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Buildings and Environment


In the modern world, many cities make use of state-of-the-art technologies for a diversity of applications. A field with very specific needs is the electric power system that deals with both large entities that govern themselves (grid operators) and the citizens. For both and all actors in between, there is an increased need for information. Steps to provide these data are always taken and several initiatives are ongoing across the world to equip residential users with last generation smart meters. However, a full deployment is still not possible. Considering this aspect, the authors propose KPIs for the specific situation when some information is available from the meters and other sources, but some is not. The study case is based on a residential area occupied mainly by university students and after an extensive measurement campaign the results have been studied and analysis methods proposed.


Mass-produced printed circuit board (PCB) electrodes were used as electrochemical cells to detect the widely-used herbicide glyphosate. Square wave voltammetry (SWV) was used to determine the presence of glyphosate in aqueous Cu(NO3)2 solution. Optimal measurement conditions for the detection of glyphosate with PCB electrodes were found. It was determined that glyphosate was able to soak into the growing plants from the substrate. Glyphosate-contaminated plant juice was distinguished from control samples using the PCB electrode. Glyphosate-contaminated plants were found to have DNA mutations.


Heavy metal waste is very dangerous, which can change the condition of water into a solid substance that can be suspended in water and can reduce the cleanliness level of water consumed by living things. To date, heavy metals can be managed through several processes, namely physics, biology or chemistry. One of the ways to overcome heavy metal pollution is to use natural zeolite applying a co-precipitation method, as it is known that zeolite is a powerful natural material to be used for certain purposes. In order to justify the research results, several analyses have been performed, such as X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Surface Area Analyser (SAA), and Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometric (AAS). From the XRD results, it has been found out that the size of each zeolite with variations in size of 150 mesh, 200 mesh, and 250 mesh is 29.274 nm, 38.665 nm and 43.863 nm, respectively. Moreover, the SEM-EDX has shown that the zeolite under consideration is a type of Na-Zeolite and that the co-precipitation method successfully removes impurity elements, namely, Fe, Ti, and Cl. The results of SAA testing have indicated that the total surface area for each variation of zeolite sizes is 63.23 m2/g, 45.14 m2/g and 59.76 m2/g. The results of the AAS test analysis have demonstrated that the optimal absorption of metal content is observed in a size of 150 mesh zeolite with adsorption power of 99.6 % for Pb metal, 98 % for Cu metal, and 96 % Zn metal.


The European Union (hereafter – the EU) takes a strong position in the global fight against climate changes by setting ambitious targets on reduction of greenhouse gas (hereafter – GHG) emissions. A binding target is to reduce those emissions by at least 40 % below 1990 levels till 2030, which would help make Europe the first climate neutral continent by the mid-21st century. Consequently, the expected 2050 emission reduction target for the EU is 80 %–90 % below 1990 levels. The EU’s new economy decarbonisation framework – The European Green Deal – outlines and summarises Europe’s ambition to become a world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050. This supposedly can be achieved by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the energy transition just and inclusive for all.

The transport, and particularly road transport, is one of the most significant fossil fuel dependent segments of national economies across the EU. Oil dependency of all segments of the transport sector makes it the single biggest source of GHG emissions in the united Europe as well. Road transport is responsible for about 73 % of total transport GHG emissions, as Europe’s more than 308.3 million road vehicles are over 90 % reliant on conventional types of oil-based fuels (diesel, gasoline etc.).

However, there is a wide range of low-emission alternative fuels for all kinds of transport that can reduce overall oil dependence of the EU’s transport sector and significantly lower GHG in road transport. Among these alternatives a tandem of the natural gas and biomethane could be named as one of the most promising for short and mid-term transport decarbonisation solutions both in the EU and Latvia.


Nowadays the planet is facing emerging global issues related to climate change, pollution, deforestation, desertification and the number of challenges is expected to grow as the global population is forecasted to reach 10 billion margin by 2050. A concept of circular economy can have a positive contribution to the current development trajectories. In order to implement it, preferably all the energy should be produced by using renewable energy sources, but there has always been a challenge for storage of renewable energy. Therefore, considering technical and economical parameters, construction options for a pumped storage hydropower plant in Latvia have been evaluated using the desk research methodology. Results have shown that Daugavpils PSHP is the most attractive project from the technological point of view, but it requires the greatest amount of investment and construction of Daugavpils HPP. At present all the construction options for PSHP in Latvia are economically disadvantageous and would not be viable without co-financing from European or national funds. Considering both technical and economical parameters, the authors emphasise Plavinas PSHP construction option.


The national energy and climate plans developed by the Baltic States for the period up to 2030 foresee a significant increase in the share of renewable energy in final consumption. Therefore, the development of wind, solar and distributed generation in the Baltic electricity system is expected to increase significantly in the next decade and, thus, the need for balancing capacity will increase. The planned synchronisation of the Baltic power system with the power system of Continental Europe in 2025 will also increase the need for frequency restoration and balancing reserves. At the same time, the shutdown of uncompetitive thermal power plants in the Baltics reduces centralized generation capacity. If this trend continues, the risk of electricity supply shortages will increase in the future. Therefore, it is important to identify activities that help mitigate this risk and take timely actions.


Increasingly high demands on environmental protection are intensifying the development of sustainable construction. Ventilated facades can provide an energy-efficient alternative to standard facades, that is, external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS). The article compares standard facades, which was a reference, to ventilated facades in two variants: closed joints and open joints. The comparison was made by means of numerical simulations of computational fluid dynamic (CFD), under conditions of high outside temperature and high sunshine. The results showed great benefits of using ventilated facades in such external climate conditions. It was also observed that the selection of the variant of ventilated facade in the system of close or open joints has minimal influence on thermal efficiency of the whole partition.



Young ballet dancers are at risk of health issues associated with altered nutritional status and of relative energy deficiency in sport compared to the general population.


To evaluate the nutritional status and body composition in ballet dancers.

Materials and methods

The study group consisted of 40 young ballet dancers (mean age 19.97 years). Height and weight were measured and body mass index was calculated in all subjects (mean BMI value 19.79 kg/m2, SD: 2.051). Body composition was estimated using the bioelectrical impedance method.


The dancers’ fat-free mass was 47.33 kg (SD: 5.064) and, on the average, body fat represented the 15.92% (SD: 16.91) of their body weight.


Ballet dancers, who usually show significantly lower BMI values compared to the general population, also displayed body fat values under the suggested range. Some screening for altered nutritional status should be performed. In addition, education programs should be recommended in young ballet dancers, in order to inform about energy and nutrition requirements for health and training and to prevent malnutrition-related problems.


There is a strong need for a non-invasive measurement technique that is capable of accurately identifying the physiological condition change or heterogeneity of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) by localizing the abnormalities within the compartment. This paper aims to investigate the feasibility of Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) to assess the interstitial fluid in subcutaneous adipose tissue as an enhancement method of bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy (BIS). Here, we demonstrate the preliminary result of EIT with a wearable 16 electrodes sensor. The image-based reference EIT with fat weighted threshold method is proposed. In order to evaluate the performance of our novel method, a physiological swelling experiment is conducted, and Multi-Frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (MFBIA) is also applied as a comparison with EIT results. The experimental results showed that the proposed method was able to distinguish the physiological swelling condition and effectively to remove the unexpected background noise. Furthermore, the conductivity variation in the subcutaneous layer had a good correlation with extracellular water volume change from MFBIA data; the correlation coefficient R2 = 0.927. It is concluded that the proposed method provides a significant prospect for SAT assessment.