Within Interreg project CAMS Platform Ltd. EKODOMA has done research on "Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: Practice and Opportunities in Energy Efficiency and Renovation of Buildings in Latvia". Based on the analysis carried out, policy recommendations on planning state support mechanisms and the European structural and investment funds throughout 2021 to 2027, as well as for recommendations on the national guidelines regarding further projects of energy efficiency in renovation and building were developed. The main risks for each of the recommendations have been identified in the authors' view as well.
CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY EFFICIENCY
AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
• Climate change and impacts on the building sector in
• Policy recommendation:
• Reducing GHG emissions “mitigation measures”
• Adapting to the climate change “adaptation
CLIMATE CHANGES IN LATVIA
Climate variable Previous
(2071- 2100 in relation to
RCP 4.5 RCP 8.5
Mean value of daily maximum
+29,3 oC ↑ +0,7 oC ↑ +3,6 oC ↑ +5,7 oC
Annual-mean temperature +5,7 oC ↑ +0,7 oC ↑ +3,5 oC ↑ +5,5 oC
Mean value of daily minimum
-24,1 oC ↑ +1,9 oC ↑ +9,3 oC ↑ +13,5 oC
Increase number of days
when daily max temperature
is above +25 0C
15 days ↑ +3 days ↑ +31 days ↑ +53 days
Increase number of days
when daily min temperature is
above +20 0C.
0 days ↕ 0 days ↑ +4 days ↑ +14 days
Source: Latvia's adaptation to climate change plan for 2030 and Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre
EXAMPLE - AIR TEMPERATURE IN RIGA
Source: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre
ANALYSES OF HEATING DEGREE DAYS
Ainaži Alūksne Daugavpils Dobele Liepāja Mērsrags Priekuļi Rīga Stende Zīlāni
1961 – 1990
1989 - 2018
• Decrease in HDD by 10.3% or 375 HDD days
• Decrease of energy consumption for heating and increase cooling needs
CLIMATE CHANGES IN LATVIA
Climate variable Previous
Future changes (2071-
2100 in relation to 1961-
RCP 4.5 RCP 8.5
The amount of precipitation 651 mm ↑ +6% ↑ +13% ↑ +16%
Heavy precipitation days 15 days
↑ +2 days ↑ +3 days ↑ +5 days
•Increase in annual precipitation, especially in winter season;
•Increase in extreme precipitation;
•Decrees of frost days - more freezing cycles for constructions.
COASTAL EROSION FORECAST BY 2060
Source: Dr. Jānis Lapinskis
IMPACTS AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT
The most important risks:
1. Overheating of buildings and increased demand for
cooling (electricity demand in summer periods);
2. Flood risks to buildings along the coastline and in
towns and cities by the rivers;
3. Increase of precipitation flooding damage to
buildings structures (wet constructions, foundations);
4. Damage of building foundations due to fluctuating
5. Overloaded of roof constructions due to heavy
precipitation in the form of snow over short periods
Identified risks Impacts
• Increase of temperatures;
• Increase number of days when daily
max temperature is above +25 0C;
• Increase number of days when daily
min temperature is above +20 0C.
• The risk of overheating;
• Difficulties of using night cooling ventilation
options and natural ventilation;
• Lower energy consumption for heating, but
increased energy consumption for cooling
• In energy efficiency support programs include
measures to reduce need for cooling (promote use
of passive cooling design, shading, increase of
thermal mass etc.)
• Limit energy consumption not only for heating but
as well for cooling. The minimum energy efficiency
requirements and the corresponding energy
efficiency class need to be determined not only for
heating but as well primary energy consumption
(MK Nr. 383);
• R&D to set primary energy efficiency targets for
different type of buildings, limits for night cooling in
public buildings, shading, passive cooling design,
design guidelines and up-skilling trainings.
Identified risks Impacts
• Increase total amount of
• Increase number of days with
heavy and extreme precipitation
(snow and rain).
• Overloaded of roof constructions in winter;
• Damage to building foundations of buildings
due to fluctuating groundwater levels;
• Flood risks to buildings along the coastline and
in towns and cities by the rivers.
