Earl Patrick Forlales, a 23-year old designer has won the “Cities for Our Future Challenge 2018” initiated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) after creating a low-cost bamboo housing unit to address the Philippines’ slum crisis. This winner has been selected from over 1200 entries, based on the relevance, impact, feasibility, scalability and originality of their idea solve issues like rapid Urbanisation, Climate Change and Resource Scarcity.

Earl Patrick Forlales, winner of”Cities for Our Future Challenge 2018″

An Affordable, applicable housing solution in massive populated developing countries

Manila has an estimated 4 million people living in slums

This modular housing solution, namely CUBO,  is a low cost house building proposal aimed at overcoming the growing slum population in Manila by using locally sourced and abundant bamboo to quickly construct a dignified and well sized home, within 4 hours of the installation team arriving on site. Multiple homes can be configured together in multiple arrangements to allow residents to take advantage of communal kitchens, bathrooms or offices, and foster a sense of community in the areas in which it is built.

He explained, “It’s designed to turn community waste into energy and other valuable resources.” The material is an eco-friendly choice, as it releases 35% more oxygen than trees and can be harvested annually without causing soil degradation. The CUBO homes also have slanted roofs to catch rainwater, and stilts to keep out floodwater. CUBO can easily be applied in areas across SE Asia, LATAM and Africa, and based on current forecasts would be able to be rented for £0.20 per day, which means each unit would turn a profit within 5.1 years. The cost of £0.20 per day also represents a significant saving over existing alternatives available in Manila, and makes the unit affordable for even the city’s lowest paid workers.

According to Earl’s mentor, Will Kennedy-Cooke, Managing Director South East Asia, WT Partners said, ‘Earl’s proposal for a low cost housing solution to improve the lives of workers in the Philippines has significant potential application in all emerging markets. It is a well-considered and feasible solution, incorporating sustainable and environmental initiatives, together with improvements that have been developed into a robust business case worthy of consideration. Earl has articulated a clear vision about investing the proceeds from this challenge to realise the potential of his proposal to help address a very significant and common problem in expanding cities.’

Mr Forlales, who comes from Manila and studied material science engineering, will use the prize money from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Cities for our Future competition to start work on his “CUBO” communal housing units in 2019. Finger cross and we look forward to your CUBO community in ASIA!


Source of Information:


BBC News


Photo Credit: RICS Youtube

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