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Disaster-resilient homes: Archi-design competition finalists announced

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The winning design will be used by Habitat for Humanity Philippines in the construction of new houses in Yolanda-hit areas

MANILA, Philippines – Six months after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ravaged  Eastern Visayas, recovery is still moving at a slow pace. This is most visible in the tarpaulin-made makeshift houses, unrepaired buildings, and roofless homes. 

Over 1.1 million houses were damaged when Yolanda hit the country, leaving more than 600,000 families homeless.

To make conditions even worse, evacuation centers (EC) weren’t spared when the super typhoon wreaked havoc in the country, rendering more than 400 ECs unlivable due to damage. (READ: In number: 6 months after Yolanda)

The damage brought by Yolanda emphasized the importance of disaster-resilient infrastructure especially in areas prone to harsh weather conditions.

Resilient homes 

Addressing the lack of disaster-resilient shelters, Ortigas & Co., in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and Habitat for Humanity Philippines, organized an architectural-design competition aiming to design climate-adaptive houses and school buildings. 

Architecture students from different Philippine colleges and universities joined the competition and came up with designs that can adapt and survive extreme weather conditions in the country.  

The following factors were heavily considered in creating the designs: strength, feasibility, and innovation. Participants were also encouraged to consider locally sourced and readily available materials in their output. 

The finalists for the house and school designs are the following:  

The ten shortlisted designs will be sent to international architectural firms Magnusson Klemencic Associates (Seattle, Washington) and Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin (RWDI) Consulting Engineers and Scientists (Ontario, Canada) to undergo structural review by experts. The designs will also be screened by Filipino experts. 

“In less than two months since we launched the competition, we were able to generate more than 100 entries from architecture students across the Philippines,” Joey F. Santos, General Manager of the Real Estate Division, Ortigas & Co., said. 

According to some well-known architects in the Philippines, an ideal typhoon-resilient home include some of the following features: located at a safe and elevated area, has 4-slope roofs, and uses durable materials. 

Yolanda survivors will directly benefit from this competition. The chosen design will be used by Habitat for Humanity Philippines in the construction of new houses in Yolanda-hit areas. 

“The future of architecture in the Philippines is looking bright, and so are the prospects for an ongoing campaign to Build Forward,” Santos added.  – With reports from Raisa Serafica/

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