YKK AP Teams Up with Project Frog to Deliver Net-Zero Capable Smart Building Solutions

August 17, 2010

YKK AP America and Project Frog announced the forming of a strategic relationship to provide YKK AP's architectural aluminum products to Project Frog for use in its sustainable building solutions earlier today. This partnership enables Project Frog to provide its customers with proven, customized architectural solutions to meet a variety of performance levels up to and including net-zero, based on the customer's specific needs.

Project Frog offers a solution for schools, retail outlets, healthcare facilities, parks and recreation, and government institutions that are often under financial and time constraints that conventional construction methods cannot address, according to the company.

The goal is to develop these buildings in a sustainable manner, in a short amount of time and at a low cost, according to the companies.

In order to meet the needs of Project Frog to assure repeatable quality, minimize field labor, and support rapid on-site installation with little or no site waste, YKK AP joined forces with its exclusive United States fabricated products distributor, Erie Architectural Products. Together, Erie and YKK AP will provide fully pre-assembled and pre-glazed façade systems for mobilization to Project Frog building sites across the globe.

Oliver Stepe, senior vice president of YKK AP America, told USGNN.com that the two groups started discussions about a possible partnership at the GreenBuild Show in 2008.

"I took a lot of personal interest in the concept," said Stepe. "I loved the business idea, which was to create a modular structure—an amazing transformation from what we are used to seeing. They were creating these wonderful structures with a lot of natural light."

In fact, that use of natural light is one facet that both parties find so appealing about the program.

"ASHRAE proposed to reduce window to wall ratios, 40 percent to 30 percent," points out Mike Turner, vice president of marketing and technical services for YKK. "What's exciting is that Project Frog shows you can still main high levels of daylighting. It's really appealing to sit in one of these buildings with so much natural light. In order to be energy efficient you don't have to design a box with a few openings."

Stepe agrees, saying these buildings create a great balance.

"We are proving the pundits of the other viewpoints wrong," he says.

"One of the trademarks of our buildings is a lot of daylighting," adds Ash Notaney, vice president, supply chain, at Project Frog. "You want to allow the maximum amount of natural light. That's what makes people feel good."

Stepe says the two companies engaged in a lot of dialogue about how they could work together.

"We eventually came up with a supply chain solution-how to do this in short order through Erie, a distributor of ours," he adds. "What we're doing is creating unitized re-glazed modular systems that really streamlines the chain but still offers lots of options."

At the core of this program is the ability to offer energy-efficient solutions and Notaney says YKK was a great company to help them achieve their goals.

"We've been looking for this sort of unitized approach for awhile," he says. "There are two things that made YKK stand out: their commitment to energy efficiency and how they approach that. They believe in us and we believe in them and that defines this partnership."

"From our perspective we are now in a position to take this big and we are ecstatic about it," adds Stepe.

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