Multiple Radon Entry Modeling in a House with a Cellar

Fan Wang, Ian C. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Combining a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and a multi-zonal model, a study was carried out on radon entry through the complex substructure of a house with a cellar. The uniqueness of the radon entry problem in this type of house was due to the involvement of two radon entry routes to two chambers: the cellar and the living area of the house. Soil gas carrying radon was driven through the two routes by two coupled disturbance pressures in the chambers. The effects of temperature differences were considered as another driving force for the radon entry. Examined in this study were the effects of the geometry of the substructure, air permeability of the soil, air-tightness of the cellar shell, and cellar ventilation on radon entry to both the cellar and the living area. The ground floor covering on top of the soil outside a cellar wall increased radon entry through this wall by about 68%, as radon built up to a very high level under the covering. The effect of cellar ventilation was found as follows: the cellar ventilation created a layer of airflow in the soil under the ground floor; the flow passed over a crack in the ground floor, the entry route to the living area, diluting the radon in the area. Hence, the soil gas entering the living area carried less radon. Cellar ventilation seems more effective in reducing radon entry to the living area in a more permeable soil and leaky cellar shell; a moderate cellar ventilation condition achieved 77% reduction in radon entry to the area. When permeability of these two materials was lower and soil radon content remained the same, the chances of radon entry was also lower; hence, the indoor radon level was lower and no radon control was needed. When such soil contains high radon concentration, other mitigation measures must be sought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-693
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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