Test Driving Manufactured Wall Systems

White Wall

A handful of Harmon team members recently attended a seminar put on by DIRTT (Doing It Right This Time). DIRTT produces and distributes manufactured wall systems.

 

Manufactured wall systems are prefabricated wall systems that are constructed in their plants and then shipped to the job site. These wall systems already have framed walls with electrical and plumbing systems roughed in and the finished product applied (i.e. paint, vinyl wall covering).

 

In our industry, 70% of stick framed / conventional construction usually consists of labor. As the construction labor shortage continues to rise, it can add tremendously to the cost and schedule of a project.

 

DIRTT walls allow for 70% of cost to be allocated to materials instead of labor. This is due to the fact that walls are assembled in a state of the art automated assembly plant, in which labor costs are more controlled and can be minimized. Per DIRTT, their costs have not increased in the last 10 years due to improved plant efficiency and materials management.

 

Prefabricated walls are 5 times more durable than drywall, so ongoing maintenance cost is reduced substantially. DIRTT also emphasizes savings on engineering and project management time when using prefabricated walls. They stress a 3 week design to production turnaround, which in turn is a shorter construction schedule and adds value to the Owner’s bottom line.

 

This process provides an adaptive approach to rapid construction. DIRTT believes this building process stands to benefit when construction embraces technology and their solutions allow clients to build more quickly, cost effectively and sustain-ably than ever before.

 

A few benefits include:

  • Lack of material waste
  • Environmentally sustainable
  • Shorter lead times
  • Fast track scheduling
  • Minimal clean-up (dust free) after install

 

We complete a substantial amount of construction projects in the medical industry. When we’re working in existing hospitals, we especially like the concept of installing manufactured wall systems because it helps to reduce construction debris and dust in existing clinical areas. This can definitely help on mitigating infectious control requirements and having a clean and sterile environment throughout the project.

 

Harmon is preparing to “test drive” this manufactured wall system on one of our upcoming projects. We will price this system versus conventional construction methods and complete a cost comparison for the project. We’ll present to the Owner cost and schedule options for a manufactured wall system.

 

We’ll keep you posted on what we find.

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