Easy-Block: an Eco-Friendly Building Materials Revolutionary


Over a decade ago, Brunei-based architect Eddie Urcia bagged a Bagong Bayani award for inventing the world’s fastest bicycle with 48-gear combinations. He tried manufacturing his bike but it proved too expensive. Nonetheless, his restless and inventive mind has not stopped working.

The Bicolano-born Urcia more recently unveiled what he believes is one of the cheapest and most ecofriendly building blocks. His “Easy-Block,” as he calls it, is made of cement and toilet paper roll cores and costs 30-50 percent less than traditional hollow blocks or bricks.

“I have invented a cheap and innovative composite block that will revolutionize the construction industry globally,” he declares.

“It is very ecofriendly, simply made of cement and toilet paper roll core. Yes, toilet roll core.  This usually ignored cardboard core has structural properties unimaginable when put together. The usefulness of the block is unlimited and it is an all-weather product, useful in hot or cold countries because of its remarkable insulation,” he pitches.

“My latest invention is intended to compete with bricks and hollow blocks. It is easier to install and manufacture. Also, it is cheaper and better in quality. Easy-Block panels can be used as external walls, interior partitions, flooring, finish ceiling and roofing. The price of one Easy-Block can cover three times the area of one hollow block. It is  cheaper by 50 percent compared to cement or foam board,” he says of his product.

“Laboratory tests prove Easy-Block’s quality and reliability. A typical sandcrete hollow block would have a compression strength of 4,800 psi. Easy-Block has at least 21,660 psi strength. In a test fire,  a .22 caliber bullet chips the surface but does not exit the Easy-Block,” he adds.

Urcia is promoting his blocks for low cost housing projects and is starting to produce his blocks in San Mateo, Rizal and (Guagua and Floridablanca) in Pampanga.

Brunei has apparently provided an encouraging environment for Urcia’s creative mind.

“I came to Brunei in 1981 when I joined Singapore Associate Architects for six years,” he relates. He then moved to the Public Works Department (JKR) of the government of Brunei Darussalam. He is credited with designing Brunei’s National Stadium (30,000-seater multipurpose stadium) which opened in 1984. He was also the resident architect for Brunei’s old airport and has participated in the planning of industrial sites and housing projects, particularly those for persons with disabilities, in the rich Southeast Asian sultanate.

In Brunei, Urcia makes a living designing and planning various mixed development projects such as  high-end apartments, commercial hubs and forest road developments, among others. He is also involved with the Islamic University Brunei project together with the Palafox group.

Source: Global Nation Inquirer

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