VA Accepts NAHB Revisions on Radon Mitigation Requirements

Filed in Codes and Standards, Environment by on October 23, 2019 10 Comments

In a victory for NAHB, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has accepted our suggested revisions and clarifications regarding a builder’s certification requirements for radon gas mitigation on properties located in Zone 1 counties, which have the highest potential radon levels.

On March 28, 2019, the VA made substantive revisions to its Lenders Handbook (VA Pamphlet 26-7) regarding minimum property requirements for newly constructed homes. As a result of these revisions, NAHB received numerous calls and emails from concerned members and home builder associations (HBAs) across the country requesting an explanation and clarification of these requirements.

Specifically, the changes that caused confusion involved the builder’s certification requirements for radon gas mitigation. These changes, which were made with no advance notice and became effective immediately, implied that builders would be responsible for radon mitigation efforts on properties constructed outside of Zone 1 counties, where the potential for radon is greatly diminished.

In response to the concerns received from members and HBAs, NAHB sent a letter to the VA requesting the agency to clarify that radon mitigation requirements are necessary only on those properties built in areas marked as Zone 1 as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As a result of our letter and collaboration with the VA, the agency accepted our suggested revisions and clarified that radon mitigation requirements are necessary only on properties built in areas marked as Zone 1. Moreover, the revision clarified that the builder is only required to meet local or state building codes for radon control in Zone 1 areas.

A link to the VA Lenders Handbook, Chapter 12, explaining the revision can be found here  (See 12-42).

For more information, contact Curtis Milton at 800-368-5242 x8597.

Tags: ,

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Please identify “zone 1”

  2. James Monroe says:

    Just to clarify if the local and state building code does not require passive radon systems or radon testing then the VA radon requirements is not enforced in my area.

  3. Wendy T says:

    What is required when the property is located in Zone 2 and Zone 3 on the EPA Radon map?

    • NAHB Now says:

      The VA only requires radon mitigation for properties located in Zone 1 as designated by the EPA map. If you build in Zones 2 or 3 then you would have to check the local/state building codes to determine what is required.

  4. william Nutt says:

    Is there a specific form that a builder executes and delivers to the buyer of the home stating or certifying that the home is built with Radon resistant construction techniques and that construction meets local building codes and state regulations for radon control?

    • NAHB Now says:

      There is a form that the builder signs certifying that radon resistant construction techniques were used however, it’s normally given to the lender as this is a VA loan requirement. It’s possible that the borrower may actually receive a copy at loan closing and may be required to initial or sign stating that they have received a copy. If it is not included, then borrower should be able to request a copy through their loan originator at loan closing.

Leave a Reply to James Monroe Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *