Global prefabricated home company looks into PH disaster relief efforts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — In a disaster-prone country like the Philippines, the government needs all the help it can get when it comes to disaster relief. This year, it might be able to bank on assistance from a new private player in the real estate industry.

Global home supplier Revolution Precrafted plans to contribute to disaster rehabilitation, its Filipino CEO Robbie Antonio said Friday.

"We have a (corporate social responsibility) component," Antonio told CNN Philippines' The Source. "In the Philippines, we tried to do things (two-fold) in the homebuilding space, [and] disaster relief efforts will be done through (design) revolution. All of it has to be sustainable, liveable, and erectable very quickly."

Although Revolution Precrafted primarily caters to residential buyers and developers, they have engaged in socially-oriented projects, such as one mounted by the late Pritzker Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid.

The company gathered over 30 architects and designers to conceptualize liveable spaces that could be collectible and transported at a lower price. The house is expected to be ready in at least 90 days, and installing it may take one to two weeks' time.

"They're modular in particular situations, so you can juxtapose one next to each other and they amalgamate... it's literally like Lego," Antonio explained.

Antonio said he sought to dispel the impression that prefabricated houses were of bad quality.

"We're here to show that it's not the case," he said. "It's actually, through the economies of scale, faster, but we will give the highest level of design through these major [architects]."

When asked how their designs would hold against storms and other natural disasters, Antonio replied, "We've gotten a lot of inquiries from America. We've looked at Florida hurricanes versus earthquakes in California."

"We look very closely in detail with codes. In the Philippines, we're very... cognizant of our weather and environment," he added.

For now, Antonio is hoping that the concept will be received well in the Philippines.

"We are using some of the best Filipino architects, people who are used to building in the millions. Now I've asked them to produce something at a much, much more affordable price," said Antonio.

"We're about design democratization... I'm hoping it will be acknowledged and recognized and deemed appropriate for the country," he continued.

The company is also working to make the costs more reachable for the Filipino market.

"We really wanted a global approach, but I wanted the price points to be reduced to make it accessible to the Filipinos," said Antonio. "So we're going below a million pesos with a great designer. We start from that, up until... a higher value."

He also noted that some buyers who requested their designs but asked for the houses to be built traditionally instead, which is also an option they also offer.

"We're very excited to showcase this in the Philippines because in the end, we're from here," he said. "We'd love to do that."

Revolution Precrafted is set to launch its first project in the Philippines in May or June.