has been selling its product since 2005.
The company acronym stands for Doing It Right This Time. According to Liane MacNeil, corporate communications, DIRTT is the first manufacturer in the industry to offer modular wall panel systems made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified, urea formaldehyde-free MDF panels. “Until now, clients striving for LEED certification had to choose between the point for urea formaldehyde-free or FSC-certified. For the first time they can have both.”
DIRTT's Breathe Living Wall was named a 2011 Top 10 Green Building Product by Sustainable Industries. Despite its short tenure, DIRTT already has received a number of awards in recognition of its sustainable products. Recent ones include: 2011 Top 10 Green Building Products, 2011 Bloom Award for Innovative Materials, 2010 Sustainable Exporter of the Year, 2010 ASID Product Award, 2010 Calgary Award for Corporate Environmental Achievement, and the 2010 Manning Award for Outstanding Innovation.
Products are manufactured in three facilities. All woodwork is produced at the Calgary facility, with all facilities offering the same capability to manufacture metal and glass. In addition to the 122,419-square-foot manufacturing area in Calgary, DIRTT operates an 81,000-square-foot plant in Savannah, GA, and in July 2011 started production and shipments from a new 71,855-square-foot facility in Phoenix, AZ. The company employs 600 people.
“These two (Savannah which opened in 2009, and Phoenix) locations were chosen due to proximity to key DIRTT markets. Phoenix offered advantageous business reasons for DIRTT to start manufacturing operations there. These factories also create many manufacturing jobs in each region,” MacNeil said.
DIRTT's modular wall systems can be used in a variety of applications, including healthcare, contract and educational facilities. As part of its sustainability efforts in the manufacturing process, in addition to the use of FSC-certified and urea-formaldehyde-free MDF, the company uses powder coating, water-based finishes and UV curing to virtually eliminate VOCs in the finishing process. PUR adhesive is used in the veneering process. DIRTT also is accredited as an FSC Chain-of-Custody supplier.