skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Residential construction code impacts on radon

Abstract

The paper discusses residential construction-code impacts on radon. It references existing residential construction codes that pertain to the elements of construction that impact either the ability to seal radon out of houses or the ability to achieve good soil ventilation for radon control. Several inconsistencies in the codes that will impact radon resistant construction are identified. Resolution of these resulting radon issues is necessary before specification-style building codes can be developed to achieve radon-resistant construction.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Camroden Associates, Rome, NY (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
7162370
Report Number(s):
PB-88-195268/XAB
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AIR POLLUTION ABATEMENT; BUILDING CODES; RADON 222; RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS; DRAINAGE; SOILS; VENTILATION; WATERPROOFING; ALPHA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BUILDINGS; DAYS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; EVEN-EVEN NUCLEI; HEAVY NUCLEI; ISOTOPES; NUCLEI; POLLUTION ABATEMENT; RADIOISOTOPES; RADON ISOTOPES 320107* -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Building Systems-- (1987-); 500300 -- Environment, Atmospheric-- Radioactive Materials Monitoring & Transport-- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Galbraith, S., Brennan, T., and Osborne, M.C.. Residential construction code impacts on radon. United States: N. p., 1988. Web.
Galbraith, S., Brennan, T., & Osborne, M.C.. Residential construction code impacts on radon. United States.
Galbraith, S., Brennan, T., and Osborne, M.C.. 1988. "Residential construction code impacts on radon". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_7162370,
title = {Residential construction code impacts on radon},
author = {Galbraith, S. and Brennan, T. and Osborne, M.C.},
abstractNote = {The paper discusses residential construction-code impacts on radon. It references existing residential construction codes that pertain to the elements of construction that impact either the ability to seal radon out of houses or the ability to achieve good soil ventilation for radon control. Several inconsistencies in the codes that will impact radon resistant construction are identified. Resolution of these resulting radon issues is necessary before specification-style building codes can be developed to achieve radon-resistant construction.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1988,
month = 4
}

Technical Report:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that may hold this item. Keep in mind that many technical reports are not cataloged in WorldCat.

Save / Share:
  • The current North Dakota state energy code is the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) 1993 Model Energy Code (MEC) (CABO 1993). Local jurisdictions can choose to adopt this code. CABO has been transformed into the International Code Council (ICC) and the MEC has been renamed the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The most recent edition of the code is the 2003 IECC (ICC 2003). North Dakota's Department of Community Services requested that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) compare the 1993 MEC with the 2000 IECC to estimate impacts from updating North Dakota's residential energy code to comply withmore » the new code. Under DOE's direction, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) completed an assessment of the impacts from this potential code upgrade, including impacts on construction and energy consumption costs.« less
  • The state of Iowa currently requires that new buildings comply with the Council of American Building Officials? (CABO) 1992 Model Energy Code (MEC) (CABO 1992). CABO has been transformed into the International Code Council (ICC) and the MEC has been renamed the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The most recent edition of the code is the 2003 IECC (ICC 2003). Iowa?s Department of Natural Resources requested that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) compare the 1992 MEC with the 2003 IECC to estimate impacts from updating Iowa?s residential energy code to comply with the new code. Under DOE's direction, Pacificmore » Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) completed an assessment of the impacts from this potential code upgrade, including impacts on construction and energy consumption costs. This report is an update to a similar report completed by PNNL in 2002 (Lucas 2002) that compared the 1992 MEC to the 2000 IECC.« less
  • The paper discusses the effects of passive stacks in mitigating radon levels in residential new construction. Although passive stacks have been installed as a radon resistant measure in new houses, little quantitative data on their performance has been collected. The study involved continuously monitoring several houses that were recently built with radon resistant features including crack sealing, porous subslab aggregate, and a stubbed-off pipe penetrating the slab for installing a radon mitigation system. For the project, the piping systems were completed so that they exited the roof, and half the houses had radon mitigation fans installed in the piping. Housesmore » were monitored continuously with the pipes sealed, then with the pipes open but no fans operating, and finally with the fans (if installed) operating. The results show significant radon mitigation effect by the passive stack systems in most houses. Failures of the passive stack systems appear to be due to basement depressurization by heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) duct leakage, poor installation of subslab piping, and poor communication between multilevel slabs.« less
  • The report describes a proposed residential radon resistant construction feature selection system. The features consist of engineered barriers to reduce radon entry and accumulation indoors. The effectiveness of different radon control features was estimated from new laboratory measurements, analyses of new and previous house studies, and mathematical model simulation.
  • The manual provides builders and potential new house buyers with a broader selection and explanation of techniques that are expected to be effective in reducing the potential for elevated radon levels in the house. In addition, legislators, regulators, and residential code writers may choose to evaluate these radon-resistant construction technologies for potential application to or modification of existing regulations or codes applicable to residential construction. Three approaches to resolving the radon problem in the construction of new houses are to: (1) prevent radon entry by using barrier methods, (2) reduce the radon entry driving forces, and (3) divert the radonmore » from the house through sub-slab ventilation. Radon entry routes of concern in new construction are the same as those that have previously been identified for existing houses. Figures provided in the report depict the major radon entry routes for simple basement, slab-on-grade, and crawl-space houses. expensive control measures may be justified if they serve multiple purposes, such as combining radon control with water control or eliminating the need for constantly operating a mechanical control system through a high initial cost.« less