DIRTT: Sustainably Changing Modular Construction


In the United States, nearly 40% of waste in landfills originates from the construction industry. Overall, this industry is known for completing projects late and over budget. Departing from these industry norms, a company in Canada—DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd., founded in 2005—has a unique approach to interior construction and renovation. The name of the company stands for “Do It Right This Time,” which embodies how they approach projects. Their unique approach, based on a modular wall system and design aesthetic, represents a paradigm shift in construction methods. This case examines the journey of DIRTT and their efforts to think holistically towards sustainability that encompasses not only the product design, but operations and outlook towards corporate social responsibility. It also asks students to consider the balance of profitability and sustainability, as well as the feasibility of expanding beyond commercial and into residential construction.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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