During the winter, the majority of us are cozy inside our homes running our central heating, curling up under fuzzy blankets, and brewing cocoa to sip on while we watch movies. Unfortunately, that isn’t a luxury that everyone has access to. During the winter months, the struggle to keep warm can be particularly daunting for those among us who are homeless.
But one French engineer has come up with a genius solution for keeping warm. Geoffroy de Reynal, an energy engineer, returned to France after working abroad as a quality manager on wind turbine construction sites. Being back home opened his eyes to the plight of the homeless crisis happening in France. That is when he decided to put his technical skills to use to help solve a social crisis.
And that is how he came up with the Iglou, a waterproof shelter that keeps its occupants warm by heating the interior to 15° warmer than the outside. This shelter is quite easy to put together, and it’s made from polyethylene foam and the inside of the Iglou is lined with aluminium foil in order to keep the occupant warm, even in freezing conditions.
Geoffroy’s design is crucial since many European countries – with the exception of Finland – are experiencing increased numbers of people who are homeless. This has placed a strain on shelters, as well as seen more violence and thefts occur in overcrowded shelters.
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In 2018, there were nine Iglous that got distributed to homeless people around the Bordeaux area by the French NGO, Médecins du Monde. The first reviews of the shelter were positive. Those who were using the Iglou were quite happy with it, and those who didn’t get one were hoping to get one of their own.
In the winter of 2019, more than 300 people were able to enjoy the comfort of the Iglous in 5 European countries and Canada.
Shelters wanting to get Iglous of their own to distribute can contact them directly, they cost between $140-$160 each.
Watch a clip of the Iglou below:
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