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In light of the massive flooding many Filipinos experienced during the onsloaught of Typhoon Ulysses, architect and Youtube content creator Oliver Llyan Austria has shared his idea of a typhoon-proof small house in his new video.

The minimalist/contemporary-themed, 15 square-meter house makes use of a shipping container and comes with a bathroom, kitchen, a transformable furniture-filled sleeping/dining area, among other spaces. It’s been elevated three meters off the ground, too, using steel bars, which then makes room for a parking space or a mini garden below.

A front panel, meanwhile, has been removed to create the illusion of larger space and ultimately, make room for a balcony.

This area, however, is not just a patio space. Austria has used, as he puts it, “sneaky tactics” to maximize this part of the house.

Hindi lang ito patio space, dahil kapag bumabagyo ay mako-convert ito into a protective barrier for our house,” he explains. “‘Yung mga railings sa gilid, pwede nating i-fold paloob ‘yan and then ‘yung mga railings sa harap ay nagpo-fold pababa para maging flat siya. Itong buong balcony deck, pwede i-fold pataas para typhoon-proof na ang bahay.

Another typhoon-proofing feature can be seen in the corners of the shipping container’s outer shell.

Naglagay ako ng rollers and ang purpose niyan ay para kung bumaha man ng mas mataas sa three meters, ang bahay natin ay magpo-float pataas,” he says. “‘Yung mga rollers na ‘yan ang magsisilibing guide para ‘di basta-basta kung saan pupunta ang bahay natin. Kayang iangat ang bahay up to five meters above the ground.

To prevent leaks, which Austria pointed out as a common problem among Filipino houses, he has opted to include as less windows as possible.

On why he used a shipping container, Austria says it’s largely because of cost.

“Isa sa mga rason kung bakit ako gumamit ng shipping container ay dahil nag-check ako online at may nakita akong nagbebenta ng mga secondhand shipping containers na P70,000 to 90,000 lang,” he says. “So mura na, madaling i-mass produce, at mabilis din mako-construct. Lagyan mo lang ng wall cladding sa pader mo para naman hindi exposed ‘yung bakal, maganda tingnan, at okay nang tirahan.”

Austria estimates the whole typhoon-proof house to be at P510,000, inclusive of expenses on the space’s floor area, shipping container, and exterior improvements, and exclusive of the lot price.

“Medyo mahal siya,” he admits. “At least typhoon-proof ito, so just in case bahain ka o kahit gaano kalakas ang hangin, ‘di na liliparin ‘yung bubong kasi wala naman ito in the first place dahil nga shipping container.”

Watch the full video here for other typhoon-proofing tips.

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