Insulating polyethylene foam and aluminium sheets: although it is a precarious solution for those who have no roof over their heads in winter, it enables them to sleep in a dry and warm environment.
Developed by Geoffroy de Reynal, a Bordeaux-based engineer, specialised in renewable energies, the Iglou is in fact a fairly simple assembly of panels made from insulating polyethylene foam and aluminium, which can be easily clipped together to form a tunnel-shaped shelter measuring two metres in length by one metre twenty in width by 90 centimetres in height. Thanks to the polyethylene foam’s insulating properties, the occupant can sleep in an environment that is 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. The shelter is fireproof, rainproof, and can be easily folded up and moved. It weighs around 10 kg, and it is no more cumbersome than a mattress. It is also equipped with an indoor solar lighting system thanks to integrated mini photovoltaic panels! According to Sanka, who has been homeless for 18 years, “It keeps the heat in well, and it’s dry when it rains. It’s like the hull of a boat, it’s roomier than a tent, and you can dismantle it in a snap".
The first prototypes were created thanks to a crowdfunding effort that enabled Geoffroy to raise € 18,000. Positive feedback from users who have tested the shelter in very cold weather has encouraged him to improve the small isothermal shelter and, who knows, maybe even mass-produce it. However, he states that “it is only a temporary solution that does not replace emergency shelters and associations”.