Earl Patrick Forlales, 23-year-old Ateneo de Manila graduate, was proclaimed winner from more than 1,200 entries all over the world in the recent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) Cities for our Future competition.

Last January, RICS launched an international design competition challenging industrial designers aroudn the world. The competition was open to imaginative, problem solving young professionals, start ups and students involved in surveying, urban design, architecture, and engineering.

Participants were dared to share their transformative ideas for projects and policies that solve some of the defining issues of our time: Rapid Urbanisation, Climate Change and Resource Scarcity.

In May, RICS’ regional judging panels narrowed the 1,200 entries they received down to 12 global finalists. The entries were judged based on the relevance, impact, feasibility, scalability and originality of their idea.

Forlales’ entry called CUBO, a low cost house building proposal aimed at overcoming the growing slum population in Manila, emerged as winner and recipient of £50,000 or PHP3.5 million grand prize.

Forlales’ CUBO aims to overcome the problem of low quality housing by using cheaper materials and positioning its developments to allow residents to create communities and take advantage of economic opportunities.

“CUBO is a modular housing solution that uses locally sourced and abundant bamboo to quickly construct a dignified and well sized home, within 4 hours of the installation team arriving on site. Multiple homes can be configured together in multiple arrangements to allow residents to take advantage of communal kitchens, bathrooms or offices, and foster a sense of community in the areas in which it is built,” RICS Website said.

“Earl’s proposal for a low cost housing solution to improve the lives of workers in the Philippines has significant potential application in all emerging markets. It is a well-considered and feasible solution, incorporating sustainable and environmental initiatives, together with improvements that have been developed into a robust business case worthy of consideration,” Earl’s mentor, Will Kennedy-Cooke, Managing Director South East Asia, WT Partners said.

“Earl has articulated a clear vision about investing the proceeds from this challenge to realise the potential of his proposal to help address a very significant and common problem in expanding cities,” Kennedy-Cooke said.

RICS is a global professional organizations based in London promoting and enforcing the highest international standards in the valuation, management and development of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.