Cubo Modular Bamboo Housing

Cubo Modular Bamboo Housing

Cubo modular bamboo housing is the brainchild of Earl Patrick Forlales. Manila, Philippines has a housing problem similar to many other cities around the world. Rapid urbanisation has caused people to migrate from their provinces to the city. Forlales’ vision is a Philippines without slums.  Inspired by the traditional “Bahay Kubo”, he aims to provide a modern, affordable housing.

Bahay Kubo. Image: rustinpc | (CC BY-NC 2.0) | Flickr

Versatile Bamboo

Over 1,200 species of bamboo exist worldwide. Bamboo has a higher tensile strength than steel and withstands compression better than concrete. Because of insects, humid weather, intense sun and heavy rains in the Philippines, raw unprocessed bamboo lasts up to 5 years. Treated bamboo can last up to 15 years. Engineered bamboo is bamboo that has been treated and laminated. They process this bamboo to produce slabs of wood,  beams and columns.  Engineered bamboo can last up to 50 years and has the density to resist high winds.

Materials engineers from MIT and Cambridge have studied engineered bamboo and they have found it to be a suitable alternative to conventional wood.  For example, a mahogany tree takes 25 years to grow to a reasonable height, whereas bamboo displays the same properties and height of that mahogany tree in 3 to 5 years.

Modular Unit

The Cubo modular bamboo unit is 12 m². Costing 7 times less than a similar unit built using steel and concrete. They can build these single units in one week at the off-site workshop. On-site they construct his unit in 4 hours.

Cubo Home
L-R Clockwise:- The space between the roof and the ceiling reduces trapped heat. The inclined roof allows the collection of rainwater. Elevated floors prevent floodwaters from entering the home. The window and the door are situated on opposite ends to assist cross ventilation. Source: RICS | YouTube

The design lets heat dissipate through the roof, it directs rainwater into water tanks, breeze flows through the house to keep it cool and elevated flooring prevents floodwaters from entering the house.

Communal Home

We see the strength of engineered bamboo via Cubo’s multi-unit configuration. Below are pictures of a 24 unit communal home. These communal facilities help to foster a community spirit.

Cubo Modular Bamboo
Cubo Modular Bamboo Home — 24 unit configuration. Image: Cubo
Cubo Modular Bamboo Home
Communal Area
Cubo Modular Bamboo Home
Cubo Modular Home
Cubo Home

The focal point of this multi-unit home is a large communal kitchen and the communal dining area. Designated areas for laundry, toilets and showers are available at the rear of the property.

Cubo — back view — 24 multi-unit configuration. Source: RICS | YouTube

Furthermore, there are water tanks for collecting rainwater and a bio-digester for processing toilet waste and organic food waste. One hectare of bamboo can construct this multi-unit configuration.

Cubo Modular Bamboo Housing
Cubo — floor plan- multi-unit configuration by Earl Patrick Forlales. Source: RICS | YouTube

Sustainable Design

Since bamboo grows within 3-5 years and engineered bamboo lasts up to 50 years. A farmer could grow enough bamboo for 10-16 units in the time it takes for this multi-unit structure to be unfit for use as a home. 

The sustainable, affordable, efficient and renewable values upheld by Cubo modular are inspirational.  We look forward to seeing this business expand globally.

Feature Image:

Cubo modular bamboo
Bamboo forest. Image: Emre Orkun KESKIN | Pexels


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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Helen Cayanong

    How can I contact you for a possible project in Davao del Sur

  2. Helen Cayanong

    How much does it cost to build a 2 bedroom modular home

    1. Michael mclachlan

      I am interested in cubo modular home
      I want it built in San Felipe
      What are the possibilities

      1. MW

        Hi Michael,
        I that sounds like a great idea. Please update us if you do go ahead with this plan.

  3. MW

    Hi Helen,
    Please contact Cubo directly via their website
    Viable AlternativEnergy is not connected or sponsored by any company. We only publish articles on projects, products and ideas that inspire us.
    Thank you for your message.

  4. Natividad Dela Torre

    I am interested.

  5. Alfredo Esquillo

    Hi! I’m interested in your product. We’d like to build bamboo projects here at our Eskinita Art Farm in Tanauan, Batangas.

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