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Radon, fungal spores and MVOCs reduction in crawl space house: A case study and crawl space development by hygrothermal modelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In this case study was to investigate how ventilation of the crawl space will influence on concentrations of radon, fungal spores and MVOCs in the crawl space and indoors of detached house. The crawl space pressurisation by exhaust air from indoors was successful to prevent the convective flow of radon from the soil, but it increased microbial growth in the crawl space. After installation of the supply and exhaust ventilation in the crawl-space and in the living space, the concentrations of fungal spores in the crawl space and also entry of radon and MVOCs into a house decreased. A microbiologically safe crawl space was determined with hygrothermal simulation utilizing the Finnish Mould Growth Model and a two year examination period. The optional structures of the crawl space being depressurised with exhaust ventilation included an open base uncovered ground and various air-sealed closed structures. When mould growth of building materials was at medium resistant sensitivity class, mould was not observed during different air change rates in any of the examined structures. Open base uncovered gravel ground is a functional solution of a crawl space, only when there are no organic materials. The air-sealed ground structure is recommended build with concrete + insulation and when air exchange rate (ach) varied from 0.2 to 1 h−1. A concrete ground in the crawl space having ach from 0.2 to 0.6 h−1 is also very effective. XPS insulation and plastic sheet covered ground are not recommendable due to their high mould index.


  • Air change, Crawl space, Ground covers, Modelling, Mould growth, Radon

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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