Despite the seemingly downward short-term trend for cleantech investing, corporations and investors continue to back the green building sector. On Wednesday San Francisco–based energy-efficient building company Project Frog announced that it has raised $22 million from GE, as well as venture capitalists including RockPort Capital and Claremont Creek Ventures.
GE showed its interest in Project Frog back in June, when it revealed the second group of startups that had won funds from its Smart Grid Challenge program. Over the past year through its Smart Grid Challenge project, GE has identified dozens of startups in the building energy, power grid and energy software space and has made a variety of small investments of several million dollars in these firms.
Project Frog designs and makes buildings that are prefab, and it uses control systems and software to make the buildings far more energy-efficient than a traditional building. Because its designs are manufactured off-site and assembled at the construction zone via a building kit, Project Frog says its buildings can also be built far more quickly and at a lower cost than traditional buildings.
Frog says a typical design and construction project can take 6 months, and on the energy front Frog says its buildings use 25 percent less energy than a standard building. The company targets its building kits and designs for schools, stores, museums, commercial workplaces and health care. GE says it has started building a Frog Design building at its Learning Center in Ossining, New York.
Image courtesy of Project Frog, in San Francisco at Crissy Field