• Analyses on the recommended capacity reserve for sewerage infrastructure and
changes in the construction standard LBN 223-15 “Sewerage structures”;
• Analyses of flooding risks and zoning depending climate change scenarios (could be
done locally by municipalities developing SECAPs);
• Support technical inspections of foundations and renovation of rainwater systems,
drainage and hydro insulation for plinth in energy efficiency support programs.
MONITORING AND TECHNICAL INSPECTION OF
Monitoring of cracks - examples
Promote use of local building
materials (wood in construction) to
reduce embodied carbon emissions
• Carbon footprint of building materials (LCA and
LCC analyses). Analyses of amount of carbon
absorbed by wood as a building materials.
Labelling of building components.
• Procurement guidelines for public buildings for
construction projects and construction works
with the aim to reduce emissions and costs
generated during the entire life cycle (examples
from BREEAM, LEED).
Passive One-Family Home on Bergmaņciema Street
Certified passive building in Latvia, construction
completed in 2013. The exterior walls of the building
are constructed from a wooden frame, while the roof is
composed of glued to wood panels.
Use of local building materials – components and industrial design of wood-frame
modules for configurable high-performance buildings. Research institutions, developers,
builders, social housing companies, municipalities and energy service companies come
together to demonstrate full-scale innovations.
ERVINS KRAUKLISFoto: Ansis Starks
THE DORMITORY OF SECONDARY SCHOOL
Heat recovery ventilating system
Ventilation units in 5th floor
Main cables in the thermal insulation
layer of the roof >70 cm
Pipelines in wall insulation design >40 cm
Walls U=1.05 U=0.09
Roof U=0.52 U=0.06
Windows U=2,6 U=0.80
Renovation concept: components of a passive
Nearly zero energy building
designs and local materials
Design concept of the ventilation system
Photo: Ansis Starks
methods and new EPC
• Adopting of dynamic building simulation methods -
new EN ISO 52000 family of standards to assess the
energy performance of buildings put in practice
• Need for detail climate change scenarios and
weather data for building simulation and building
component database. Such data are available in the
database of meteorological observations of VSIA
"Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology
Center". Normative hourly climate data should be
included in LBN 003-19 “Building Climatology”.
Impacts of future weather data typology on building
energy performance. Investigating long-term
patterns of climate change and extreme weather
ADOPTING OF DYNAMIC BUILDING SIMULATION METHODS AND
NATIONAL INPUT DATA VALUES
• Dynamic building simulation
• ‘Daylighting’ – designing buildings for
controlled admission of natural light,
adjustable through the day using solar
Total life-cycle energy use in low-energy
buildings is less than for conventional
Decarbonization of the building
• Energy efficiency support programs need for
standardized technical solutions - faster project
development, higher quality and better results;
• Energy efficiency guarantee in building construction
and design contracts;
• Greening of taxes – reducing VAT for EE measures.
Energy is relatively cheap. Taxes on energy sales are
VAT 12% and for energy efficiency measures VAT 21%.
• Monitoring of construction quality should be
delegated to the responsible institutions - the building
authorities (the State Construction Control Bureau of
Latvia). Also strengthening the existing building
authorities and other monitoring institutions. ;
• Set energy performance and emissions limits for
heating boilers. Use zoning to decrease the levels of
particulate matter and local pollution in populated
area and cities.
INTEGRATED RES SOLUTIONS
12 January 2021 35
• Enforcement of exiting
• Compliance with
• EPC must be issued when a building is sold or rented,
and inspection schemes for heating and air conditioning
systems must be established;
• Energy efficacy requirements achieved after renovation or after
• Up-skilling of engineers/energy auditors/architects for nearly
zero energy buildings design and calculations
• Enforcement minimum energy performance requirements for
existing buildings and in new construction – monitoring by state
Construction Control Bureau of Latvia and/or municipalities.
