Local construction workers from Iloilo City are trained on building using the Cement-Bamboo Frame Technology.

Our Story

BASE is a foundation that envisions providing alternative building technologies that enable a network of partners to build quality socialized homes. Base builds homes that are Comfortable, Affordable, Resilient to Disasters, Ecologically Friendly, and with Social Impact to the poor.

Since 2011, Base Partnerships have developed from grass roots organizations such as the Homeless People’s federation, to the leading International Housing NGO, Habitat for Humanity.  It also involves other respected foundations and NGOs in the Philippines and abroad. 

How we started

Unprecedented urbanization in Asia and the Pacific holds the promise of economic and social development to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. However, current urban development patterns are both unsustainable and inequitable. Most visibly, a significant portion of the region’s urban population lives in inadequate, disaster-prone shelter, while the construction and utilization of conventional buildings in urban settings has an unfavorable environmental impact. To bring about transformational change, urban housing needs to become more inclusive, sustainable and scalable.

To tackle such a game changer, Hilti Foundation and UN ESCAP joined forces in 2012 to research and implement successful approaches for the introduction of affordable, eco-efficient and disaster-resilient building materials and housing concepts in urban contexts of Asia and the Pacific. Beyond providing environmental friendly and affordable housing to all income groups, especially the urban and peri-urban poor, the aim is to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the poor, and to potentially introduce new income sources for organizations and individuals engaged in community-driven development.


January 2012 – September 2013: Product Development & Testing”

Assessment of the mechanical properties of round bamboo at material, system and building scale, as well as research, development and testing of different connections and construction systems. The necessary know-how was gathered to design houses to withstand the requirements of a challenging Philippine environment and to create permanent housing. Six demo houses were built in Albay, Bicol and Western Visayas to conduct real-life typhoon testing as well as test customer acceptance. Through the ability to customize structural designs according to the seismic and wind requirements of the National Structural Code of the Philippines, the legal approval by local authorities is enabled.

October 2012 – September 2013: Research & Development Plan

Studies on business and development models, technical aspects and policy issues were conducted in line with product development and testing. Looking from a macro perspective of the Philippines as a nation to specific localities and the applicability of certain concepts and products, the goal is to establish a renewable building materials industry with the creation of social enterprises and livelihood opportunities along the value chain of a community.

October 2013 : Start-up

After valuable information gained during the product development and research phase, Hilti Foundation decided to incubate this promising case from concept to realization with the Philippines being its first entry point.

2014: Establishment of Base Builds Pte, Ltd. and Base Bahay Inc.

2015: completion of the first 3 projects

In partnership with UN Habitat, 21 houses were finished in Estancia, iloilo; an initial 36 houses in San Isidro Iloilo with the Homeless Peoples Federation Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI); and an initial 20 houses in Tacloban in partnership with OB Philippines. All of the houses were built for families affected by typhoon Yolanda.”

2016: Registration of Base Bahay foundation, Inc.

Base Bahay Foundation was officially registered and recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines to operate as a foundation.

2016: accreditation by AITECH

Accreditation of Innovative Technologies for Housing accredited the Cement Bamboo Frame building system of Base Bahay.

2019 – Current

Over 600 houses in 10 different areas around the Philippines finished in 2019.