Filipino designer builds typhoon-resistant Cuboid House in Albay

Filipino Cuboid House Albay
Gil Bien’s Cuboid House Prototype in Malilipot, Albay. Image from Gil Bien’s Facebook Page.

Filipino designer Gil Bien has built a typhoon-resistant cuboid house in Albay in the Bicol Region which is frequently heavily struck by powerful storms that have led to the loss of lives and homes.

As a solution to his fellow Bicolanos’ perennial woes, the industrial designer of Dream Weaver Visual Exponents came up with a design for a resilient house whose prototypes have been built in Purok 4, San Jose, Malilipot, Albay.

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Bien’s Cuboid House project was officially launched in October 2022 with the aim to provide sustainable housing units for Bicolanos, as well as other Filipinos who are in need of typhoon-proof housing.

“The project was born from my desire to give Filipinos a home that will never let the big bad wind blow it away! All my experiences and lessons as a designer was tested, but through these nearly 2 years of study, trials, and construction; I have never been more happier as a designer.

“My dream of helping the Filipinos through this project has been an eventful one. Following the harshness of the past few years, to the joyous celebration of the labor, my team and I went through,” Gil Bien posted on Facebook on October 2.

In news interviews, the ABS-CBN production set designer explained that removing the gutter from the roof and having concave walls in the design lessens the pressure from strong winds during typhoons.

Engineer Joshua Agar, a professor and a Travel Fellow in the International Association of Wind Engineers, approved the design and further explained in his ABS-CBN interview that due to the curves of the walls, the magnitude of vortices brought by the typhoon is lessened, thereby reducing the aerodynamic forces.

Agar notes, however, that the real challenge is how to make it accessible to the public. “It is a good initiative. The next step is to make it accessible to the public. The goal is it has to be economically viable,” Engr. Agar added in a mix of Filipino and English.

Gil Bien estimated the total cost of about 1 million pesos for each housing unit which can be completed in a span of 2-3 months.

Despite the cost, Bien assures that it is an excellent investment in terms of the lessened repair costs in the future.

Bien said he is open to letting government agencies use his design to make it more accessible to the public as he is currently working on the required documents.

Resiliency is truly in the blood of Filipinos. It shows in the endless innovations in the housing industry, from homes made of resilient indigenous materials such as bamboo to an eco-bricks tiny house, a space-saving, eco-friendly home, to a remodeled jeepney campervan.

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Christian Tacsiat is a 4th Year BA Broadcasting student from the Philippine Christian University - Dasmariñas. He is a student servant-leader, with the hopes of creating more leaders out of others. He is a story teller whether it be through visuals or through his words. He aims to inspire more people through his works and his vision.