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.

Headquarter:

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.

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
Sweden
Francesco Bochicchio
Italy
Connie Boox
Sweden
Peter Bossew
Germany
Ulrich Buchner
Germany
Boris Dehandschutter
Belgium
Ingo Fesenbeck
Germany
Trevelyan Foy
United Kindom
Martin Freeman
United Kindom
Jose Gutierrez
Spain
Bernd Hoffmann
Germany
Marcus Hoffmann
Switzerland
Simone Korner
Germany
Angelika Kunte
Austria
Francesco La Torre
CERN/Italy
Christian Naber
Germany
Karl Nilson
Sweden
Per Nilson
Sweden
Örjan Nilson
Sweden
Tryggve Roennqvist
Sweden
Franz Roessler
Germany
Aleksey Vasiyev
Russia
Julien Villert
France

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Meetings

The next consortium meeting will be held on Tuesday 17 October 2017 at the Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway, Ireland, one day before the ROOMS meeting. Due to the fact that many of us arrive only in the afternoon at different times the meeting will be an open discussion without fixed schedule. After the meeting we plan to have dinner somewhere in downtown. If you plan to attend the meeting, and haven’t done so, please send a notification.

Time schedule

During the next months new data will be gathered, centralized in the database and analyzed.
We hope to get more results also on the modelling side.

Next steps

In May the results of the measurements of the Swiss National Supercomputer Centre will be analyzed using statistical and analytical methods. The data will be integrated in a specific database developed by Christian Naber and Ingo Fesenbeck from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT Germany.

News

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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