Print this page Print this page

Design of Radon Resistant Residential Structures

Jeffrey Havelin, P.E.

Course Outline

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas, which is found in all homes in varying amounts depending on the locality. Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) where a picocurie is a measure of radioactivity. The national average level within homes is about 1.3 (pCi/L). Smokers who have high radon levels in their homes are at an especially high risk for getting radon-induced lung cancer. Not everyone who is exposed to elevated levels of radon gas will develop lunge cancer, but your risk of getting radon-induced lunge cancer increases as your exposure to radon gas increases.

This course will introduce a step-by-step design procedure on how to build radon resistant residential structures. By specifying various inexpensive construction methods and procedures during construction radon levels can be effectively reduced. A very basic radon reduction system can reduce radon levels as much as 50%; the same system can be easily upgraded to provide additional radon level reduction.

This course is based entirely on the EPA publication EPA /402-K-01-002 Building Radon Out A Step by Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes. This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials. You will be quizzed on the attached document in its entirety.

Learning Objective

This course teaches the following specific design skills:

Intended Audience

This course would be very informative for engineers or architects who are involved with the design, or construction of residential structures.

Course Introduction

Consumers are becoming more aware that radon is a health risk, and building a home with radon-resistant features could give buyers one more reason to purchase a home from you, or to request your design services in the future. If you are involved with the home building industry, offering homes with radon-resistant features can attract more potential home- buyers, which can translate into closing more sales or more consulting business. This course will provide you with the design skills required to build radon-resistant features into your design plans or assist in retrofitting these features into an existing structure.

Course Content

This course is based entirely on the EPA publication EPA /402-K-01-002 Building Radon Out A Step by Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes.

The link to the course materials is as follows:

Building Radon Out A Step by Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Course Summary

At the completion of this class the design professional should be able to design and size a complete radon reduction system (depressurization system) that can be used in various types of residential or small commercial applications.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.