Regulations and guidelines for new buildings

According to the National Building Code of Finland D2 and the decision of Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, new buildings shall be designed and constructed in such a way that the radon concentration of indoor air is less than 200 becquerels per square metre (Bq/m3).

According to the National Building Code of Finland B3, Foundations, that came into force in 2004, radon risks shall be taken into account in the design and construction work. According to the guideline, a radon-technical design may be left out only if the local radon surveys clearly show that the radon concentration inside residential buildings is consistently below the permitted maximum value.  If radon is not taken into account in the design, written grounds for such a decision shall be attached to the design documents of the building project.

Many municipal building codes require the use of radon-safe building methods in the entire municipality. These decisions have clarified the situation and brought the requirements up to date with the current radon situation in low-rise residential buildings and the current regulations on indoor radon concentration.

A reference card has been published on radon-safe foundation (available in Finnish): RT 81-11099, LVI 37-10513, KH 27-00510 Radonin torjunta (Radon prevention, updated in 2012). It includes basic information on implementing a radon-safe foundation. The card replaced the guide published in 1994 by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment (Opas 2/1993, Radonin torjuminen pien- ja rivitaloissa). Its instructions were revised in the early 2000s on the basis of research projects and experience.

The architect and builder should always be required to comply with the instructions of the RT reference card on radon-safe design and construction.  The building’s radon-technical solutions should be described in the building permit application documents, and this should be set as a requirement for granting a building permit. Suppliers of low-rise residential buildings should always be required to include a design in accordance with the RT reference card in the foundation model designs.

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