Bamboo modular unit wins future cities competition

A modular housing project made of bamboo that captures rainwater, reduces heat gain and prevents flooding has won an international design competition.

Earl Patrick Forlales, a 23-year-old from Manila, has won the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS) Cities for our Future competition. His CUBO project is a new type of modular housing unit that will be used to house the incoming worker population in the short term before being applied to the rest of the city’s slum community.

The housing units are affordable and fast to build: at just £60 per square metre, one unit can be built in four hours. Constructed out of environmentally friendly bamboo, the material is both treated and laminated, which means that its lifecycle is 10 times as long as normal bamboo. Clever design elements include a tilted roof that captures rainwater and reduces heat gain, and elevated stilts that prevent floodwaters from entering the home. What’s more, the solution can be applied to any city where bamboo can be grown, including most of Southeast Asia and parts of Africa and Latin America.

Forlales will now receive £50,000 in prize money to start work on the project next year with RICS experts and industry professionals. He has already identified a suitable plot of land to begin construction.

Beth Taylor, competition judge and chair of the UK National Commission (UKNC) for UNESCO, praised Forlales’ use of traditional, sustainable technologies and materials “to solve an issue facing modern cities across the world”.

The competition – run by RICS and supported by UKNC for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities – received over 1,200 entries after its launch in January this year.

“Earl’s idea stood out for its simple, yet well thought through solution to the world’s growing slum problem,” said competition head judge and RICS president John Hughes. “As we look at our entrants, who are our next generation of leaders, I believe that real progress will be made in tackling the world’s biggest issues.”

Image credit: Thomas Johansen via Flickr

Andrea Schaller

Founder and editor Go4Ges

You may also like...

Leave a Reply