A conversation with a WTCSav partner
DIRTTBag, Laura Lee Bocade
Tell us about DIRTT.
DIRTT uses technology to manufacture custom interiors for all industries and applications, with minimal waste. Our name stands for Doing It Right This Time and is our own promise to blaze ahead with the knowledge there’s a better way to build, no matter what the past has held or tradition dictates. Founded and headquartered in Canada, DIRTT is a building process powered by technology that creates customizable, sustainable architectural interiors. We are revolutionizing the construction world with industry-leading software and advanced manufacturing. Complete interior spaces are built faster, cleaner and more sustainable. DIRTT located a manufacturing facility in Savannah in 2009 that employs more than 150 people, known as DIRTTbags.
How long have you been with the company?
I have been with DIRTT since 2008. I was brought on as the talent manager to oversee the initial hiring to begin operations at the new facility. My mission is to spread DIRTT by developing and nurturing community partnerships, as part of our progressive approach to corporate responsibility and philanthropy.
Why is DIRTT an ideal solution for interior design? What is unique about your process?
In a year all computers could run first-person videogames, we thought “hey, let’s make software with that experience. DIRTT removes the guesswork in the design and construction process with the power of ICE® technology. It provides certainty on cost, schedule, and the final result.
ICE® is a 3D design platform with embedded product logic. This robust software is at the core of DIRTT and empowers clients to design with confidence. ICE holds all the information needed to manufacture a complete DIRTT interior. ICE® looks and acts like a 3D video game where users can explore and change their design. Behind the scenes, it’s doing the heavy lifting: specifying, pricing and building the design elements. What you see is what you get, down to the penny and within a decimal point of a millimeter. Teams can tour a space in virtual reality before it’s ever built.
What benefits has the company seen because of choosing this region?
The infrastructure is a huge benefit as we export DIRTT products to our overseas markets. The economic development community is proactive and supportive, and the quality of life is unmatched.
Tell us about the company culture.
We’re all DIRTTbags! We work to maintain a friendly and relaxed atmosphere where every team member, regardless of rank or duty, is treated equally. There are no titles There’s no TGIF. There’s no clock watching. There’s just a lot of love for what we do and each other. We believe that the final product that goes out of the door is a reflection of the atmosphere of fun, innovation and collaboration that we celebrate our space.
Why is sustainability such a large part of DIRTT’s mission?
Sustainability is a huge part of our mission. Even our lights are on motion sensors to lower our carbon and raise our fitness. Our mission is to help organizations create the best spaces for who they are now and who they will become. Projects can be reimagined and reconfigured over time and many of the components can be reused limiting the number of materials that end up in landfills. Construction uses more raw materials than any other industry and fills a quarter of all landfills. Our method helps fix that.
Additionally, spaces can be designed to be mobile if necessary, so if a company changes locations, they don’t have to change the look and functionality of their space.
Every decision evaluates how much energy it took to make the material, how safe it is, and how it can be reused (or at least recycled). All DIRTT components can be disassembled and repurposed. Which means they have a long life cycle. Basically, we’re always looking for ways to shrink our carbon footprint.
Describe your experience with WTCSav.
We have had the pleasure of partnering with WTCSav on number of events and projects throughout the years. In 2018 we had the honor of being recognized as the as the World Trade Center Savannah International Business of the Year. Our organizations have a true partnership and shared goals within this region. We are looking forward to many more years of collaboration.
155 Knowlton Way
Savannah, GA, USA 31407