Construction Kits Go Green, Jobs Go Down in the Bay Area

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor  Amid plans of overhauling the entire building industry and impressive attempts at sustainable and energy-efficient structures, some projects seem to prosper more than others. One such endeavor is Project Frog, a San Francisco-based building business. The [...]

 Amid plans of overhauling the entire building industry and impressive attempts at sustainable and energy-efficient structures, some projects seem to prosper more than others. One such endeavor is Project Frog, a San Francisco-based building business. The idea of this venture is to amass enough funding to continue its ongoing campaign.

Project Frog’s main focus is selling low-tech, low-cost and easy-to-assemble kits that are used in building offices, schools and other commercial buildings that are to be energy efficient. The company’s success can be gauged by its recent venture capital addition of $22.3 million. Since 2009, the company has increased its yearly revenue by 150 percent, The San Francisco Business Times reports. Figures are indeed looking even better seeing as the company has shipped kits totaling more than 70,000 square feet. In addition to those figures, the project is slowly taking off, with projections for 2012 tripling the current total values.

It’s probably not Project Frog’s fault, but construction jobs have dropped by 4 percent since the summer of 2010, according to figures from the Associated General Contractors of America. The numbers, made public by SFBT, indicate that the Bay Area lost as many as 3,600 construction jobs, which doesn’t quite fit in with state numbers. California added an overall 13,200 jobs during the same timeframe, meaning an actual increase of 2 percent.

The numbers might have looked even worse were it not for the construction boom in Silicon Valley, as San Francisco, Peninsula, Fremont and Oakland have all lost their share of construction jobs. The total for California stood at 585,500 people working in construction in July 2011.