Interalu was founded in 1971 by Ludo Schrauwen. Back then, the Antwerp-based company produced all metal ceilings for the Belgian market. In 1994, sons Anthony and Stephan took over leadership of the company. ‘We began with the development of climate ceilings,’ says Anthony Schrauwen, General Manager. ‘Comfort was our most important concern. The comfort of a space depends on three important features: the temperature, the humidity and the acoustics.’
Flexibility and budget
In 1996, Easy-KlimaPlus, the first Interalu climate ceiling, was launched on the market. Besides comfort, flexibility was a major concern. ‘Interalu offers solutions for every type of building: round, square and everything in between. We tailor every ceiling to make sure it’s completely suited to the building it’s destined for. And, last but not least, budget is an important parameter, not only when the ceiling is purchased but also afterwards when maintenance is needed,’ says Schrauwen.
A climate ceiling is a highly technical product. This is why Interalu chooses to be involved in projects from start to finish. Over the years, they have built up good relationships with architects, engineers and builders. This has resulted in a lot of interaction. Schrauwen: ‘They know that they can count on us. We often function as a contact point for their projects when climate ceilings are involved. As a result, we know what is happening and what is needed on the market.’
Ecological and energy efficient
The market changes continuously. Green energy, passive and CO2-neutral buildings are elements Interalu has embraced. To ensure they met demand, they released the SAPPceiling® in 2011 (SAPP stands for Smart Acoustic Passive Power). This climate ceiling has opening joints. They make it possible to use night-time rinsing to integrate the mass of the building into the energy concept.
To top this achievement, two years ago the company went a step further. The SAPP®ceilingHybrid saw the light of day. It’s different to other climate ceilings because the ceiling itself performs the night cooling. In an installation with free chilling, the SAPP®ceilingHybrid ecologically and intensively discharges the concrete mass. During the day, the space is cooled with optimal energy efficiency. Through collaboration between the ceiling and the concrete mass, there is an average of 10 W/m² less power needed to cool an area. And that is highly beneficial for EPC standards. Requiring less power also means a smaller cooling installation (+/- 30%) and a recognisable saving in space and costs.
Production in Antwerp
‘We produce all our ceilings in Antwerp. We buy steel band from as nearby as possible and we make different types of ceiling plates through roll forming. We have an annual production of more than 500,000m². Because we also self-produce, we are flexible and can respond more quickly to questions from our clients and the market in general.’
Office buildings, whether newly built or undergoing renovation, are the biggest customers for Interalu climate ceilings. However, hospitals and schools have also come to know the benefits of a healthy interior climate.