GE has begun constructing one of its prefabricated environmentally sustainable buildings at its renowned Learning Center in Ossining, NY, in a $22 million investment in San Francisco-based Project Frog.
The $22 million investment will help Project Frog expand its sales pipeline and execute on orders. Project Frog applies technology to overcome the inefficiencies of traditional construction, thus changing the way buildings are created.
The project is led by GE (NYSE: GE) unit GE Energy Financial Services and joined by other investors including Claremont Creek Ventures, Greener Capital Partners and RockPort Capital Partners. On August 29, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy also announced that it will provide Exelon’s Stations in Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with full portfolio of outage services, including maintenance, Iinspection and fuel reload engineering with a nearly $150 million services contract awarded by Illinois-based Exelon Nuclear.
The investment amount for each firm participating was not disclosed.
“Project Frog fills a market need for high-quality, energy-efficient buildings at a lower cost and less time to completion, which our investment and collaboration will help demonstrate,” said Ricardo Angel, senior vice president of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services.
According to GE, Project Frog’s technology improves traditional building construction methods by combining semi-custom designs with a pre-engineered kit of energy-efficient building components, enabling higher quality, more environmentally sustainable, faster and cheaper construction.
Through advanced performance modeling, Project Frog analyzes how its buildings will perform in each location, allowing owners to optimize a building kit to match their desired performance. The kits are delivered to project sites ready for assembly, and typically take one to six months to construct —less than half the time required for traditional construction.
Project Frog’s buildings use at least 25 percent less energy than the strictest building codes in the United States, and as much as 80 percent less energy in certain parts of the country. Project Frog manufactures its commercial building systems for educational and government organizations, healthcare offices and retail spaces.
Construction of the Project Frog building at GE’s John F. Welch Leadership Development Center is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Established in 1956, the Learning Center, also known as “Crotonville,” was the first of its kind and has been at the forefront of real-world application for the latest thinking in organizational development, leadership, innovation and change.
GE said construction of the Project Frog building is part of a broader venture that is aimed at “rethinking Crotonville to support 21st century learning by embedding new attributes to the curriculum, redesigning facilities and empowering participants to own their own learning experience.”
GE commits to pursuing LEED certification for select buildings at Crotonville.
GE’s investment in Project Frog is part of the second phase of its ecomagination Challenge, which was launched in January as part of GE’s commitment to improve building energy efficiency through new technologies. At present, GE and its partners have invested or committed to invest $134 million in energy and power grid technology developers announced as winners of the Innovation Challenge.
The Challenge has also produced 22 new commercial partnerships and resulted in the acquisition of FMC-Tech, a smart grid technology company from the first phase.