|The ultimate goal is to replace makeshift houses of illegal settlers with this low-cost design|
The traditional Filipino bahay-kubo is getting an eco-friendly upgrade.
Harnessing conventional and modern building knowledge, a group of college students has designed a “modern bahay-kubo” that is not only pro-environment but is cost-effective at the same time.
This modern undertaking, which the group called “Fusion: Adaptive Cube,” capitalizes on the use of bamboo (instead of the conventional pawid, a type of tree leaf) and high polyethane concrete blocks or HDPE (more of this below).
The HDPE, on the other hand, replaces the traditional “hollow blocks.” Instead of using gravel as aggregate, the HDPE uses recycled plastics mixed with concrete.
“The result is a lighter, much cheaper, and more eco-friendly alternative,” said Rio Cielo Velasco. “It puts to good use plastic that would have been just waste products.”
Bamboo is the perfect material for this type of design as it is indigenous to the
, the group said. The material is so strong it could last for more than 20 years when used in this housing design. Philippines
To make the house more solid, though, the group opted to keep the use concrete in the design’s structural foundation. While this design is ideal for a one-storey building, the plan allows for an option to expand and build a second floor.
The one-storey house design is 6 meters in height with an elevation of 0.8 meters from the ground, which would serve as the house’s silong. The elevation also makes this modern baha-kubo more resistant to flooding.
“The design also features a roofing system that catches rain which goes to a container,” Velasco said. “Residents can later use this collected water for flushing.”
It’s not only rainwater that is maximized—the design allows air to freely circulate around the house while letting sunlight in, saving on electricity.
|The roofing system catches rainwater for later use|
The other team members include Audrie Cristian Gatus, Alizsa Quinsay, Michelle Kho, Sheryl Trinidad, Jomar Guevara, Kristine Ada, Rhona Opulecia, Roy Conception, and Analaine Yap. The group competed under the guidance of Prof. Junar Pakingan Tablan and Dean Gloria Teodoro.
“We see this design perfect for government housing projects for informal settlers,” Cabrera said. “It’s also ideal for housing projects by non-profit organizations like the Gawad Kalinga.”
The group said they got the inspiration to create this architectural design after visiting Baseco, where they learned that some 6,000 families live in unsafe, make-shift houses.
Cabrera said: “We hope our design can go beyond being a class project to actually help make low-cost housing more safe, efficient, and environment-friendly.”
* Note: Marco and his team has already graduated from Mapua since this article was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on November 10, 2010.