ClassAct Schools


In October 2013, the Philippines experienced a large (magnitude 7.2) earthquake and major typhoon in a span of three weeks. These events caused significant damage throughout the island chain. As part of the rebuilding process, actLAB, a New York-based collaborative architecture design group, is working to reconstruct two schools in the towns of Maribojoc and Loon. SGH provided structural and materials engineering services on the project.

To capitalize on local materials and construction methods, the project team designed Active School with bamboo columns and roof trusses with brick bearing walls for lateral support. SGH’s scope included the following:

  • Designing columns comprising three to four bamboo culms tied together with rope strapping and ties
  • Detailing columns to bear on the concrete floor slab with anchorage to the base consisting of grouted anchor rods in the bamboo and ties to an embedded steel pipe
  • Designing bamboo roof trusses using steel rods for the diagonal braces of the truss to maximize sunlight
  • Developing and testing the custom bamboo and steel rod connections in SGH’s materials laboratory to determine the strength and structural performance

Project Summary

New Construction
Structures | Applied Science & Research
Specialized Capabilities
Building Design | Physical Testing

Key team members

Paul Kassabian
Paul Kassabian
Paul Kelley
Paul Kelley
Senior Principal