Innovations for home-building
By Nico Erle Ciriaco

Strength of materials is not merely something engineering students study; nor is it just a subject in their licensure exams. It is an essential measure of sturdiness – as evidenced by quality and product standards - for all materials needed in building structures to ensure safety and longevity. Edifices, dwellings, abodes and all other structures need to be strong to withstand inundation, floods, quakes and termites. After all, the Philippines sit on both the earthquake and volcanic belts.
And in the wake of the devastation and ruin wrecked by typhoon Haiyan, and all others before it, a revolutionary solution is not only imperative, but, more so, sensible and practical.
Construction materials company James Hardie is eager to formalize its vision of changing the way
Filipino homeowners build and live through its new ‘LIVEvolution’ platform. “LIVEvolution is a movement we started last year. Time and again, we have seen how Filipinos would waste time and money in having their houses built and rely on sub-standard materials due to lack of information. We strongly feel the need to educate them about options to challenge the convention and help them to live without compromising beauty and durability, as well as safety and comfort,” intoned sales & marketing director Mark Sergio.
While LIVEvolution is about better alternatives, it is also about being adaptive to the realities posed by living in the Philippines. For one, our country swings between scorching heat in summer and lashing rains during the wet season. Yearly, about twenty typhoons enter the Philippine area of responsibility; raising the need for homes that are built solidly against heat, water, and inclement weather. Through intensive research and development (R&D), the brand constantly innovates to address these pressing concerns.
“Our journey as a brand and its promise of ‘living without compromise’ has revolutionized the Pinoys’ way of living as homes become more and more aesthetically pleasing, inside and out. So that homeowners truly enjoy going home to their respective dwellings. Thus, builders must not tolerate the use of sub-standard materials. Urbanization is getting higher and higher. The norm these days is to have two homes, with one as halfway house. In densely populated area like Metro Manila, space becomes an issue especially for those who want to live in spacious environments,” continued Sergio.
In 1996, HardieFlex took on the Philippines’ challenge to revolutionize design and construction; melding aesthetics and durability. To date, these products have proven to have stood the test of time through precision products that suits any design aesthetic; affording freedom from constraint. Home-builders are no longer boxed or tied with traditions but are empowered to challenge the conventional.
One of the company’s latest products launched during its recent ‘Breaking New Grounds’ event at the New World Hotel is the HardieFlex Flooring portfolio. “This newest innovation that James Hardie brings to the market is a flooring substrate that is engineered to stand the test of time. It’s the 125th year of James Hardie as a company; advancing how products are built and  making sure they help and benefit each and every homeowner,” enthused Darren Southwell, products technical manager for Asia-Pacific.
With more and more people living in condominiums where space is a constant issue, HardieFlex flooring can be used as substrates for lofts, mezzanines, and attics; additional spaces that can provide much needed storage areas or ingeniously apportioned living quarters. For single room dwellings and apartments, the flooring can provide a second floor that can even be used for both wet and dry areas.
“Promoting ease of movement, functionality and comfort, these additional pockets of space can greatly enhance the quality of life amongst city dwellers. This is most useful for families building small homes than renting. From the confines of restricted space, areas could now be maximized; giving options for lofts; providing functionality and ease of movement at the same time. Needless to say, they also boost the investment homeowners have put into their units and abodes,” added Southwell.
HardieFlex flooring is easy to layout and install in any average condo unit or Filipino home. The substrate gives a flat even floor and is diamond-trimmed to give smooth edges and square sheets for easy configuration in any given space. It is sealed on all sides with special coating to make it resistant to moisture damage. As it is a load-bearing floor, it has been rigorously tested to ensure it meets the requirements of the National Structure Code of the Philippines and the Australian Loading Code, as well.
Concurrent to the launch of the substrate was the release of the maiden issue of Look Home Philippines, the brand’s very own magazine that serves as vital resource and practical guide for builders, architects, interior designers, DIY enthusiasts and homeowners.
“The publication of this magazine is in line with James Hardie’s commitment to help Filipino homeowners live without compromise by providing the latest information on innovations, technologies and materials in home construction and improvement. The written articles will be at once informative and entertaining to give readers a tool in making their dream homes a reality,” remarked marketing manager Liza Alde.
The information in the magazine, sourced from top urban developers, architects and interior designers, here and abroad, is meant to help readers better their homes; whether built, undergoing construction, or still in the pipeline.
“Look Home Magazine hopes to change the landscape of Philippine living. It’s our tool to push the LIVEvolution movement forward with its green products for eco-friendly and sustainable home designs. With pieces of advice such as feng shui, the magazine unfolds to build new traditions as future homes achieve space as well as meld beauty and durability without compromising one for the other.
“There’s an advice from Palafox on city and sub-urban dwelling and another on planting greens in concrete jungles. It’s our Noli Me Tangere and La Solidaridad for the over 20 million households all over the archipelago. It’s not just a promise but a commitment,” Alde intimated.
James Hardie has been in the Philippines for nearly two decades and operates a world-class manufacturing facility in Cabuyao, Laguna.

For more information on Look Home Philippines, HardieFlex flooring, and other James Hardie construction materials, simply log-on to You may also call the Metro Manila trunkline 895-5427 or the nationwide hotline 1-800-8885427.  


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