Radon Gas Mitigation Case Studies: New Home Construction - Radon Mitigation

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 by Ben Bates

Challenge

A growing trend in southwestern Ontario and across all of North America is building healthier homes, with improved air quality, increased energy efficiency and often with sustainable products.

Installing a radon mitigation system from the beginning is a must for new home builders with a focus on healthy homes. Please consider the following:

    -Southwestern Ontario is an area where radon is actively present.

    -Health Canada reports that 1 in 20 homes in Ontario homes contain hazardous levels of radon.[1]

    -Radon, a deadly naturally occurring odourless, colourless gas is responsible for 13% of all lung cancer deaths in Ontario – which is approximately 850 Ontarians each year.[2]

The builder of this new construction, multi-unit attached dwellings are aware of the high concentration levels of radon gas in Southwestern Ontario. This builder is committed to producing healthy homes, and the most effective method to ensure acceptable radon levels begins during the construction process. 

Radon levels in southwestern Ontario

Solution

Our systems design specialist was tasked with creating a sub-slab depressurization system for the mitigation of radon.

The system involves installing connective, heavy duty, perforated, 4-inch PVC pipes two feet within the perimeter of the structure. These tubes meet at a central connection stack.

Covering the piping system with ¾ inch washed stone will allow for plenty of air to flow under the concrete slab foundation and into the mitigation system.

The second part of the installation will be to install a durable and sealed ground vapour retarder that also acts as a gas barrier membrane to help further prevent radon gas from entering the dwellings.

Depending on the radon levels after construction, we will proceed with one or two options:

1)     If the radon is at a safe level after construction, the riser stacks will remain capped.

2)    If the radon levels after construction are high, we will install exhaust fans at the collection points which create a vacuum effect beneath the slab, actively drawing out the gas and exhausting it safely into the atmosphere. 

We will also supply the builder with a 90-day radon gas test kit to ensure the radon levels are well below the acceptable levels after construction.

The investment in radon mitigation during new construction is a proactive endeavour by the builder for the future health of all occupants, and we were pleased to be a part of this project. 

Project Summary

System Design Specialist: Mike Modde

Foreman: Mike Modde, Lee Case

Crew Members: Tim Wiebe, Adam Harris, Tristian Ouellette

About the author
Ben Bates lives in the Chatham-Kent area and has been involved in the basement, crawl space and foundation industry since 2008. He has a passion for improving homes the right way and knows what it takes to waterproof, encapsulate or stabilize homes in Ontario. He assists with over 900 projects per year.

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