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Jane Malone's blog

Adding Radon Resistant Features to the IBC

Adding Radon Resistant Features to the IBC

When constructing new buildings in areas with high levels of radon, reduction of radon exposure risk is not an amenity. Yet radon reduction is included only in an optional appendix in the International Residential Code (IRC) and is not addressed at all in the International Building Code (IBC), which covers schools, apartment buildings, and many other types of structures.

At its hearing at the International Code Council Conference in Dallas in May 2012, the IBC committee did not accept NCHH’s January 2012 proposals for requiring radon reduction features for schools and apartment buildings in highest-risk areas. However, members of the IBC committee endorsed the notion of including radon reduction provisions in the IBC and made several suggestions for amending these proposals for future submission.

HUD Plans to Promote Radon Testing and Risk Reduction

HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) has published: "Leading Our Nation to Healthy Homes: The Healthy Homes Strategic Plan." One of the plan’s four goals is to promote the incorporation of healthy homes principles through ongoing practices and programs. Under this goal, HUD has adopted two strategies for reducing the risk of exposure to radon in federally assisted housing and mortgage programs:

Short Term Strategy - Promoting the Use of Healthy Homes Principles in Issue Areas Where There is a Critical Public Health Need: The Office will initiate collaboration with HUD program offices that oversee housing assistance and mortgage programs, and with EPA coordination, promote testing for radon and sub‐slab depressurization systems in properties with high levels of radon.

Long Term Strategy - Continuing to Facilitate the Adoption of Healthy Homes Practices by Existing Housing and Mortgage Programs: The Healthy Homes program will continue to work with HUD program offices that administer HUD‐assisted housing in an effort to incorporate healthy homes practices. Practices to emphasize will include: adoption of IPM practices; creation of smoke‐free housing developments; adoption of specifications for “moisture resistance” by publicly funded housing rehabilitation programs; and radon risk reduction where radon levels are high.

Requiring RRNC in the International Residential Code

We are planning to submit a code change proposal - this weekend - to the International Code Council to amend the International Residential Code by elevating RRNC from its status as an optional appendix to a requirement, and by incorporating requirements from ASTM standard E1465a-07. Is anyone aware of a similar efffort?