Radon measurements in Big Buildings

Consortium for a standard protocol development

Aim of the project:

The Basic Safety Standards of the European Union (EU-BSS 2013/59/EURATOM) are European law since 2014 and have to be implemented into national law by all Member States. The EU-BSS include radon (Rn) in common workplaces and buildings for the first time in radioprotection regulation. A number of questions arose regarding the practical application of these new standards, concerning not only their legal implementation in the member states. One main issue consists in representative and reproducible measurement of radon concentration to be compared with the reference values and to be defined nationally. During the last years much effort has been made in various countries to develop a standard in radon measurements in private dwellings. As a matter of fact, in most European countries radon is measured with passive monitors for relatively long periods, which varies from three to twelve months. Yet for certain purposes, one need quick results, requiring short-term measurements which still yield estimates of the long-term mean concentrations with tolerable uncertainty. The case has not been resolved satisfyingly; one recent attempt is the 6 + 1 (days) protocol for one-family houses, developed by a joint group from four European countries (Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland). The new reference values concern not only residential indoor Rn concentration, but also work places and public buildings. These limits have been reduced to the values valid for the private environment like one-family houses. The consequences of this decision are quite significant, since work places contain a much wider range of building types than private houses.


During the kick-off meeting it has been decided to establish the headquarter of the project at the Radon Competence Center Ticino (CCR) at the University of Applied Science and Arts of Southern Switzerland SUPSI in Canobbio near Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland. Lugano is a city of 65,000 inhabitants andsurrounded by mountains and a splendid lake. It brings together all the characteristics of a metropolis of great style, despite maintaining the traits of a small city.

In collaboration with:
We thank our supporters:

General remarks on the objectives

The general purpose of radon testing is to identify locations that have elevated radon concentrations and to determine if mitigation or remediation is needed. This requires a basic understanding of radon dynamics and development of appropriate testing procedures is necessary. In particular the determination of test locations and the definition of environmental parameters (i.e. closed windows, doors, usage of air-condition, etc.) turns out to be essential to ensure that the results are reliable, i.e. representative for the location and reproducible, as a condition to be legally valid. In big buildings these requirements are more difficult to establish in comparison to private houses. So far, little is known about Rn dynamic in different building types, as in the past efforts mainly concentrated on dwellings. On the other hand they are even more indispensable for valid measurements. As main goal we want to define a standard radon measurement protocol for each building type as defined by us; classification will orient on existing building categories. One of the first actions will consist in establishing such classification, as Big Buildings is probably a term too general to include different Rn situations. In particular, classification requires definition of classification criteria, or parameters; in our case these could include number of floors, ground floor surface, type of climatisation etc. A detailed study of existing classifications, like for example the International Building Code, should be examined to evaluate its suitability for the future protocol regarding Rn measurement. A second scheme of parameterization addresses usage of the building, like working hours or differently defined usage periods, number of persons, etc. The first general assumption to be made is the average working day duration in hours. We propose an eight hour working-day for simplification and this will be taken as exposure time per person per day. In a second phase a number of test buildings for each category will be selected and passive measurements performed.

The team members:

The consortium consists of 35 members from 11 European countries.

Mimmi Andersson
Francesco Bochicchio
Connie Boox
Peter Bossew
Ulrich Buchner
Quentin Crowley
Boris Dehandschutter
Ingo Fesenbeck
Trevelyan Foy
United Kindom
Martin Freeman
United Kindom
Jose Gutierrez
Bernd Hoffmann
Marcus Hoffmann
Simone Korner
Angelika Kunte
Francesco La Torre
Christian Naber
Karl Nilson
Per Nilson
Örjan Nilson
Tryggve Roennqvist
Franz Roessler
Aleksey Vasiyev
Julien Villert

Watch our latest News

Here you find our latest news in a snapshot.


The next consortium meeting will be held on Wednesday 26 September 2018 in the middle of the ERA Radon Week at the Headquarter University of Applied Science and Arts of Southern Switzerland, one day before the ROOMS 2018 meeting. After the meeting we plan to have dinner somewhere in the vicinity. If you plan to attend the meeting, and haven’t done so, please send a notification.

Time schedule

During the last months a lot of new data have been recorded in the KIT database and are on the way to be analyzed.
We also got first interesting results from the modelling side.

Next steps

All available data are on the way to be statistically analyzed and compared with the models. At the same time, the research for already existing measurements was successful. Radon measurements in big buildings have been performed in Korea, Hong Kong and Poland for example.


A lot of buildings are on the way to be measured and some of them already showed results. Please click here to read more.

Queries ? Ask Us Now.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Our Contact Details

Address: Radon Competence Center
University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland
Campus Trevano
CH-6952 Canobbio-Lugano

Phone: +41-(0)58-666-6213
E-Mail: marcus.hoffmann@supsi.ch

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