DIRTT Sets Green Standards for Modular Walls

CALGARY, Alberta — Calgary-based Doing It Right This Time, or DIRTT, a modular wall manufacturer, announced this month that it has set the official international standard for measuring and reporting how modular wall components measure up in terms of sustainability.

DIRTT manufactures construction materials with sustainability in mind. The company has completed a third-party verified life cycle assessment (LCA) and 15 environmental product declarations (EPDs) for prefabricated modular walls.

With the publication of these new environmental product declarations, DIRTT becomes the first and only modular wall manufacturer to fund the development of the first industry Product Category Rule (PCR). It also is the
first to measure the environmental impacts of its products through the entire lifecycle and publish EPDs for five configurations, in three different factories, for a total of 15 EPDs.

DIRTT worked with a third-party environmental data and software company, Climate Earth of Berkeley, Calif., which performed the LCA. The LCA measured the environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle of DIRTT products, from gathering the raw materials to manufacturing, transporting, installing and recycling or disposing of them. The LCA provides the needed environmental information to produce the EPDs.

"Customers are asking for more information about the products and solutions they buy," said Chris Erickson, CEO of Climate Earth, in a statement. "In many ways EPDs mimic the nutrition label on food in that they provide the facts and the transparency needed to make an informed purchasing decision. DIRTT is now leading its industry in increased transparency regarding environmental impact."

DIRTT also sponsored development of the global PCRs for interior prefab modular walls. The Institute for Environmental Research and Education (IERE) led the PCR process. IERE is a nonprofit organization that established the first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program in North America. The PCR defines the guidelines and requirements for EPDs in a particular category and sets a scientifically sound comparative standard for other companies in the construction industry to adapt and follow. The process aims to provide customers with more environmentally-friendly product choices.

"Customers are increasingly concerned with environmental footprint and there is growing demand for manufacturers to publish their sustainability credentials, so we’re proud to say we’ve set a new standard in transparency," said Scott Jenkins, president of DIRTT in a statement. "We all need to change behaviors to decrease our impact, but you can’t change behaviors unless you measure them first. DIRTT has now measured ours and we’re ready to seize the opportunity to reduce our impact."

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