DPWH proposes core shelter capable of withstanding typhoons, quakes

DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND SUPER TYPHOONS AND EARTHQUAKES, this model 3m x 3m core housing unit proposed by the DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District for use in the post-typhoon restoration and rehabilitation effort and for adoption by communities in the storm-tossed island. With the permission of the DPWH district engineer, the Tribune is reproducing the design details on page 5 of this issue for the benefit of those who desire to built their own sturdy residence.  


The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Catanduanes Engineering District has submitted to the provincial government a design for a core shelter that could resist super typhoons and earthquakes.

District Engineer Gil Augustus Balmadrid of the DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District said that the design features a 3-meter by 3-meter core consisting of reinforced concrete footings, columns, CHB walls and reinforced concrete slab roofing.

A steel door, which opens into the living room, secures the shelter from the intrusion of wind and rain while a single awning steel window with GI sheet panes and glass blocks will provide ventilation and light during normal weather.

In accordance with the latest specifications of the National Building Code and its accompanying codes on structural design for concrete and steel, the 35-cm x 35-cm square concrete column is reinforced by eight 16-mm diameter steel bars and 10-mm ties while the slab has 10mm bars spaced 20 cm apart.

To complete the house, all the occupant has to do is connect wooden frames of the light material structure to a steel plate anchored to the outsides of the RC columns.

Even if the outer part of the house is destroyed during a typhoon or earthquake, the occupants can take refuge in the core shelter.

Drawn by Engineering Assistant Ian Carlo Molod and checked by Engineer II Lowie Jay Tonio, the core shelter plans were submitted by Construction Section chief and Engineer III Joel Turado to DE Balmadrid last month following the meeting of the Restoration and Rehabilitation Committee of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) chaired by Governor Joseph Cua.

According to the DPWH engineers, the core shelter will cost P15,000 per square meter or a total of P135,000 for a rough-finish completion.

The design will be able to pass the evaluation of local building officials as it hewed to the existing provisions of the Building Code and its accompanying codes.

It is claimed that a non-government organization has proposed a similar reinforced concrete core shelter but the design uses a smaller, 12-mm diameter steel bar for reinforcement which in theory would not be sufficient for stresses caused by earthquakes.

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