Question of the Day - #121 Favorite topics – radon!

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Question of the Day - #121 Favorite topics – radon!

Postby RDavidson » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:22 am

Recently there was review and discussion regarding what the new radon requirements might be for an apartment house constructed above an underground garage. There seems to be some text in the radon rules about sealing openings and all of that “stuff”. So I asked a question if a garage under an apartment house would require a radon system. Given the definition of “sealed”, the designer believed it was not possible to “seal” the openings between the garage and apartment house. An official response that I got to the question of the need for a radon system in a garage under an apartment house was “When there is a garage separating the R occupancy from the ground, there is no requirement for a radon system.” It was further stated that public garages are required to be ventilated and that adjoining spaces are required to have a positive pressure (UMC 404.3) relative to the garage so radon cannot pass into the residential areas. In this case I guess the apartment house would be considered an accessory use to the garage.

But then it gets pointed out that there is a Division Opinion on the DLI web site that seems to conflict with that official communication. That opinion follows.

Inquiry :# 2012-01
Subject: Radon Compliance for Residential Buildings
Code: MN Statute 326B.106 Subpart 6
Submitted By: John Tilton
Approved By: Stephen Hernick
Issue Date: May 15, 2012
Question: Does a radon control system listed in the Residential Energy Code need to be installed for a residential structure, when the first story is a parking garage? (i.e. An S-2 Occupancy, for example)
Answer: Technically, Yes, Minnesota Statue 326B.106 Subd. 6 requires that Radon be addressed for all residential buildings. Minnesota Rule 1322.2101 States in part that the rule applies to ‘radon-resistant construction in new residential construction built to the requirements of Minnesota Rules, chapter 1305 or 1309.

There haven’t been any substantial changes in the codes that would seem to explain a 180 degree reversal of opinions. Can anyone shed any light on what they think the code requires for radon control when an apartment house exists above a parking garage?
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