Radon concentration control by ventilation, and energy efficiency improvement

Radon gas is a pathological agent confirmed by World Health Organization in terms of increasing the risk of lung cancer generation when it is inhaled by human in high concentration. This gas comes from soils with uranium content (i.e. granite terrain) and penetrates through the building envelope, such, as floors or basement walls. Its accumulation in indoor spaces increases the radon concentration level, constituting a health problem for occupants. This can be handled by rehabilitation actions in buildings that reduce indoor concentration to acceptable levels.

Results and conclusions of the Austrian radon mitigation project ‘Sarah‘

The Austrian radon mitigation joint research project SARAH (supported by the Austrian Ministry ofEconomy and the Government of Upper Austria), a two-year follow up study of the Austrian NationalRadon Project (NRAP), was started in 1996. Objectives of the research project were to find simple,cost effective experimental methods for the characterisation of the radon situation in dwellings and toevaluate technically and economically the implementation of state of the art remedial actions forAustrian house types.

Radon mitigation in blocks of flats

The average indoor radon concentration in Finnish flats is 80 Bq/m3. Typically walls have been madeusing concrete elements. Building materials are the dominant source of indoor radon. However, in theflats of the lowest floor, with a floor slab in direct ground contact, the main source of radon is oftenthe inflow of radon bearing soil air. The number of these ground contact flats is less than 10 % of thetotal number of flats. The average indoor radon concentration of these ground contact flats is 150Bq/m3.

Applicability of various insulating materials for radon barriers

The effectiveness of various insulating materials for limiting radon entry into houses has beeninvestigated experimentally in 90 existing houses and in laboratory conditions. Each material hasbeen evaluated according to several aspects - placeability, durability, tear resistance and diffusionproperties. The results of the radon diffusion coefficients measurement in more than 80 insulatingmaterials are summarized. We have found out that great differences exist in diffusion properties,because the diffusion coefficient varries within four orders from 10-13 m2/s to 10-10 m2/s.