Radon levels in houses with controlled ventilation

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ConferenceProc. APCA Annual Meeting: 22 June 1986, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Pages117; # of pages: 17
Subjectmechanical ventilation; radon; air quality; health hazard; radon gas; concentrations; ventilation rates; low energy housing; track etch passive radon monitors; building envelope air leakage; infiltration model; indoor/ outdoor pressure difference; source strengths; Ventilation
AbstractRadon in residences has been identified as a potential health hazard to the occupants. This paper outlines the measured radon gas concentrations and ventilation rates in 25 new "low energy" houses. Radon gas concentrations were measured using Track Etch passive radon monitors and mechanically supplied ventilation rates were measured. Building envelope air leakage data and an infiltration model were used to calculate the net envelope indoor/outdoor pressure difference. Radon source strengths for each house were calculated using a simple mass balance model. The source strengths were found to vary by a factor of 10 from house to house and by a factor of 3 for an individual house. Soil gas is commonly regarded as a potential source of radon. Therefore, a relationship between the below grade air infiltration and the radon source strength was assumed to exist. Houses with positive net envelope pressure differences (no calculated below grade infiltration) did not have lower radon source strengths than the negatively pressurized houses. This suggests that house envelope pressurization is not an effective radon control strategy.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number30488
NPARC number20386092
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Record identifier68b3b431-1c23-42c2-9154-5b8e5dce8e88
Record created2012-07-25
Record modified2016-05-09
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