Thursday, 09 July 2015 14:31

New Course: Radon Surveys in Large Buildings

Over the last two years the demand for radon measurements in large buildings such as apartments, schools and office buildings has been rapidly increasing. This is especially true for multi-family buildings where HUD is now requiring radon surveys prior to financing most of these mega properties. To assist building owners in identifying individuals who have the additional skills needed for large buildings, the National Radon Proficiency Program has created an add-on credential for measurement professionals who want to distinguish themselves in this expanding market. 

To support this effort, CERTI has developed a new distance based course to prepare and equip radon measurement professionals with the tools to address the expanding Multi-Family market and if desired, to be able to obtain the NRPP Advanced Multi-Family Measurement credential - Advanced Measurements for Multi-Family and Other Large Buildings.

Advanced 2 aIn putting this new course together we wanted to make what could be a dry dissertation as interesting and realistic as possible. Consequently, we recorded it at a live presentation at the Region VIII Stakeholders Meeting with several experienced practitioners peppering the presenters with questions that our virtual students would also likely have. We also included guest presenters who understand the new Multi-family protocols, and have had experience in applying them to real life situations.

Although there are a number of similarities in how one deploys radon measurement devices in homes and in multi-family structures, there are also a lot of differences that a professional needs to be aware of to adequately provide a professional service to their client. Here are a few examples of what was discussed in the program:

  • In a home we assume the radon will be the highest in the lowest level and we only test one room within that lower level. However, in an apartment building, we assume that each ground floor unit could be different and 100% of the ground floor apartments are tested.

  • In a house we assume that if radon levels in the lower level are less than the EPA guidance, that upper levels will also be less than the guidance. However, in multi-family buildings, due to the presence of utility chases and other unique pathways, upper level units can be elevated even at exposures exceeding the lower levels. Hence, at least 10% of the upper level units are to be tested.

  • In a home we communicate closed house conditions with one occupant. In a multi-family project ALL units within the structure are to be under closed building conditions, which takes communication and compliance to a whole new level.

  • In a home we only test one location (the lowest lived in or livable); in an apartment one may end up testing each room within a given apartment if it has certain types of HVAC systems. This necessitates the ability to recognize different types of HVAC systems when conducting these surveys.

Advanced 3 aGiven these and other types of differences it is important that the measurement professional understand the "Hows" but also the "Whys" so they can better present their proposals to building owners; and be able to recognize non-standard situations – which our presenters pointed out throughout the program.

We are happy to say that this program is now approved for Category I continuing education credits for radon measurement and mitigation professionals, and also approved for those wanting to obtain the new NRPP credential.

Early feedback from students is that it is both enjoyable as well as helpful-not only in content, but also the resources of log sheets, communication notices, and a "cliff's notes" adaptation of the protocols.   More Info on Course

And by the way, whoever said there was nothing new in radon?

Doug Kladder

Read 17884 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:05
Doug Kladder

Director of Center for Environmental Research & Technology, Inc. (CERTI).