Construction innovation showcased in Housing Solutions Congress
The Housing Solutions Congress organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines provided a clear picture of the country’s socialized housing problem and showcased a number of innovative, affordable and sustainable housing solutions currently undertaken by private sector stakeholders.
To help reduce the nationwide socialized housing backlog of 5.5 million units in 2016, private developers and local government units built on-site and in-city housing projects primarily for informal settler families in Quezon City and Valenzuela City. An additional, in-city housing project is also being constructed for informal settlers along the Manggahan Floodway in Pasig City.
Corporate stakeholders are creating more durable and eco-friendly construction materials even as they are developing more disaster resilient and affordable homes by partnering with key shelter government agencies and other housing-dedicated organizations.
Don Lee, CEO of Republic Cement Services Inc., which co-presented the Housing Solutions Congress, shared how the company is committed to address the housing shortage and access to affordable homes by developing environment-friendly cement products and coming up with a range of low-cost housing design options, including disaster-resilient homes in provinces devastated by typhoon Yolanda and other calamities.
To help mitigate the impacts of climate change and CO2 emission in its operations, the company is using high quality fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plant operations, as an additive to its cement products to enhance its long-term durability. By doing so, the company made a more environment friendly cement product by eliminating the need to build landfills for the disposal of fly ash. “We are the only company that has made this technology and product available in the Philippines,” Lee said.
For its environmental preservation efforts, among them is the use of fly ash as an additive to its cement products, the Republic Cement plants have earned a green choice certification from the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc.
In collaboration with architecture agencies, Republic Cement helped develop innovative and customized housing designs for socialized housing projects in Daanbantayan, Cebu together with Habitat for Humanity and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) involved in collective housing. The Daanbantayan model homes are comfortable and resilient to typhoons and disasters such as earthquakes as these houses feature hypar-parabolic thin shell concrete roofs that can withstand 275 kph winds, shotcrete wall systems that prevent water and chemicals to seep through and innovative anchor systems to withstand Intensity 8 earthquakes.
In addition to developing disaster-resilient houses and innovative construction materials, Republic Cement provided innovative solutions and value-added services to its partner MFIs, housing non-government organizations, and key shelter government agencies to ensure that socialized housing units are built to comply with optimum standards, to improve lives in the communities. This commitment is reflected in the cement company’s “Tahanan Ko” affordable housing program.
In partnership with MFIs such as Tulay sa Pag-Unlad, Inc. (TSPI), Alay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI) and Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), Republic Cement equips MFI account officers with marketing materials and presentation skills to better sell the housing loan product to qualified members. “We also provide safety training and share construction techniques with project foremen to make sure that house materials are properly selected and the house is constructed in a safe way,” explained Victor Janolino, Republic Cement VP for Marketing.
Construction and building foremen are also continuously guided by Project Technical Coordinators during the development of the housing projects. MFIs, meanwhile, are directly linked to reliable suppliers/retailers to ensure that all construction materials are readily available.
With its initiatives to develop innovative and eco-friendly construction materials and build not just affordable houses, but safe, durable homes, Republic Cement assures the housing industry of its commitment to continuously find solutions to the country’s socialized housing problem. ADVT.
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