Ortigas breaks ground for climate-adaptive house prototype

Date posted January 13, 2016

With its steel-and-bamboo structure, Lara Therese Cruz’s climate-adaptive ‘Bambox Hut’ has the capability to float during extreme floods and to resist strong winds.


Palo, Leyte – Ortigas & Co. recently broke ground for a climate-adaptive house prototype at a St. Scholastica property in Brgy. Libertad, Palo Leyte. The structure is a product of the Build Forward architectural design competition launched in 2014, through a tripartite partnership between the developer, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).


From more than a hundred entries lodged in the first quarter of 2014, the Build Forward team set out to identify the best design—tough, low-cost, made from local materials, and appropriate for Leyte’s topography.


“We made our mission and vision clear—it was to help make structures that would stand the test of time and of the elements, to make structures that would remain standing even with more than 20 typhoons passing by the country year on year,” said Joey Santos, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Real Estate Division, Ortigas & Co.


In her senior year, Lara Therese Cruz authored the competition’s winning house design, “Bambox Hut.” The concept of then-architecture major from the University of Santo Tomas, boasts resilient bamboo, allowing the structure to withstand strong winds. The winning school design, “Taklob”, was crafted by Mervin Afan, Corenne Martin and Rafael Khemlani of University of the Philippines Diliman.


Build Forward Groundbreaking


Charlie Ayco, CEO and General Manager of Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Joey Santos, Senior Vice President of Ortigas & Co., and Sister Mary Frances Dizon, OSB, President of St. Scholastica’s College at the Palo, Leyte relocation site, which would soon hold the prototype of a Build Forward climate-adaptive house.


The Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery (OSB) will be the first to experience the model of the Bambox Hut, which will be used as their office and sleeping quarters. The rise of the prototype will come before the full execution of the vision of Build Forward that will sprout thousands of new homes and schools that are built to last for life.


Habitat for Humanity Philippines will be spearheading the construction of the prototype, which will take approximately 60 days. In July 2015, the residents of Leyte will be witnessing the rise of the first “Bambox Hut”.


For almost 85 years, Ortigas & Co. has been bringing to life some of the nation’s most-loved and most iconic places—and with it, creating new and newer experiences, traditions, and aspirations. Still, it continues to build for life. Ortigas is the developer behind some of Metro Manila’s known residential enclaves and mixed-use projects such as Frontera Verde, Circulo Verde, Capitol Commons, Greenmeadows and the Greenhills Subdivisions.

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