Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cement manufacturer builds homes for typhoon survivors

Thanks to a partnership with the local government, select national government agencies, private donors, and some members of the community, cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines Inc. (HPI) was able to develop and, just recently, launch a sustainable community for survivors of Typhoon Pablo. 

Called "Tabang Ta Kabalayan," the community, consisting of 100 units, opened its doors in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, near the manufacturer's plant in Davao City.

“Recent natural calamities highlight the need to build smarter to adapt to the changing climate," said Eduardo A. Sahagun, Holcim president. 

Sahagun expressed that “This is our reality now: [we have to] reduce these difficult catastrophes by improving our building practices to make sure structures are more resilient and sustainable."

The various stakeholders were tasked to plan the site development, produce construction materials, and help build the homes, which were energy- and water-efficient, equipped with heat-resistant design that allowed for natural air and lighting indoors. The roof, likewise, was made of tiles that resisted heat. Roofs were angled at 23 degrees in order to harvest rain for water and electricity, and to hold up against strong winds.

Meanwhile, the residents themselves learned various carpentry, masonry, and welding techniques and procedures from HPI, among them industry knowledge on how to make roof tiles and concrete hollow blocks.

To date, the new community has a chapel, a modest food business supported by a vegetable garden, a training center for the production of concrete tiles and hollow blocks; and an upcoming playground and town center.


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