MANILA, Philippines – Bicolano Industrial Designer Gil Bien is no stranger to the devastating effects typhoons bring about to the Bicol region. Because of this and a news clip about Typhoon Rolly which made an impact on him, Bien decided to do something to change the situation, hence, the creation of the Cuboid House.
According to Bien, he was touched upon seeing an ABS-CBN feature that showed a man crying while trying to save the roof of his home from the muddy wreckages left by the typhoon, feeling empathy as a head of the household himself.
During his interview on Teleradyo’s “Good Job”, the innovator said he hopes to eliminate the anxiety residents feel before the onslaught of a typhoon by giving them a home that guarantees their safety and peace of mind while also saving them from expenses needed to repair damages.
Being an example of resiliency himself, the ABS-CBN production set designer set out to use his time and talent to build something beneficial for the community when the network lost its franchise in 2020.
After studies and testing through simulations, Bien came up with the typhoon-resilient Cuboid House, which features concave walls and a gutterless roof to lessen the pressure from the typhoon’s strong winds. His design has since been patented.
Engineer Joshua Agar, a professor and a Travel Fellow in the International Association of Wind Engineers, agrees with Bien’s design, explaining during his interview with ABS-CBN that the curved walls do lessen the aerodynamic forces as the magnitude of vortices brought by the typhoon is also reduced.
The modern-looking home costs around one million pesos to build, and can be finished within just 2 to 3 months.
Several government agencies have noticed Bien’s life-changing creation, and he hopes to have more collaborations to make this readily available to more Filipinos, noting that the design can also be used for public infrastructures such as schools.
Prototypes of the Cuboid House can be seen in Purok 4, San Jose, Malilipot, Albay.