Transport, Infrastructure and Building Latvia
Adaptation strategies in Latvia
Soviet-era panel-style buildings are an important consideration when planning for climate change in the region. Most block flats, which were designed to have a lifespan of about thirty years, already were in disrepair at the time the regimes fell (1). Bulgaria, for instance, recently indicated that 10% of its panel dwellings were in need of urgent repairs (1) while the Slovak Ministry of Construction estimated that it would cost over 10.3 billion Euros and take more than thirty years to complete the structural repairs necessary to ensure the safety of these buildings (2).
Although they are in need of basic renovation, there is growing evidence that panel buildings, both block flats used for housing and public buildings of similar construction, have the potential to be efficiently renovated and to incorporate energy-saving retrofits. The major aspects of retrofitting focus on energy-saving measures. These include thermal insulation, replacement windows, and modernization of central heating systems. In addition to these measures, green roofing is being tested as a further means for improving the quality of living spaces as well as a way to manage fluctuations in precipitation. Studies suggest that rooftop gardens:
- help to control interior temperature, by decreasing the heat entering and exiting a building through the roof, and thus reduce energy demand (3). Widespread introduction of gardens will add to urban greenspace and, in the process, help moderate heat island effects.
- can reduce the level of runoff and moderate the potential of flooding during heavy rainfall (3,4).
- assist in harvesting rainwater. The basic idea is that rainwater is filtered into storage tanks and then used for non-potable activities such as laundry, toilets, and watering plants (5).
The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Latvia.
- Iliev and Yuksel (2004), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- CiJ (2008), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Bass and Baskaran (2001), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Hadley and Carter (2006), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Carmin and Zhang (2009)