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GE Leads Funding for Pre-Fab Commercial Eco Buildings

GE Energy Financial Services has led a $22 million investment round for Project Frog, a venture selling pre-fabricated, energy efficient commercial building kits.

The round, joined by other investors including Claremont Creek Ventures, Greener Capital Partners and RockPort Capital Partners, aims to help Project Frog expand its sales pipeline and execute on orders. The investment amount for each firm participating was not disclosed.

GE has also begun construction on a Project Frog building at the corporation’s Learning Center in Ossining, N.Y., and expects to complete the installation by the end of this year.

Project Frog says its building systems for retail spaces, healthcare, schools and government improve traditional building construction methods by combining semi-custom designs with a pre-engineered kit of energy-efficient building components. These buildings reduce energy use by at least 25 percent, compared to the strictest building codes in the U.S., and by up to 80 percent in certain parts of the country, the company says.

Through 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, the company says.

GE’s investment in Project Frog formed part of the second phase of its Ecomagination Challenge, launched in January.

So far, GE and its partners have invested or committed to invest $134 million in energy and power grid technology developers announced as winners of the challenge. The program has also produced 22 new commercial partnerships and resulted in the acquisition of FMC-Tech, a smart grid technology company from the first phase, GE said.

Picture credit: Project Frog’s racing school at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

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