Heating energy consumption: 17 kWh /(m²a)
In new construction and renovation to nearly zero building designs – minimize or even eliminate
the need for mechanical heating, cooling and ventilation – offer potential for both cost savings
and carbon dioxide (CO2) mitigation
More than 25 years experience in
the area of energy efficiency and
Latvia's adaptation to climate change plan until 2030 concluded that for Latvia in the future:
Air temperatures in Latvia (mean, maximum and minimum) will increase significantly;
The number of summer days and tropical nights will increase significantly;
Heatwaves and drought periods will increase in number and frequency; during those, levels of groundwater and surface water might decrease
The number of frost days and thaw days will decrease, as will the amount of snow and ice formation and stability;
The total amount of precipitation (rain) will increase significantly; the number of days with heavy and extreme precipitation will increase as well;
The mean wind speed will slightly decrease and the number of windless days will increase; however, there will be no significant change in day count of storms, yet there may be differences among different regions of Latvia.
A comparison of data on changes in average actual air temperature and the household thermal energy consumption is available only for the period 2009-2019. This is too short a period to assess the impact of climate change on the thermal energy consumption of buildings in Latvia. However, it can be concluded that, as the average number of heating degree days is decreasing and the average temperature of the heating season is rising, heat energy consumption will decrease.
By analyzing the data from Building Standard LBN 003-15 of Latvia “Climate Indicators in Building” and Building Standard LBN 003-19 of Latvia “Climate Indicators in Building”, it is possible to conclude that the Latvian climate over the last 60 years has gotten warmer and it has resulted in a decrease in the number of days of heating degrees by an average of 10.3% or 375 degree days.
Over the last 30 years the heat energy consumption of Latvian households has decreased by 0.44 TWh due to climate change. This represents €22.08 million per year savings, or €11.5 savings per capita per year, at the adopted thermal energy tariff of €50/MWh and 1.92 million inhabitants. Therefore, it can be concluded that due to climate change, each Latvian citizen saves €11.5 per year on account of the reduction in household thermal energy consumption (compared to the periods mentioned by LBN 003-15 and LBN 003-19).
Considering climate change and its risks, future climate scenarios and forecasts should be included in the calculations of buildings’ energy consumption, heating and ventilation loads, and wind and snow loads along with historical climate data. It would aid in search of the best solutions to make buildings operational for the next 30 to 50 years until their next renovation. Currently, no such forecasts are available for climate data.
This is a risk of significant damage to buildings since the duration of effects of tides on buildings can exceed 24 hours, and, if the sea level is rising, the infiltration of saltwater in soil and constructions can occur.
The effects of this risk factor are twofold: local flooding due to rainfall can damage buildings and river flooding due to rainfall can damage buildings. Local flooding poses more risk in urban areas with comparatively low-capacity stormwater runoff and sewage systems, whereas river flooding due to rainfall can damage towns and cities in riverbank areas.
The magnitude of the risk depends on two factors – how quickly the snow cover is formed, and what the air temperature is outside. Temperature fluctuations around 0 °C are critical because wet snow cover creates 3-5 times the load.
Due to fluctuating groundwater levels, the stability of the building and its foundation structures might get compromised; micro-cracks can also appear over time, and moisture can infiltrate building constructions.
According to the Assessment of Risks and Vulnerabilities by Zaļā brīvība, «longer summers and increases in average yearly temperature and frequency, and duration of heatwaves will increase the demand for indoor cooling systems, requiring more conditioners and impacting solutions for ventilation systems and window, and façade shading.»
Climate change risk consequences:
The risk of overheating buildings will increase;
Difficulties in using overnight cooling;
Decrease in energy consumption for heating purposes, but increase in energy consumption for building cooling.
1. … including the introduction of natural and mechanical shading solutions for buildings.
5. It is necessary to carry out a study analyzing:
the different types of buildings so that objective energy efficiency values for energy consumption for heating, cooling and primary energy consumption indicators could be set;
the use of ventilation systems for ensuring night cooling in the climatic conditions of Latvia;
optimal ratio of glass surfaces to the total wall area under the climatic conditions of Latvia;
the impact of the building's masivitase (thermal inertia) on the heating and cooling energy consumption of the building under the climatic conditions of Latvia;
applying shading solutions (including natural shading) to the architecture under the climatic conditions of Latvia.
Risks: Lack of studies and data.
