An Investigation into Indoor Radon Concentrations in Certified Passive House Homes

Barry McCarron, Xianhai Meng, Shane Colclough

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Abstract

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has introduced the concept of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) specifying that by 31 December 2020 all new buildings must meet the nearly zero- energy standard, the Passive House standard has emerged as a key enabler for the Nearly Zero Energy Building standard. The combination of Passive House with renewables represents a suitable solution to move to low/zero carbon. The hypothesis in this study is that a certified passive house building with high levels of airtightness with a balanced mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) should yield lower indoor radon concentrations. This article presents results and analysis of measured radon levels in a total of 97 certified passive house dwellings using CR-393 alpha track diffusion radon gas detectors. The results support the hypothesis that certified passive house buildings present lower radon levels. A striking observation to emerge from the data shows a difference in radon distribution between upstairs and downstairs when compared against regular housing. The study is a first for Ireland and the United Kingdom and it has relevance to a much wider context with the significant growth of the passive house standard global
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-28
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Passive House
  • EnerPhit
  • retrofitting
  • Radon
  • Airtightness

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