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Protecting new buildings from Radon

If you are building in an area with elevated radon potential within the UK you should consider installing radon protection during construction (built in radon protection is usually very effective.)

Radon is referred to in UK national building regulation guidance. Guidance can be found in the following publications which relate to each specific UK region.

England

Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The Building Regulations 2010 England. Approved Document C. Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture. (2004 edition incorporating 2010 and 2013 amendments) London, NBS, 2013. Available www.gov.uk

Wales

Welsh Government.  The Building Regulations 2010. (as amended in Wales). Approved Document C. Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture. 2004 edition incorporating 2010 amendments. Available www.gov.wales

Scotland

Scottish Building Standards Agency. The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004, Domestic and Non-Domestic Technical Handbooks – Section 3. Available www.gov.scot

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel. The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, (as amended).Technical Booklet C: 2012, Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture. Available www.dfpni.gov.uk

In all four of these documents the reader is directed to BRE Report BR211 (2015) Radon: Protective measures for new buildings, which can be purchased from www.brebookshop.com.

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The guidance in BR211 applies to all new buildings, extensions, conversions and refurbishment for domestic or non-domestic use (unless subject to local exemptions contained within the above Regulations.

The current 2015 edition of BR211 covers the whole of the UK and replaces three earlier guidance documents:

  • BRE Report BR211 Radon: guidance on protective measures for new buildings – originally introduced in 1991 and amended in 1992, 1999 and 2007 covering England and Wales.
  • BRE Report BR376 Radon: guidance on protective measures for new dwellings in Scotland – introduced in 1999. (Please note that whilst this guide has been superseded it is still referred to in Scottish Technical Handbook guidance.)
  • BRE Report BR413 Radon: guidance on protective measures for new dwellings in Northern Ireland – introduced in 2001. (Please note that whilst this guide has been superseded it is still cited for Building Regulations purposes)

BR211 (2015) includes guidance for all building types including extensions, conversions and refurbishment. The report identifies the areas of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where measures should be taken to provide protection against radon and offers extensive guidance on the technical solutions that are required to satisfy Building Regulations requirements.

Notes are included explaining what radon is and its health implications. Practical solutions are provided for the majority of construction methods and building types together with explanatory notes on how they work.

The principal changes over previous editions are:

  • Combined guidance for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Clearer explanatory guidance on specifying and installing radon protective measures
  • Guidance updated to reflect recent amendments to Building Regulations and Building Standards 
  • Additional radon management checklist
  • Latest maps

Further advice

For further advice on the interpretation of guidance contained in BRE Report BR211 for a specific site location contact the respective Regional Building Regulations/Standards Department for England, wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.