Earl Patrick Forlales, an Ateneo de Manila University graduate, designed CUBO, a project to build new, low-cost, and eco-friendly housing units.
The bamboo-based housing design by the 23-year-old has won the RICS Cities for our Future with the idea that will help solve the city of Manila’s slum housing crisis.
The housing is both affordable at just £60 per square meter and fasts to build at four hours per unit. His proposal would see as many as 10,000 people housed by 2023.
Earl chose to use bamboo for CUBO’s construction, inspired by his grandparent’s rural bamboo house and its abundance in the region. It is also eco-friendly, with waste used as a resource converted into biochar among other things. The material is both treated and laminated which means that its lifecycle is 10 times longer than normal bamboo.
The entries from all over the world were narrowed down to 12 shortlisted entries which were announced in June wherein Forlales was the South East Asia Regional winner. The finalists were then assigned individual RICS mentors who were experts in the specific fields that the ideas addressed to develop their ideas.
These entries were then judged by a panel of six leading global experts based on relevance, impact, feasibility, scalability, and originality. Forlales was then announced as the grand winner on November 22 over 11 other regional winners. He said:
“CUBO started as nothing more than an idea, conceived while spending time at my grandparent’s house – it is incredible to think that it now will become a reality. I would like to thank RICS for the opportunity to develop the idea and look forward to working with them to put this money to good use in Manila, and then hopefully elsewhere around the world.”
Earl will receive the prize money amounting to £50,000 or more than P3.3 million and will work on the project with RICS experts and industry professionals next year, utilizing RICS standards and best practice to ensure that it is delivered quickly to change the lives of the population of Manila. He has already identified a suitable plot of land to begin construction, with the hope that it will be used in other cities facing similar crises.