Radon Resistant New Construction: What is it and why it is important?

With the concept of Today4Tomorrow being the key theme of this year’s Radon Action Month, the construction method of building Radon Resistance New Construction (RRNC) is key to this program’s success. In short, when you build a home today with Radon mitigation as part of the construction process, you are ensuring the homes and buildings of tomorrow are protected against the dangers of Radon gas.

So what IS RRNC? Using common materials and straightforward techniques, builders can construct new homes that are resistant to radon entry. They do so by creating a sealed building envelope that ensures healthier indoor air quality and keeps out not just Radon but other harmful environmental factors such as mold, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals.

The cost to include Radon mitigation at the new construction phase is far less than having to mitigate a Radon gas problem in a pre-existing home or building. While the costs may vary, there are added benefits to the homeowner as Radon-resistant features can be an important selling point for health-conscious home-buyers.

How does one build a RRNC home? All of the techniques and materials described below are commonly used in home construction. No special skills or materials are required when adding radon-resistant features as a new home is being built.

Essentially, there are 5 steps to building a RRNC home.

1-Installation of an air flow layer. Historically the code called for 4″ of coarse gravel below the slab. With Radon Guard™ Insulation, you can install your air flow layer and under slab insulation in one step. Radon Guard insulation allows gases to flow freely to the pre-determined location of the vent pipe (step 3) and be removed from the space before it enters the home. Radon Guard insulation is the code compliant one-to-one replacement for a 100 mm thick layer of granular material, the prescriptive solution required by building codes.

2- Installation of an air barrier or approved plastic sheeting over the air flow layer to ensure the harmful gases are on the controlled space.

3-Vent pipe installation. Every system requires a vent pipe in order to direct and remove Radon. With Radon Guard insulation, you simply notch your insulation around the vent pipe and continue on.

4- Tape, Caulk and sealing. This is the most important step as it ties in all the other parts of the system and helps them work effectively. Taping, caulking or sealing the seams of the vapor barrier stops any leaks from entering your healthy space.

5 – Venting the System. In some areas, power vents are required to exhaust the gases out of the home. You want to be able to move the air and direct it outside of the home or building.

Before we wrap up, let’s do a quick recap on the benefits of Radon-resistant construction.

Home builders benefit :
• Increased marketability and positioning as a builder that supports good building practice.
• Fewer callbacks for moisture related problems.

Home owners benefit:
• If radon is detected, a passive system can be upgraded to an active system with little effort.
• Improved resale value of the home.
• Improved indoor air quality and assurance that your family is protected from the health threats posed by radon.

If you are planning on building a new home, consider RRNC, and Radon Guard insulation for your healthy home solution. It’s more cost-effective to plan ahead, than to mitigate a Radon gas problem down the road….

For more information about Radon Guard Insulation, check out https://www.plastifab.com/

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