A Canadian manufacturer of movable modular walls for building interiors will open an 81,000-square-foot assembly plant in Savannah by spring 2009, initially hiring 30 employees.

DIRTT, whose name is an acronym that stands for “Doing it Right This Time,” makes wall panels that offer an alternative to traditional stud-and-drywall construction.

Once workers are trained and processes are put in place, the plant could create 150 jobs within two years, said Julie Pithers, a DIRTT spokeswoman.

The Savannah operation will be called DIRTT Environmental Solutions because these modules can be reused, providing “a more sustainable solution than building on site, then demolishing walls only to build them again,” according to a DIRTT press release.  

DIRTT’s software custom designs aluminum wall frames for office spaces and other interiors. Tiles are then clipped to the frames, allowing easy placement of cables and other devices behind walls, Ms. Pithers told GlobalAtlanta.

“Every job we do really requires a sense of design and the power of the designer, not just for the aesthetics, but for the function of the space,” Ms. Pithers said.

For that reason, the presence of the Savannah College of Art & Design was a major factor in DIRTT’s decision to locate in Savannah, she said.

DIRTT plans to recruit designers from the college and will put together a scholarship for SCAD students within the next few months, she added.

The Savannah plant will be the company’s second facility.  Its first is in Calgary, Canada, where the company is based.

Officials are excited about the prospect of doing business in Savannah, a region home to 226 manufacturing plants and a qualified workforce, the release said.

The city’s historic culture is also an asset, and the company will use Savannah as a base for meeting clients from Europe and elsewhere, the release said.

For more information, visit www.dirtt.net.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...