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Implementation of Energy Efficiency Management System in Multi-Storey Residential Houses in Littoral Regions of Latvia

Abstract

Based on EU guidelines and national development plans, energy efficient process management has been slowly implemented in Latvian regions in the context of the Directive 2012/27/EU putting forward two binding indicative national energy efficiency goals for Latvia: (1) to achieve 1.5 % of energy savings delivered to final consumers every year, and (2) to renovate 3 % of the state-owned buildings annually. The aim of the paper is to reflect the management system of energy efficient processes in public and residential buildings in Latvian littoral regions of the Baltic Sea, which can be an important factor for achieving the goals of the Directive. The paper presents the results of the research on energy efficient processes in public and residential buildings in Latvian littoral regions of the Baltic Sea in order to determine the existing challenges. Methods applied in the research are data collection, grouping, analysis and comparison, studies of regulatory documents, as well as statistical data collection and analysis. Contribution of the research is the improvement of energy efficient solutions in public and residential buildings in littoral regions of the Baltic Sea by using the estimated energy efficient processes. The results of the research are of international importance and can be applied not only in public and residential buildings in littoral regions of the Baltic Sea but also in other regions with similar climate or energy efficient process management problems in order to improve the selection of criteria of energy efficient solutions and renovation.

Open access
Analysis of Accidents in Construction in 2015-2017

Abstract

Worldwide, construction is a branch of the economy characterised by a high level of employee safety risks and a high accident rate. In Poland, over the last 20 years, the number of victims and the frequency of accidents in the construction industry have shown a decreasing tendency, but they are subject to large fluctuations. Current accident reporting methods focused on rigidly classified circumstances and root causes do not facilitate drawing general conclusions for the purpose of prediction. The paper presents an analysis of the number and characteristics of construction site accidents of the years 2015-2017 using data from reports of the National Labour Inspectorate. The preliminary analysis of available nationwide sources confirmed that every year nearly 50% of accidents that occur during construction works are falls from height. The analysis is intended as a starting point for further research on factors and causes of accidents at work in construction.

Open access
Analysis of Errors in Investors’ in the Procedure of Obtaining a Building Permit

Abstract

One of the most important documents occurring in the investment process is the administrative decision: building permit. Obtaining it is often a time-consuming process in practice, associated with the need to attach to the application other required decisions and permits necessary for a positive consideration of the case. The procedure itself is not always a long-term process, as long as the investor makes sure to prepare a reliable application free of errors and irregularities together with the construction project and the required attachments. The purpose of the article is to analyze errors appearing in investors’ applications and attached project documentation required in the administrative procedure for obtaining a building permit in the light of the applicable provisions of Polish law.

Open access
Citizen science as a new approach in Geography and beyond: Review and reflections

Abstract

Issues related to the evolving role of citizen science and open science are reviewed and discussed in this article. We focus on the changing approaches to science, research and development related to the turn to openness and transparency, which has made science more open and inclusive, even for non-researchers. Reproducible and collaborative research, which is driven by the open access principles, involves citizens in many research fields. The article shows how international support is pushing citizen science forward, and how citizens’ involvement is becoming more important. A basic scientometric analysis (based on the Web of Science Core Collection as the source of peer reviewed articles) provides a first insight into the diffusion of the citizen science concept in the field of Geography, mapping the growth of citizen science articles over time, the spectrum of geographical journals that publish them, and their citation rate compared to other scientific disciplines. The authors also discuss future challenges of citizen science and its potential, which for the time being seems to be not fully utilized in some fields, including geographical research.

Open access
A Comparative Laboratory Investigation into the Role of Geosynthetics in the Initial Swell Control of an Expansive Soil

Abstract

Volume change in expansive soils due to the intervention of water causes swell. A laboratory investigation using two different gbeosynthetic materials was designed to minimise the swell characteristics. The influence of three parameters, being geosynthetic material [Secutex (ST) and Combigrid (CG)], orientation (horizontal and vertical), and number of layers (1, 2, and 3) on the swell of an expansive soil was studied to better understand the potential for geosynthetics in swell control. The study on the immediate swell characteristics (limited to 24 hours) helps in gaining confidence in the use of geosynthetics in the swell control of expansive soils. From the investigation results, it was found that all three parameters, being type of material, orientation, and number of layers influenced the swell control of the soil. When two layers of ST and CG were placed both vertically and crossed, they reduced the swell of the virgin soil by almost 60% and 44%, respectively. It can, therefore, be concluded that geosynthetics can play an effective role in the swell control of expansive soils.

