Case Study: Development of the Climate Change Resilient Pilot House (CCRPH)

Country: Philippines
City: Naga City
Key Sectors: Low-cost housing, Resilient Building


Local & Regional Partner Organization
City Government of Naga
• Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office V
• Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) V
• Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office V
• National Housing Authority


Geography and Population


In 2014, the Bicol State College for Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST) in Naga City, Philippines has been selected as a meso-level organization partner of the GIZ Urban Nexus Project to help the City in the implementation and promotion of the nexus approach in the Bicol Region and eventually in the entire country. Naga City is one of the Nexus project’s pilot cities.

Committed to integrate the nexus approach into the development of a resilient housing, BISCAST initiated the design and development of a pilot house which encapsulates an integrated approach.

Dubbed as the Climate Change Resilient Pilot Housing (CCRPH), it has the capacity to resist, absorb, and respond to the adverse effects of climate hazards without significant changes to its basic functions and structures.

The CCRPH was inaugurated in June 2016 in the presence of key project partners including Mayor John Bongat of Naga City and other city representatives, GIZ Urban Nexus staff, representatives from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat, Santa Rosa City Government, and other national government agencies in the country.

Following its inauguration, the CCRPH was put to the test and was used as a BISCAST Integrated Resource Management Office with two occupants. It is also being used as a demonstration model for visitors as well as for for students to contact research. Since inauguration, data is collected to analyse energy efficiency, water efficiency and thermal performance of the CCRPH. In March 2018 a smart house application was installed to provide data online on indoor environment performance such as CO2 concentration, thermal comfort and noise level data as well as wind speed data.

In December 2017, the BISCAST/Urban Nexus developed “Low-Cost House Building System” used in the CCRPH passed the Philippine National Housing Authority’s (NHA) Accreditation of Innovative Technologies for Housing (AITECH). The AITECH certification gives BISCAST the license to share this innovative technology for adoption of housing builders and contractors as well as by the government in their socialized housing projects. The CCRPH has also been recognized by the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI) as the second greenest building in the country.


Naga City, dubbed as the “Heart of Bicol,” is a regional center for education, culture, religion, investment, and tourism. The City takes pride on its good governance as well as the strategic stance it takes in the development of Metropolitan Naga. However, the City is prone to severe typhoons and floods being located along the typhoon belt and flanked by Mt. Isarog in the east and the Bicol River Basin, Luzon’s major flood zone, to the west. Moreover, Naga is facing the impacts of rapid urbanization, with its population expected to double within the next two decades (Naga City Comprehensive Development Plan 2011-2020). As such, the city government takes an integrated approach by partnering with different institutions in order to strengthen resilience to address urban development issues which are further exacerbated by climate change impacts.

One example, initiated by BISCAST, is the CCRPH. It is a pilot housing that can withstand potential hydro-meteorological and geological hazards such as typhoons while remaining sustainable and cost effective. With 10% of the country’s population living below the poverty line, low-cost socialized housing is considered a pressing issue. Alongside the CCRPH’s climate change resilient features, the said technology proves to be a practical adaptation strategy for a country that is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The CCRPH is envisioned to be scaled up nationwide through conduct of technology transfer trainings to other academic institutions, local government units, housing developers, and technology providers.


Project Description
The BISCAST Nexus Task Force was established to serve as a body providing both policy and implementation support to nexus activities. The Task Force, chaired by the BISCAST President, drafted a three-year implementation plan for the Integrated Resource Management Program to ensure feasibility and sustainability of Nexus Projects. The CCRPH is one of the targeted outputs of this implementation plan.

To support this initiative, the GIZ Urban Nexus project provided BISCAST with short-term experts specializing on low-cost housing technologies to assist in terms of design and construction. The pilot house is designed to withstand major hazards in the country including severe typhoons, heavy flooding, landslides, and earthquakes. Furthermore, the CCRPH also applies a low-cost housing technology (i.e., pre-fabricated beams and hollow blocks) and utilizes climate-adaptive and energy-efficient devices. Standing at 71 square meters (m2), the CCRPH is half as expensive as the conventional socialized housing which usually amounts to approximately PHP17,000 (EUR 319) per m2 in Naga City.

CCRPH Costing (for labor and materials)*



The CCRPH passed all six climate change resiliency indicators of the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI): soundness of structure; water and wind tightness; spatial flexibility; own emergency provisions; emergency egress; and disaster risk management plan and has been awarded with the highest Kamagong rating. It also received a score of 100% on PGBI’s climate change resiliency assessment.

BISCAST also conducted an internal assessment of the CCCRPH using the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency (EDGE) Standards. Results revealed that the CCRPH is 60.7% energy efficient, 34.1% water efficient, and 41.7% material efficient as compared to a standard house with the same dimensions and occupancy.

In terms of operational cost, BISCAST monitoring data for 2017 indicates 10% savings on electricity bill due to the installed photovoltaic system and 73% reduction of water consumed from the utility provider due to the use of rainwater harvesting technology. This shows that the CCRPH is not only affordable during the construction phase but also once it is being used. Some features of the CCRPH include:

• Modular architectural system which reduces the number of different building parts, leading to a reduction of different types of formwork
• Reduction of waste materials and waste water on site by up to 30%
• Approximately 50% reduction of mortar due to the Hollow Concrete Block (HCB) concept of “closed bottom”
• Reduction of 40% of concrete and 30% of steel works for slab construction due the HCB slab system
• Natural ventilation (cross ventilation throughout the building)
• Natural illumination with a window/wall ration of 40% and roof lights
• Reduction of electricity consumption by over 25% through use of photovoltaic system
• Water conversation via rainwater harvesting
• Re-use of clarified waste water for urban gardening


Stakeholders / Target groups

• Naga City Planning and Development Office
• Naga City Urban Poor Affairs Office
• Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office V
• National Housing Authority (NHA)
• Other state colleges and universities (SUCs) in Region V

Target groups:
• BISCAST instructors and students and academic and Administrative Departments
• Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office V
• Other state universities and colleges (SUCs)
• Representatives from other local government units (LGUs)
• Housing developers and contractors
• Relevant technology providers


The BISCAST Nexus Task Force was established to serve as a body providing both policy and implementation to support nexus-related activities. The task force is chaired by the BISCAST President with members consisting of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Administration and Finance, and officers of Academic and Administrative Departments of the College. The Task Force created a three-year implementation plan for the Integrated Resource Management Program at BISCAST to ensure feasibility and sustainability of nexus projects, which include the CCRPH built within the premises of their campus. The CCRPH construction is taken from BISCAST’s budget. Technical assistance is provided by the GIZ Urban Nexus.


Results (Impact)
• The CCRPH can be used as an alternative model for low-cost socialized housing projects in the country. Continued monitoring of water and electricity consumption proves that the CCRPH has economic savings.

• The project showcases a good example of South to South dialogue, knowledge exchange, and technology transfer through the GIZ expert and use of German construction technologies.

• Architecture and Engineering students of BISCAST were equipped with the knowledge and trained
on-the-job along with their instructors in the application of the Nexus approach thru the CCRPH.

• Naga City Government has a new project with Maronite (Australian-Lebanese religious group) where a total of 166 families around the Balatas Dumpsite will be provided with new housing. The city government envisions that the row houses will follow the CCRPH design. The CHED Regional Office V also signified intention to replicate the CCRPH design as well as the DOST for their three new offices in Region V.

• Following the AITECH certification from the national government, BISCAST has developed a training module for the technology transfer as means of scaling up.

Costs / Financing
PHP950,000 (EUR14,830 as of exchange rate 05 April 2018)