Research facility for sustainable bamboo house technology opens

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    A piece of bamboo is tested for its resistance at the Base Innovation Center.

    Base Bahay, the pioneering foundation that provides alternative building technologies for socialized housing, launched the Base Innovation Center (BIC) last January 27.

    Located in the Foundation’s Makati office, the BIC is the first research and testing facility for sustainable and disaster-resilient construction technologies in the country.

    BIC houses a universal testing machine, a bamboo wall panel reaction frame, fabrication tables, and a model house wherein new materials and building techniques are tested.

    “With the launch of this innovation center, we aim to further our research on bamboo construction technology, that we may continue to provide Filipinos with more affordable and resistant solutions to housing,” saidLuis Felipe Lopez Munoz, Base Bahay head of technology.

    Together with partners, Habitat for Humanity Philippines and the Hilti Foundation, Base Bahay hopes to further optimize bamboo construction technology and promote its widespread use in the country.

    With the launch of the BIC, the initiative targets to build 10,000 cement bamboo houses by 2024, in response to the growing need for socialized homes in various disaster-prone areas in Luzon and the Visayas .

    As of 2020, Base has built over 800 houses, 10 communities, five supply facilities, and housed over 4,000 individuals across the Luzon and Visayas areas. They’ve also trained over 100 TESDA-certified workers on masonry, carpentry, and in the application of cement bamboo technology in the country.

    Base has ongokng research projects with the De La Salle University which focus on the determining the strength and mechanical properties of various bamboo species.

    These studies are being conducted to guide the development of a local structural code for bamboo, aligned with the Philippine National Standard (PNS) 22157 and the proposed International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 22156. The former determines the specific testing procedures for obtained bamboo culms, while the latter is meant to institutionalize the use of bamboo in structural design.