DOST, Habitat for Humanity and Ortigas and Co. launch design competition on disaster-resistant buildings

January 28, 2014 11:19 pm 

By Aerol B. Patena

MANILA, Jan 28 (PNA) — A nationwide competition for the design of disaster-change resistant buildings was launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity and property developer Ortigas and Company at Capitol, Pasig City on Tuesday.

The initiative, entitled "Build Forward," aims to encourage architecture students to design schools and houses which could withstand an intensity eight earthquake and wind gusts of up to 250 kilometers per hour.

These layouts should take into consideration the following factors, such as durability, cost and construction time using locally sourced and readily available materials.

DOST secretary Mario Montejo stated in his address that the campaign is in support of the government’s efforts for the rehabilitation of areas that were severely affected by recent calamities such as the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake in Bohol, among others.

“We are encouraging property developers to lay down design parameters that could withstand extreme weather and seismic events,” Montejo said.

Specifically, the design for houses should be at least 36 square meters with two bedrooms, one toilet and bath, kitchen and living spaces. These should be constructed for about a month and a half within a budget of P 200,000.

Meanwhile, school buildings should have four classrooms and one toilet and bath with a minimum area of 63 square meters per classroom. Construction should have duration of two months costing P 1.2 million. Designers should ensure that the facility can be suitable as an evacuation center during times of emergencies.

The winning design would be used by Habitat for Humanity in building 30,000 houses in areas that were severely hit by Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ and for distribution of 30,000 shelter repair equipment.

The government has a target of 500,000 permanent houses to be built within the next three years, Montejo said.

Habitat for Humanity CEO and General manager Charlie Ayco admitted that they encounter logistical challenges in rebuilding houses, particularly the transfer of construction materials to the ‘Yolanda’ affected areas.

Furthermore, Ayco related that considering most of those affected are living within the shoreline, housing authorities must conduct on-site inspection and survey to determine areas that are safe for the building of the houses.

Nevertheless, he is elated that private organizations have lent their resources and expertise to support their endeavor.

He disclosed that as of the moment, they were able to generate donations amounting to P 355 million from private individuals, businesses and various civic organizations.

Moreover, Habitat for Humanity will provide livelihood for the calamity victims by coordinating with the government and private sector.

“We are determined to make a lasting commitment in this program and the rebuild initiatives because apart from helping our countrymen, we are also investing in the future of design,” Joey Santos, General Manager of the Real Estate Division of Ortigas and Company, stated.

Among the entries submitted between January to March 28, five designs will be selected to undergo a wind tunnel test, supervised by the DOST, that will simulate conditions during ‘Yolanda’.

The winning design will receive a cash reward of P100,000 and computer package that will be distributed to a student’s college or university, Montejo said.

P 50,000 and P 30,000 will be given as second and third prizes, respectively, he added.

“This project shows the resiliency and indomitable spirit of Filipinos,” according to Montejo. “This reflects their capability to rise up and rebuild their lives in the midst of tragedy,” he stressed. (PNA)

CTB/ABP

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