Drew A Buechley, CEO
Today, no industry remains untouched by the transformative effects of advanced technologies. However, the construction sector has lagged when it comes to embracing technological innovations. According to a McKinsey report, in 2016, 70 percent of construction firms dedicated 1 percent or less of their revenue to technology. While other sectors have invested heavily to improve productivity and reduce costs, the construction industry has only started implementing new process and technology innovations in recent years. A company that has dedicated its efforts and solutions toward bringing this change is San Francisco-based Project Frog.
To overcome the challenges in the construction industry, which largely remains fragmented, Project Frog pioneered an integrated solution to automate and simplify the entire building process, from design to manufacturing. Since its inception in 2006, Project Frog has been focused on creating scalable Industrialized Construction (IC) solutions by creating a unique integrated building system product, technology and services approach. Their comprehensive suite of technology, products and services marks a shift in IC, offering mass customization at scale to IC stakeholders. The company’s customized and scalable technological infrastructure for IC leverages the efficiencies of prefabrication with program-specific technology solutions.
“Companies lack the ability to connect workflows and siloed data in a useful, meaningful manner,” explains CEO of Project Frog, Drew A Buechley. Growing investments in construction projects in a bid to improve productivity is only adding complexity as firms are now managing more components now than ever. Given its project orientation, the industry suffers where ad hoc teams of architects, engineers, manufacturers, contractors, builders and consultants rarely repeat across multiple projects.
Additionally, connecting and co-relating workflow data from cross-functional teams, offices located across the globe, and construction sites in multiple locations is a daunting task.
Project Frog’s approach to Industrialized Construction, ICaaS, offers a suite of products and services that enable users to get up to speed quickly, at any step of their journey. By applying technology to increase speed, while scaling design, manufacture and construction processes, the company delivers unlimited design options, shorter build schedules and improved quality.
The client-optimized full-service suite blends technological innovations with end-to-end software integration and process implementation. Its in-house supply chain team aids clients in sourcing construction components, leveraging its in-depth experience and distributed supply chain with redundant vendors, offering competitive and predictable pricing and no limits to production capacity. Additionally, the company provides design and advisory services to help clients develop a custom kit-of-parts platform from scratch or reverse engineer a pre-existing platform.
To bridge the information gap, Project Frog, in collaboration with Autodesk, developed KitConnect, an integrated Revit to Web solution enabling users to optimize their design to manufacturing and construction workflows at scale – enabling Industrialized Construction or repetitive design. Built on Autodesk Forge, KitConnect is interoperable with cloud-hosted content and drives data-centric workflows, connecting entire project teams – from product engineers and architects, consultants, manufacturers and builders. Another component worth mentioning is Project Frog’s Structural Analysis Service (SAS). SAS runs in the firm's internal cloud stack and allows designers to generate a structurally sound building from a Frog designed kit-of-parts and output a structural calcs package for permit in mere minutes.
What distinguishes Project Frog from the competitors is its experience and in-depth knowledge of IC. “Our ability to work across the spectrum, with a broad range of constituents, puts us in a unique position,” states Buechley. The firm’s data-centric approach allows any user within a system to contribute to the data flow, while simultaneously benefiting from live data contribution from other users across the network. For enhancing usability and flexibility of software components, the firm integrates into many software stacks, including MRP and ERP systems, to create the optimal workflow for all stakeholders, providing swift cost analysis. These tools assist enterprises in maintaining consistent design control and enable a rapid design-to-construction process. Moving forward, Project Frog anticipates experiencing continued growth and has outlined a number of areas to expand, including sales of its software, building kits and design and implementation services.