Based on these forecasts, guidelines on the recommended capacity reserve for sewer infrastructure and changes to the construction standard LBN 223-15 “sewer structures” should be developed;
… and it is necessary to determine the maximum flow of rainwater from the existing rain sewer, at which the existing system is no longer able to provide the full amount of rainwater drainage;
While the energy savings of foundation and plinth wall insulation are less than that of above grade wall insulation (for the same U-values), the effects of insulating an uninsulated foundation wall are important; in particular because this energy efficiency measure goes side by side with moisture management of the basement. After digging works around the building, the foundation walls have to be cleaned and if needed structural repairs have to be implemented. Before the application of thermal insulation the application of suitable hydro
insulation is needed. When the basement is a heated area the wall should be insulated for the full depth, otherwise a depth of 50-80cm is typically sufficient.
The pictures in the slide are example of structural monitoring of cracks
Development of carbon footprint of Latvian construction materials, calculation of energy consumption in the manufacturing process of these construction materials;
Determination of the amount of carbon absorbed by wood as a construction material. This amount of carbon absorbed can be taken into account when assessing CO2 emissions from buildings during their life cycle;
Development of a methodology for measuring CO2 emissions from the building life cycle and for measuring life cycle costs (LCC). This methodology should take into account both the CO2 emissions and costs of building construction and the production and transport of building materials, as well as the CO2 emissions from heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water preparation and lighting during the life of the building.;
It is necessary to develop guidelines for the procurement of building projects and construction works, intending to take into account emissions and costs generated throughout the life cycle of the building;
In the case of construction of new buildings, energy certificates should indicate CO2 emissions from the building during its life cycle.
The existing method is based on expired calculation standard LVS EN ISO 13790. The existing method uses the seasonal calculation method to calculate energy consumption for heating and cooling;
Dynamic hourly calculations based on hourly temperature and sun changes, and their impact on energy consumption for cooling over the entire year are needed for nearly zero-energy buildings to calculate their energy consumption for heating or cooling, or to determine thermal comfort and overheating risks.
All calculations of cooling energy consumption should use the dynamic method according to the standard LV EN ISO 52016-1:2017.
This method is used to calculate the cooling energy balance over short periods (hours), taking into account sun radiation, temperature changes, inertia of building structures and heat savings in structures (including heat gains through structures).
However, to use this method successfully, and to take into account all possible climate changes at the building design stage, hourly climate data from different places in Latvia are needed for various climate change scenarios.
Such data is available from the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre’s meteorological observation database. Regulatory hourly climate data should be included in LBN 003-19 “Building climatology”.
…, including standardized engineering solutions, should be developed for faster and more qualitative preparation of building projects.
… (the building authorities, the State Construction Control Bureau of Latvia, etc.), by also strengthening the existing building authorities and other monitoring institutions.
… Thereby helping to control the conformity of buildings built with the construction design and minimum energy efficiency requirements.
…, for example by reducing VAT on energy efficiency jobs, by providing discounts on real estate (the greening of taxation) and providing discounts to the estate tax if the building meets the minimum energy efficiency requirements.
… Use zoning to decrease the levels of particulate matter and local pollution in populated areas (cities, suburbs, and villages) by restricting the use of heating boilers. Require labeling of heating boilers.
It is necessary to control the issued energy certificate for buildings (and apartments) and used energy certificates when selling/buying and renting buildings (and apartments). In the current situation, this obligation has been imposed on the Consumer Rights Protection Centre. The requirement of this legislation is not actually being carried out;
It is necessary to train/inform the representatives of the buildings of the requirement for the construction of nearly zero energy buildings (requirements that after 2021 all buildings must comply with). Also, it is necessary to train/inform the representatives of buildings on the need for energy certificates to be put into service, as well as on how to understand this energy certificate, and how to meet the requirements of a nearly zero energy building for newly built buildings and the minimum energy performance requirements for renewable buildings.
It is necessary to train/inform building managers and residents on the minimum energy performance requirements of existing buildings, as set out in Article 21 of Regulations Regarding the Survey, Technical Servicing, Current Repairs and Minimal Requirements for Energy Efficiency of the Residential House.