For those of you that own ArCHspec™ and/or ArCHsuite™: ArCH has recently updated some of the content to reflect the latest best practices of which we are aware, many for which ArCH blazes the trail. For instance: in Division 1, under the Healthy Building Specification (one of the few architectural healthy specification sections on the planet), ArCH just made it mandatory that the General Contractor hire a licensed radon testing company to test for radon in crawlspaces and basements at that point in construction when those areas are sufficiently contained to hold the atmosphere for proper testing.
This links to the Owner Optional Upgrade specification section for enhanced Healthy Building Options which includes a radon removal system (at the owner’s option). Since the testing itself typically only costs around $125, this seems like a value-added precaution. Amazing it isn’t required by Building Codes …yet. It is our job as Licensed Architects to lead the way to Improve Residential Architecture. This one small test could mean people’s lives. Did you know that approximately 160,000 people a year die from lung cancer? And of those, approximately 21,000 people die each year in the USA from radon gas exposure. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Every home should be tested for radon. So says the American Lung Association.
Also, some of ArCH’s members are more attuned to radon, also being Licensed Home Inspectors. Rand Soellner, ArCH, NCARB, LHI said: “My wife is a Real Estate Broker. She advises all of her Clients to obtain a radon test when buying a house. Of those, about 1/3 require radon mitigation through the addition of a radon removal system. If we, as Licensed Architects designing homes for our Clients can make it a requirement for the Contractor who build our Client’s homes to perform this simple and inexpensive test, we have probably saved the lives and improved the health of around 1/3 of our Clients, who may have otherwise met an early horrible illness or death. That’s just one more reason why the public should engage an ArCH Architect to design and specify their homes. No other entity can remember all of these procedures, which are built into ArCHspec™, which is the specification system being used by many ArCH Architect members.”
If you’re not using ArCHspec™, buy it. If you already have it, email ArCH for an update to obtain an upgrade that has this latest radon testing information. Simple, but effective.