The problem of rising damp and of the consequences for the internal working environment and the condition of the building has been faced since the days of the Acient Romans, who raised the floors of their building by using amphora or low walls. In this way an empty space was created which was linked to the outside by ventilation grills to ensure air circulation. And so the cavity known today as healthy space was born.
The approach adopted by the Romans influenced, and even inspired, technicians and designers of every subsequent age, who never hesitated to recommend and apply the same concept, both for new buildings and for reconstruction work on older ones.
A state-of-the-art building product, which is both useful and inexpensive, easy to use and to handle, and designed by its inventors not only to replace but also to improve upon the ages-old method which was so creative and effective.
Iglu` is a fine example of how tradition and modern technology can be combined in a product of undoubted value, and its success in terms of interest and appreciation by members of the building profession gives a clear confirmation of its virtues. In appearance, IGLU` seems to be just a simple pvc object, however it is simple but quite ingenious invention. one which is causing noticeable changes in the building industry, a sector traditionally conservative but nevertheless open to important new materials and building practices.
IGLU` & RADON
Creating a ventilatd cavity brings with it further important advantages, among which is surely the elimination of concentrations of radioactive gases which come quite naturally out of certain types of soil. Among those recognised as being particularly dangerous to the health is radon, a component of the soil and of building materials made directily from the earth's crust, and deriving from the decay of elements such as Uranium, Bismuth, Polonium etc. The quantity of radon present in nature therefore depends on the local geology. However, the danger to health only remains high when the radon has the opportunity to accumulate inside closed spaces, thanks to the difference in temperture between the interior of a living space and the underlying soil. It only needs a small fissure for it to pass from the foundations to the living areas. Whereas the cavity between the soil and the flooring made using IGLU` means that ventilation prevents the diffusion of radion and its derivatives, as well as their seepage into the interior of the building.
Description & Characteristics
Quite simpy, IGLU` is a modular form made from recycled polypropylene.
IGLU` comes in a variety of sizes and dimensions, and consists of a concave or spherical upper plate on four arched support.
These can be fitted together on all four sides and hence can be quickly built into a platform or walkway over which the concrete can be laid.
This concrete base, therefore, has the appearance of a series of domes supported on arches and small columns. The overall form has been carefully studied to allow the maximum of multi-directional ventilation and offer a minimum of air-resistance at the intrados of the elements. The cavity created in this way must be linked to the exterior of the building with tubing whose opening have been positioned at ground level on the north side of the building, and higher - if possible under the roof - on the south-facing side.
As can now be easily understood, a ventilation cavity can be created both quickly and easily by using the IGLU` units - and without calling upon a specialised workforce.
We would also like to underline that the time required to position the IGLU` - when measured in terms of surface area - is between 80 and 100 m²/hr per worker, all thanks to the lightness and manoeuvrability of all units.
This is a saving in the order of 70% compared with traditional systems, for example low walls and beams. Furthermore, since they are made from pvc material, the forms can be easily shaped to suit special situations, using just an ordinary handsaw and need no other rigid support whatsoever to carry out their task.
IGLU` developed out of an idea for defence against undersoil dampness and the seepage of radioactive gases, and when it was first introduced to the building trade it was difficult to foresee its versatility and adaptability to different construction needs.
But now, thanks to its special characteristics and the opportunities it is able to offer, over the years IGLU` has found a multiplicity of diffeent uses, springing out of the imagination of those who have been able to exploit its full potential.
Here are only some of the numerous projects in which IGLU` has performed a vital role:
- flat or inclined ventilated insulation roofs (instead of the traditional double ventilated slab built using small walls and flat hollow tiles)
- intermediate floating floors for the passage of service wiring, tubing, pipes etc.
- creating underground tunnels as part of the urban infrastructure, both public and private, to lay high-tech cables, etc. below the pavement;
- flooring which requires spaces to encourage the circulation of air, used in drying agricultural products and foodstuffs;
- inspection cavities under discharge pipes or decanting cisterns for breaking down products with a potential to cause pollution, so as to discover evidence of leakage before this reaches the sub-soil;
- ventilation cavities for the passage of air in water purification tanks.
But the list is clearly neither exclusive nor complete. In fact, in this endeavour to meet the needs of an ever more demanding market in continuous expansion, such as the new elements with a concave vault or those of variable height. But one thing is constant. Respect for the principals which have determined IGLU` success - simplicity, rationality, and value.