Open access
A comparison of four approaches to river landscape delineation: The case of small watercourses in the Czech Republic

Abstract

River landscapes represent key areas of great importance to human society as they perform many functions and provide valuable services. Traditionally, these areas have been perceived as geomorphological phenomena characterised by specific soil conditions, hydrological regimes and unique habitats. Due to the availability of detailed data, it is possible to perform a spatial delineation of river landscapes by interpreting these data using several different approaches. The results of these different approaches can vary considerably, since it is particularly challenging to define the river landscape along small watercourses for which the availability of suitable data is limited. The main aim of this study is to analyse the various methodological approaches that may be used to define the river landscapes of small streams, and to evaluate the efficiency of those approaches that can be applied in nature and landscape conservation. Two medium-sized catchments in the Czech Republic were selected as the study areas in order to ensure different natural conditions and degrees of anthropogenic pressure. As a result, an approach based on combining soil characteristics and topographic information is considered the most appropriate solution to delineate the river ecosystem.

Open access
The current status of orchard meadows in Central Europe: Multi-source area estimation in Saxony (Germany) and the Czech Republic

Abstract

Orchard meadows are appreciated as an integrated land use of high cultural and biological value. While such meadows are typical habitats for temperate Europe, they experienced a decline in their total area during the second half of the 20th century, both in Western and Eastern Europe. In this contribution, we compare their current area and status in terms of semantics, law, public support in general, and the efficiency of public support in both Saxony and the Czech Republic. We estimated the area in Saxony on the basis of three public mapping projects. In the Czech Republic, where no recent mapping included orchard meadows as a specific land-use type, we carried out our own mapping. Hence, we mapped 124 randomly selected plots of 1 km2. To cross-reference results from both countries, we used the pan-EU project LUCAS (Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey). According to various different sources, the orchard meadows cover 0.09–0.55% of Saxony and 0.01–0.72% of the Czech Republic. Interestingly, the results of the three mapping projects conducted in Saxony vary from each other. Although orchard meadows are supported by financial incentives of the respective governments in both countries, the Saxon approach concentrating more on individual activities (sanitation of old trees, planting, grassland management), seems more focused than the single measure practised in the Czech Republic. One key to a greater public awareness of the orchard meadow problematic can lie in the promotion of a simple expression referring to this specific landscape feature in Czech, similar to the phrase common in the German language: ‘Streuobstwiese’. Our suggestion for the Czech language is: ‘luční sad’.

Open access
Degradation - Prediction Models of the Railway Track Quality

Abstract

During the railway track life, its operational quality is represented by the key information on the extent and method of its degradation, applying indicators which were appropriately selected, surveyed and evaluated within the diagnostic activities. The paper describes methods and procedures of experimental verification, i. e. obtaining and evaluating operational quality indicators, representing design parameters and determining its quality. Determining the dependence of the values of different quality indicators on time or place of measurement allows to construct models of structure behaviour over its lifetime and to predict the time and place when and where the permissible boundary values of the qualitative indicators can occur. The paper presents the models prepared for monitored experimental sections in the Slovak Railways (ŽSR) network.

Open access
Development of Reference Buildings to Analyze the Potential for Energy-Efficient Refurbishment of Buildings

Abstract

The building sector offers the largest potential for a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Based on own preliminary investigations for the State of Bavaria, a complete renovation of the building envelope of the current residential building stock would result in a reduced demand for final thermal energy for space heating and domestic hot water by about 70 %. The present study analyzes different existing reference buildings and reference methods. Based on a general literature review, specific criteria will be developed for reference models to represent the thermal energy consumption of the residential building stock for the regional domain under investigation. The objective is to represent the building stock with a limited amount of reference buildings. The method for the development of a reference building will be shown exemplarily for one category.

Open access
Effect of Eccentricity in Sandy Slope of Laterally Loaded Single Pile

Abstract

An experimental study was proposed to understand the behaviour of single pile in sloping ground with various eccentricity. Cohesionless soil was used for conducting experiments with a horizontal ground and with a slope of 1V:2H. With calculated stiffness factor (T) as 92 mm, the eccentricity was varied as 0T, 0.5T and 1T. The lateral capacity of the pile in horizontal and sloping ground condition decreases with increase in eccentricity; the increase in lateral capacity was linear too. The bending moment increases with increase in load; but the depth of maximum bending moment was 0.15 m for 0T and 0.5T of eccentricity. For 1T of eccentricity, the depth of maximum bending moment varied to 0.07 m from the point of load. An equation was proposed to calculate the maximum bending moment of the pile for any eccentricity for a slope of 1V:2H, which is the governing factor for pile designing.

Open access