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1 Radon-Resistant New Construction Sponsored by National Radon Program Services Conducted by Brian Hanson- Coordinator Engineering Extension at Kansas.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Radon-Resistant New Construction Sponsored by National Radon Program Services Conducted by Brian Hanson- Coordinator Engineering Extension at Kansas."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Radon-Resistant New Construction Sponsored by National Radon Program Services Conducted by Brian Hanson- Coordinator Engineering Extension at Kansas State University

2 2 Radon is a Serious National Health Problem American Lung Association American Lung Association American Medical Association American Medical Association Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Sciences National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement U.S. Surgeon General U.S. Surgeon General World Health Organization World Health Organization

3 3 National Zone Map Red = Zone 1 High Potential Orange = Zone 2 Medium Potential

4 4 Building Codes: Appendix F of International Residential Code AF101.1 General. This appendix contains requirements for new construction in jurisdictions where radon-resistant construction is required. Inclusion of this appendix by jurisdictions shall be determined through the use of locally available data or determination of Zone 1 designation in Figure AF101.

5 5 Resource Documents

6 6 Certification and RRNC Certification is not required for those who install RRNC components we described, known as a passive system. (without a fan) Certification is not required for those who install RRNC components we described, known as a passive system. (without a fan) If a system is activated (a fan is added due to a high test result) that must be installed by a certified radon mitigation technician. If a system is activated (a fan is added due to a high test result) that must be installed by a certified radon mitigation technician.

7 7 Should Land be Tested Before Construction ? NO! soil can be tested, but NO! soil can be tested, but A strong radon source from the soil could be easily missed A strong radon source from the soil could be easily missed It is better to use financial resources to make the home radon resistant rather than for testing the soil It is better to use financial resources to make the home radon resistant rather than for testing the soil

8 8 Basic Components of Passive RRNC System

9 9 How Does it Work? The pipe is warmed by house air creating a stack effect draft in the pipe. The pipe is warmed by house air creating a stack effect draft in the pipe. The warmed air in the pipe rises, creating a slight vacuum on the cooler soil gas. The warmed air in the pipe rises, creating a slight vacuum on the cooler soil gas. 55 degrees 70 degrees

10 10 Can Be Applied to All Foundation Types Basement Slab on Grade Crawl Space

11 11 Workers Laying Aggregate

12 12 Improves air movement through native soils Tying Vent Pipe into a Drain Tile Loop

13 13 Sand, Plastic, Mesh and Standpipe Plastic Sheeting or Vapor Retarder: Placed heavy-duty plastic sheeting or a vapor retarder over the gravel to inhibit radon and other soil gases from entering the house.

14 14 Polyethylene Sheeting

15 15 Connecting Through Footings to Slab Areas Plan View of Foundation

16 16 Riser Connection to Form A Drain

17 17 Soil Gas Collection Matting and Riser

18 18 Minimum 3 Vent A Vent Pipe: Installed a vent pipe vertically from the gravel layer through the houses conditioned space and roof. This safely vents radon and other soil gases outside the house. A Vent Pipe: Installed a vent pipe vertically from the gravel layer through the houses conditioned space and roof. This safely vents radon and other soil gases outside the house.

19 19 Sealing Entry Routes Seal floor openings with polyurethane or equivalent sealant Seal floor openings with polyurethane or equivalent sealant All floor, floor-wall joints sealed with polyurethane caulk or elastomeric sealant All floor, floor-wall joints sealed with polyurethane caulk or elastomeric sealant Trap condensate drains or route through non-perforated pipe to daylight Trap condensate drains or route through non-perforated pipe to daylight Seal sumps with lid and vent pipe; if used as a floor drain have a trapped inlet Seal sumps with lid and vent pipe; if used as a floor drain have a trapped inlet

20 20 Using Sumps As An Alternative System

21 21 Crawl Space System n Radon and moisture provided a pathway to collect and be exhausted away from building.

22 22 Plastic Spread Out in Crawl Space n High density polyethylene laid on dirt. n Edges and seams sealed.

23 23 Crawl Space Issues Air handling units in crawl spaces must be sealed Air handling units in crawl spaces must be sealed Ducts in crawl spaces must be sealed or under positive pressure Ducts in crawl spaces must be sealed or under positive pressure Seal floor penetrations with caulk to prevent air leakage Seal floor penetrations with caulk to prevent air leakage Seal access doors and openings between crawl spaces and basements Seal access doors and openings between crawl spaces and basements

24 24 Testing Is Critical! The house must be tested to determine if the system is successful. The house must be tested to determine if the system is successful. Testing can occur when ready for occupancy. Testing can occur when ready for occupancy. If the house tests above 4 pCi/L the system should be activated with a fan and system pressure indicator added to the pipe. If the house tests above 4 pCi/L the system should be activated with a fan and system pressure indicator added to the pipe.

