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Project FROG came to Loisos + Ubbelohde with a deceptively straightforward research question: how do we take our prefabricated classroom characterized by quick construction, lower costs, high quality control and basic green performance and achieve zero net-energy, zero-net carbon emissions and high quality interior space efficiently and appropriately for any given site and climate. This research is conceived as broadly open-ended for product development applicable to many locations, but also informed by ongoing specific project opportunities for defined sites and clients. As we develop more detailed and sophisticated methodologies for identifying the optimal configuration, envelope design and mechanical system, we work iteratively with the product development team to ensure that all design options we identify are realistic from a manufacturing and cost standpoint.

To date, four phases of the ongoing research can be described. In Phase I we took a proof of concept approach to see if the regular Frog classroom could become a Frog Zero for a real project and real client in Hawai’i. Succeeding at this, we developed an optimal Frog Zero design for three more climates (San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles). Phase III focused on the design and performance of three custom Frog Zero projects for specific clients and site locations: the 2008 Greenbuild Frog Zero Demonstration Classroom in Boston MA, the Watkinson School in Hartford CT and the temporary Crissy Field Center in San Francisco CA. In parallel, Phase IV developed a methodology to identify the smallest number of design options required to provide full comfort at net-zero energy throughout an entire region characterized by varied climate conditions.

Parametric analyses of annual hourly energy use informed modular building suites that are specifically tailored to different climates.


This graph of energy use tracks each day of the year in order to paint a detailed picture of the classroom's hourly performance.


A FROG Classroom is assembled in 7 days under the overhang of the Boston Convention Center at Greenbuild '08.


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Project FROG

Greenbuild '08, Boston


cross Advanced computer simulations were used to predict daylight and electric light levels.