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Cubo Modular Houses Made of Engineered Bamboo in the Philippines

Cubo has gained a lot of attention after its founder has been featured in mainstream media both local and abroad. The multi- awardee founder of Cubo Engr Earl Patrick Forlales, aims to solve the Philippines' housing problem by providing affordable modular houses. To achieve low construction costs, he uses bamboo, a widely available and renewable material in the Philippines, as his building material. Cubo treats and processes bamboo into engineered bamboo that is standardized, making it a more workable material than raw bamboo. Cubo then manufactures standard panels, which can then be assembled on-site by the Cubo team. The prefabricated modular construction system Cubo implements allow them to assemble a house in a matter of days. 

Micro Compact Home: An Efficient Use of Space

Tiny living spaces have always been of interest to me. It always astounds me how a well-designed small space can still offer comfort to the user. There is one project that is an excellent example of the quality of tiny homes. The Micro Compact Home (m-ch), designed by Richard Horden, has introduced me to well-designed tiny homes. 
The project led by Architect Richard Horden was a collaboration between student teams at the Technical University, TIT Tokyo, and Haak and Hopfner Architects. The team designed in 2005 for short stay accommodation for students and business use. 

With dimensions of 2.66 m on all sides, this house has a footprint of 7 sqm. Despite the small area, the house offers all the basic amenities in the house. This compact home puts all these areas in a minimal footprint. The inside is sleek and stylish. M-CH uses ingenious solutions to overcome the space constraint. The designer has overlapped spaces with various functions. 


The house has a toilet and a shower, which also serves as an entrance and access to the house. It has a living/dining area with a flat-screen TV that can accommodate up to five people. The living/dining area converts into two compact beds. One of the beds is slides out while the other is folds out. The use of movable furniture, which tucks out when not in use, optimizes space use.


There is plenty of storage space for clothes, bedding, and cleaning equipment. The kitchen has a double hob, a sink, an extendible tap, a microwave, refrigerator, freezer units, and three-compartment waste units.


This project has had a significant impact on me. It opened up horizons on how to handle small spaces. It showed me how to take small spaces. This little box had a few solutions out of the box. This project brought a new level of what you can do with a small space. The ideas I've learned from this project have been invaluable in my practice. 


Small living spaces are not for everyone. M-CH is an excellent choice for people who rarely stay at home. You can use and adapt the concept of this project for other applications. You can create a cheaper alternative to shelter after a natural disaster. You can build decent, affordable shelters for homeless or informal settlers.


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