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Base Innovation Center Advocates For The Use Of Bamboo In Local Construction

Since its inauguration last year, the center continues its efforts in “building sustainable foundations for the future”


Out of all the available wood in the market for construction, rarely do we hear the massive use of bamboo to build a home. Most of the time, we rely on hardwood for its durability and function, and in some cases, aesthetics, too. However, there’s an underrated type of wood that is more than meets the eye: the bamboo.


When we hear of bamboo, the first thing that would probably pop in your head are the trendy bamboo utensils and tumblers, kitchen accessories, and even some furniture, which are all introduced as sustainable alternatives to our current wares. For building homes, the image of a bahay kubo is on top of mind, too—but this center that advocates for bamboo shows that it goes beyond our native countryside housings.







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When we hear of bamboo, the first thing that would probably pop in your head are the trendy bamboo utensils and tumblers, kitchen accessories, and even some furniture, which are all introduced as sustainable alternatives to our current wares. For building homes, the image of a bahay kubo is on top of mind, too—but this center that advocates for bamboo shows that it goes beyond our native countryside housings.


Base Innovation Center, Base Bahay Foundation, Inc.’s international hub for alternative building technology research, has been focusing on research and innovation of bamboo utilization for mainstream construction. It is the country’s first research and testing facility for sustainable and disaster-resilient construction technologies. 



Since its inauguration in 2021, its experts and partners have already begun introducing a different usage for the wood. With Base’s Cement-Bamboo Frame Technology, which has been certified by the Accreditation of Innovative Technologies for Housing by the National Housing Authority, building about 1,500 homes in the process. 


To further enhance the technology, the center is equipped with machines that constantly test the bamboo’s capabilities, thus producing more results needed for better housing using this wood. Inside, one will find a Universal Testing Machine, a Bamboo Wall Panel Reaction Frame, fabrication tables, and a model house, where new materials and building techniques are tested. Maximizing modern conveniences, the center also implements augmented reality to adopt and scale new technology for use in construction.


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While Base Innovation Center doesn’t accept individual projects at the moment, they seek different partnerships with different areas around the Philippines to achieve their goal of building 10,000 cement bamboo houses by 2024. This is in response to the growing need for socialized homes in disaster-prone areas, particularly in Luzon and Visayas areas.


Currently, they have a number of efforts in the works. Together with ETH Zurich and the University of the Philippines, they study the lifecycle and thermal comfort of cement-bamboo frame homes. Coventry University and Foundation University are piloting the application of bamboo grading and testing new bamboo connections.


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Meanwhile, they are also working with the University of Sto. Thomas and MAPUA University for the research on the characterization of different species of bamboo and testing of bamboo shear wall panels. They have also tapped De La Salle University for the study of bamboo fiber geopolymer wall.


“As leaders in the field of sustainable housing technologies, we recognize that we play a pivotal role in ensuring that every Filipino has access to a home. We hope to unlock more partnerships that will help us provide homes for more Filipino families,” Base Bahay General Manager Dr. Pablo Jorillo shares. 



Running on for a couple of years now, we’re sure to see more bamboo homes in the following decades—making sustainable yet durable and stable shelters not just for select areas in the country, but as a whole through this labor of love.


For more information on sustainable and alternative building technologies, visit http://www.base-builds.com/.


Photographs courtesy of Base Innovation Center