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Innovative bamboo houses
By María V. R.
A young Filipino has won the international “Cities of the Future Award” for designing a bamboo house that can be assembled in just four hours. It is called CUBO, and the jury that awarded the prize highlighted its simplicity which makes it a practical solution for a global problem. Earl Forlales designed these dwellings with the aim of solving the housing crisis in his native country. The spark of the idea came from his grandfather's bamboo hut where he spent his childhood, and which has stood for decades. His goal is to offer decent, affordable and sustainable residences to the four million inhabitants of Manila who live in slums or illegal settlements.
The populations of cities around the world are constantly growing, and there is a real need for safe, healthy and comfortable housing for future generations. CUBO could be an excellent solution to this problem - not only for Manila, but for other cities where bamboo is cultivated and which also suffer from overpopulation and poverty. The cost per square metre of these houses is far less than normal building costs. The main reason for this is that bamboo matures in only three years after being planted, so it is both inexpensive and rapidly produced. As an extra bonus, the bamboo plants release up to 35% more oxygen into the environment than other trees. Bamboo is resistant to the elements, and these houses are projected to last up to 50 years.