Radon, an odorless and colorless radioactive gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. In Quebec, a new standard aimed at reducing the infiltration of radon in new homes is under development, a crucial initiative for public health. In this article, we will explore in detail this new regulation and its impact on the Quebec real estate market.
Radon: A Silent Danger
Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium in the soil and can infiltrate buildings, accumulating at dangerous levels. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately predict the concentration of radon in a given building, making long-term testing essential for every homeowner.
The New Standard in Quebec
In response to this threat, the Quebec government, through the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), has announced the introduction of new requirements in the Construction Code. These changes, currently in the public comment period, aim to strengthen protection against radon infiltration, particularly in identified risk areas.
Three Levels of Protection
The standard CAN/CGSB-149.11-2019, implemented by the federal government, dictates three levels of radon mitigation measures for new constructions:
Level 1: Connection start for a future mitigation system and sealing of underground gas entry points.
Level 2: Passive system, adding a column through the building for a reduction of about 50% in radon concentration.
Level 3: Complete active system with a fan, reducing more than 90% of radon concentrations. Implications for Builders and Homeowners
Builders must now integrate these mitigation measures into their construction projects. Additionally, it is recommended to provide homeowners with a long-term radon measurement device, along with usage instructions and warranty information.
The introduction of this new standard is a significant step towards better public health protection in Quebec. For real estate brokers, it is essential to stay informed about these changes to effectively advise their clients, both buyers and sellers, on the implications of these new construction and health regulations.