25 25 Electrical Junction Box in Attic

26 26 Activating a System After Testing High 1. Exhaust Fan in the Vent Pipe 1. Exhaust Fan in the Vent Pipe

27 27 27 System Performance Indicator

28 28 Labels Help Avoid Confusing the System with Plumbing

29 29 NAHB Research Results Passive Radon-Resistant Techniques in 45 Homes Radon Average - Capped (ie., passive system blocked) 5.9 pCi/L Radon Average - Uncapped (ie., passive system working) 2.5 pCi/L

30 30 NAHB Research Center Study Results 20 of 45 homes had greater than 4 pCi/L - Capped Conditions 20 of 45 homes had greater than 4 pCi/L - Capped Conditions Radon Average Capped = 10.7 pCi/L Radon Average Capped = 10.7 pCi/L Radon Average Uncapped = 3.7 pCi/L Radon Average Uncapped = 3.7 pCi/L Average Decrease = 7.0 pCi/L Average Decrease = 7.0 pCi/L 19 homes with reduced levels due to techniques 19 homes with reduced levels due to techniques

31 31 NAHB Research Center Study Results 25 of the 45 homes had less than 4 pCi/L - Capped Conditions 25 of the 45 homes had less than 4 pCi/L - Capped Conditions Radon Average Capped = 2.1 pCi/L Radon Average Capped = 2.1 pCi/L Radon Average Uncapped = 1.6 pCi/L Radon Average Uncapped = 1.6 pCi/L Average Decrease = 0.5 pCi/L Average Decrease = 0.5 pCi/L 17 homes with reduced levels due to techniques 17 homes with reduced levels due to techniques

32 32 Common Problems From Manhattans First Two Years Sump lid not sealed to floor Sump lid not sealed to floor Vertical pipe run goes outside heated envelope Vertical pipe run goes outside heated envelope Excessive horizontal pipe runs Excessive horizontal pipe runs Excessive fittings/elbows Excessive fittings/elbows Failure to label pipe Failure to label pipe

33 33 Why Build Using Radon Resistant Techniques Radon-resistant new construction (RRNC) typically costs a builder between $250 and $500. Radon-resistant new construction (RRNC) typically costs a builder between $250 and $500. RRNC could cost less than $250 if the builder already uses some of the same techniques for moisture control. RRNC could cost less than $250 if the builder already uses some of the same techniques for moisture control. For a builder, it is much less expensive to install a radon-resistant system during construction than to go back and fix a radon problem identified later. For a builder, it is much less expensive to install a radon-resistant system during construction than to go back and fix a radon problem identified later. If a new homeowner tests for radon and has to mitigate high levels, it could cost the builder or the owner as much as $2,500. If a new homeowner tests for radon and has to mitigate high levels, it could cost the builder or the owner as much as $2,500. Energy and moisture reduction benefits Energy and moisture reduction benefits

34 34 Builder Buy-in Provide RRNC as Custom Feature Provide RRNC as Custom Feature For Non-Code Required Localities For Non-Code Required Localities Provides a marketing advantage in regions with demonstrated indoor residential radon problems Provides a marketing advantage in regions with demonstrated indoor residential radon problems EPA recommends RRNC in all Zone 1 counties EPA recommends RRNC in all Zone 1 counties Provide the builder a list of Zone 1 counties in which he/she builds residences. Provide the builder a list of Zone 1 counties in which he/she builds residences.

35 35 Builder Buy-in Educate Sales Team Educate Sales Team Builder/Broker Companies Builder/Broker Companies Offer RRNC and radon in real estate transactions training to companies that provide custom home building Offer RRNC and radon in real estate transactions training to companies that provide custom home building Model Homes Model Homes Offer to install a passive radon system in a home to be used as a model home Offer to install a passive radon system in a home to be used as a model home Post Signs Post Signs Clearly mark all RRNC homes available for purchase Clearly mark all RRNC homes available for purchase

36 36 Community Outreach Governmental Education Governmental Education Approach Local Code Officials Approach Local Code Officials Offer to provide RRNC training for area code officals Offer to provide RRNC training for area code officals Community Education Community Education Approach interested groups in community Approach interested groups in community Local cancer survivor groups or advocacy groups Local cancer survivor groups or advocacy groups Offer to provide a guest lecture on RRNC to construction science classes at local technical or community colleges Offer to provide a guest lecture on RRNC to construction science classes at local technical or community colleges

37 37 Community Outreach Inform Newspaper Readers Inform Newspaper Readers Letter to the Editor Letter to the Editor Educational Advertising Educational Advertising Develop a PSA Develop a PSA Market a 30 second radio public service announcement Market a 30 second radio public service announcement

38 38 Resources for You Call National Radon Program Services Call National Radon Program Services 800-SOSRadon ( ) 800-SOSRadon ( ) Web Site Web Site Bruce Snead – Bruce Snead – Brian Hanson – Brian Hanson –


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