Kindness is beautiful.
As we feel the winter chill in the air, we can be thankful for the heat and comfort in our home. However, not everybody in our world is so lucky. As the winter rages outside, there are currently people living without shelter. Homelessness is a real issue, and while we can be sympathetic, sympathy alone isn’t going to keep someone warm.
A French engineer has come with an innovative idea. He’s created a pop-up igloo that can be easily erected to comfortably fit a person. Made from polyethylene foam, which is then covered with aluminum foil. This double layer prevents the freezing temperature from affecting the interiors, as it remains around 15° warmer than the temperature outside. These insulated igloos also absorb bodily heat and solar lighting to naturally raise the temperature while still providing privacy. These igloos can easily compact, are repairable, waterproof, and recyclable.
Homelessness in Paris alone is reaching 3,000 people. With this recent Siberian cold sweep making its way through Europe, there has been much shock as temperatures drop to freezing. Geoffroy de Reynal, MSc in Energy Engineering, has come to their rescue. He was working as a quality manager on wind construction sites. When he heard about the terrible condition in Paris, he just had to use whatever technical knowledge that he had to tackle this social issue.
Testing was completed with nine Igloos distributed in squats around Bordeaux, France, and its results were very positive. Those who had access to an igloo did not want to leave, and those who did not have access wanted one. These shelters also provide safety from the wild nights that have been occurring in Paris recently. There has been an increase in theft and violence at night, making the roads extremely dangerous and the homeless are the most vulnerable.
For now, the Iglou is compact due to emergency reasons but the inventor plans to make it larger and fit showers in it too. Currently, the idea is being crowdfunded as the designer wishes to create thousands of igloos by 2020.
Creativity, invention, and social responsibility, Geoffroy de Reynal has combined all three of these attributes. It just goes on to show that if we try and have the right motive, humans can achieve anything, especially for a fellow human being.