Tackles housing gap, effects of climate change by using sustainable materials
Base Bahay Foundation (Base) recently partnered with the Don Antonio O. Floirendo Sr. Foundation, Inc. (AOFF), the CSR arm of the ANFLO Group of Companies, to provide sustainable housing for banana workers and their families in Davao. The housing project leverages Base’s expertise and innovations to realize AOFF’s vision of uplifting the local community.
Through the partnership to provide affordable and disaster-resilient housing, Base is constructing two-storey duplex houses that are sturdy and made of high-quality bamboo. Designed to maximize space, the duplex house has one bedroom, a restroom, and a shower on the ground floor, and two rooms on the second floor, with the total floor area of each housing unit at 41.7 sqm and 83.4 sqm for the whole duplex housing.
The houses can resist typhoons with wind speeds of up to 250 kph, as well as earthquakes, based on the values in the National Structural Code of the Philippines. The bamboo is also treated for termites, making it as durable as other conventional housing materials.
“This project started with a vision—a vision to build sustainable houses for our employees and their families. One of the most unique features of this house is the use of bamboo in the construction of the houses making it environment-friendly,” said Maria Cristina Brias, AOFF President, at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“This project involves resiliency,” adds AOFF Executive Director Norman Clemente. “We’ve been planning for the past three to four years, and our dream is now a reality.”
AOFF’s affiliate company, TADECO, has a huge bamboo production that is being utilized for a banana plantation and for housing development purposes. Prior to starting the housing project, Base built a treatment facility for AOFF in 2020 to elevate the quality of the bamboo material as structural grade for construction purposes with an eye to building the two-storey homes for AOFF’s banana workers and other structures of hospitality purposes.
Mindanao is home to different species of bamboo that can be used for structures, including Dentrocalamus Asper (Giant Bamboo), Bambusa Blumeana (Dentrocalamus Asper) and Guadua. According to the World Risk Report of 2022, the Philippines ranked first among other countries on the disaster risk index. Utilizing alternative materials for construction projects, which provide structural integrity, safety, and reliability with no negative impacts to the environment, is a practical way forward for many communities to address the housing needs of their peoples.
Right technology, right materials
“Our partnership with AOFF demonstrates what is possible when the right technology is combined with materials that are abundant in the area,” said Pablo Jorillo, Base Bahay Foundation General Manager. “Our work with AOFF, providing durable and permanent housing, is just the first step toward realizing the community’s goals of providing for education, healthcare, economic upliftment, and preservation of culture. We’re proud to be helping make a significant impact in the lives of banana workers and their families through the AOFF and TADECO.”
Base is a non-profit organization that provides alternative building technologies and the pioneer in bamboo construction in the Philippines.
Through its network of partners, the organization has worked to build over 1,200 comfortable, affordable, disaster-resilient, and environment-friendly houses all over the country with some 5,000 individuals sheltered in 14 communities.
Base works with partners, local and international, to help address the growing housing gap and reduce the effect of climate change by using local and sustainable materials.