RESTORATION WORKS IN THE JELGAVA PALACE
Jelgava Palace is the largest Baroque palace in the Baltics, the building of which started in 1738 by the famous architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The Palace was destroyed during the Second World War, but it is one of the few buildings that survived in the city of Jelgava - the former capital of the Duchy of Courland - Semigallia (1562-1795) destroyed in 1944. In the 50s of the 20th century it was restored taking into account the needs of the Latvian University of Agriculture (at that time - the Latvian Academy of Agriculture), which is located in the Palace to this day.
The renovation of the Jelgava Palace was planned already in previous decades, but could not be carried out due to lack of funding. When in 2014 the rector of the Latvian University of Agriculture was headed by the rector Irina Pilvere, the reconstruction of the Jelgava Palace was identified as one of the priority areas. Already in 2015 the Latvian University of Agriculture received funding from the State Cultural Capital Fund for the design of the renovation works of the palace, and in 2016 the project application was submitted on the implementation of works.
Since September 30, 2016, when the permission was received on construction works, the largest baroque palace in the Baltics has become a construction site. Until January 2017, the attic of the South-West wing was cleaned and the ventilation chambers were dismantled, electro-osmosis works were performed, the ventilation system was installed, the windows were measured, as well as all the necessary approvals were obtained.
The work was carried out in several stages: as the first all the necessary works were done in the South-West corner of the Palace, and then, gradually moving counterclockwise, the works continued in the Central Hall of the Latvian University of Agriculture, in the Silver Hall, as well as in the administrative part - in the Eastern building of the Palace.
During the January and February of 2017, in the South-West wing of the palace, as part of the first stage of works, horizontal and vertical ventilation ducts were installed, and more than a dozen windows and doors were removed and sent for repair. Some of the windows in this wing were completely replaced with new ones, and some were renovated. Also during this time continued the inspection and assessment of the state of window openings, the approval of thermal insulation materials and the preparation of insulation works, as well as the approval and organization of technological openings within the second stage of work - in the Southern Wing of the Palace, where the Central Hall of the Latvian University of Agriculture is located. During the second half of March 2017, renovation works continued in the South-West Wing and partly works on the outside of the South Wing as well.
Since in the summer of 2018 additional cracks were discovered on part of the Eastern facade, the renovation of the facade was delayed. The university hired a construction designer who examined the facade and proposed solutions for its strengthening.
In total, as of December 31, 2018, construction works were completed in the amount of 57% of the total planned volume. The construction works of the Jelgava Palace on improvement of energy efficiency has been completed by 59%, and the works on the renovation of the facade has been completed by 51% of the planned.
In parallel with works on the energy efficiency, a simplified renovation was carried out in several rooms of the Palace in order to create a modern research and scientific infrastructure. The most significant investments in the renovation of the premises were made in the Center for Bioeconomics and Sustainable Resource Management of the Latvian University of Agriculture, located on the 2nd floor of the South-East wing of the Palace. The works were completed in the first half of 2018.
The works were carried out within the framework of the European Union project “Strengthening of infrastructure for the research and development as well as institutional capacity of the LLU and scientific institutions under its control” (No. 184.108.40.206./17/I/003). Thus, by 2021, 16 721 153 euros have been invested in the development of the scientific infrastructure of the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies. This is stipulated by the agreement concluded between the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies and the Central Agency of Financial Contracts.
During the summer of 2019 the restoration of the facades of the Jelgava Palace - East, North and West - continued. In total, as of December 31, 2019, construction works were completed by 93% of the total planned volume. Construction works on improvement of the energy efficiency of the Jelgava Palace were completed by 93% and the renovation works of facades – by 91% of the planned.
During the spring of 2020 renovation works were carried out on the main staircase of the East Facade, and in December 2020 the extensive restoration works were completed.
In total, during the four years, in the Palace a new ventilation system was installed, including a recuperation system that ensures high-quality air exchange. The recuperation system is controlled remotely, taking into account the microclimate in the Palace. In the attic of the Palace 14 recuperative devices were installed and a ventilation system was installed in all rooms of the Palace, taking into account the uniqueness of each room. The attic is insulated with bulk wool, pedestrian bridges have been arranged, which in the future will provide access to ventilation equipment.
In parallel with the installation of the ventilation system in the Palace, 26 entrance doors and 6 balcony doors were manufactured and renovated, as well as 701 new windows were made, 79 windows were renovated and restored and 16 windows were restored. Thus, it is planned to significantly reduce the loss of heat energy in the building.
Within the framework of the project, four palace balconies, the staircase of the Eastern facade were also restored, their structure was strengthened and a new granite covering was installed, as well as new, forged, gates for the North Passage were made.
Extensive construction works in the Jelgava Palace were carried out by a company - general partnership “PST un ARMS” - construction manager Mindaugas Matas. Author's supervision was carried out by SIA "Arhitektūra un vide" - author's manager Liesma Markova, and SIA "Lūsis V" - author's manager Dzintars Grivnieks. Construction supervision was carried out by SIA "Būves un būvsistēmas" - construction supervisor Nikolajs Jankovskis.
The aim of the project was to improve the energy efficiency of the national architectural monument No. 5153 "The Jelgava Palace with a Park", at 2 Liela Street, Jelgava, - to achieve a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 131,121.53 kg CO2 per year and a reduction in energy consumption for heating, which will not exceed 63.28 kWh/m2 per year per estimated area of the building. As a result, the windows and doors in the Jelgava Palace were replaced, the attic was insulated, the facade of the building and the ventilation system were restored.
The renovation works were carried out under the project (No. EKII - 1/1) funded by the Emissions Auction Instrument. The total costs of the project are EUR 7,092,850.23, of which the Emissions Auction Instrument is co-financed by EUR 4,000,000.00 and EUR 3,092,850.23 financed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The repairment works were carried out within the framework of the project “Ensuring energy efficiency of the Jelgava Palace” (No. EKII - 1/1).