Radon-Resistant New Construction for Home Buyers

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Radon and your home

  • Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas found in soil and rock. It seeps into homes through cracks in the foundation, walls and joints.
  • In some parts of the country, ground water can be a major source of radon. All homes should be tested for radon.
  • Among non-smokers, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
  • Lung cancer due to radon exposure claims about 21,000 U.S. lives annually, based on EPA estimates.
  • In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for radon-related lung cancer.
  • Using common materials and straightforward techniques, builders can construct new homes that are resistant to radon entry.

Consider these facts:

  1. Radon-resistant new construction (RRNC) typically costs a builder between $250 and $750.
  2. RRNC could cost less than $250 if the builder already uses some of the same techniques for moisture control.
  3. For a builder, it is much less expensive to install a radon-resistant system during construction than to go back and fix a radon problem identified later.
  4. If a new homeowner tests for radon and has to mitigate high levels, it could cost the builder or the owner more than an initial installation.

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Building New Homes with Radon-Resistant Features

  • New homes can be built to resist radon entry. The additional cost at the time of construction is minimal.
  • When installed properly, the basic radon-resistant new construction techniques greatly reduce the lung cancer risk that may occur from radon in the home.
  • Some builders use the same construction techniques for better moisture control.
  • More than 1.5 million homes have been built since 1990 using radon-resistant techniques, based on an annual survey of builders conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center.
  • According to the National Association of Home Builders Exit, NAHB members build more than 80 percent of the homes in the country. In 2013, 96 percent of NAHB’s single-family builder members were using green products or practices in the homes they build.”
  • One of the six primary sections of the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines Exitis “Occupancy Comfort and Indoor Environmental Quality.” This includes a “healthier indoor living environment.”
  • For peace of mind, ask your builder to include a radon reduction system in your new home and test your new home for elevated levels (4 pCi/L or more) of radon gas before you move in.
  • For guidance and standards on building new homes with radon-reducing features, please visit our publications page.
  • Homes certified or labeled by the following can have RRNC techniques:

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