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State-of-the-Art training slab
at Rutgers University



State-of-the-Art Hands-On Radon Training Facility Built at Rutgers University


June 2015

Rutgers recently redesigned and constructed a cutting-edge radon training slab for hands-on learning.

 

For over 25 years, the Eastern Regional Radon Training Center (ERRTC) at Rutgers University has been providing professionals throughout the country with training in radon measurement and mitigation. To offer students an even better learning experience, the ERRTC is opening a brand-new, state-of-the-art training facility on Cook Campus in July 2015.

“Watching the new radon training facility being built from the ground up has been really interesting,” said Program Coordinator Pamela Springard-Mayer.

The new facility will be used for the first time by students attending the July 15 Radon Mitigation class.

In the past, the hands-on portions of the Rutgers three-day Radon Mitigation Proficiency Course were taught at Rutgers' Environmental Health and Safety Building in Piscataway, affectionately known as the “slab."

An Interesting Bit of History:
Built in the 1940's, the long gray barracks at the furthest west end of Livingston Campus had been military housing within Camp Kilmer Station. Named for local hero Sergeant Alfred Joyce Kilmer (most famously known as the author of the poem, "Trees"), the 1600-acre camp was used as a transportation hub processing over 20 divisions who came to Camp Kilmer before being deployed to Europe during World War II.* The site contained more than 1,120 buildings, including a hospital, a prisoner of war camp and wooden barracks. In 1963, Rutgers University acquired the land and buildings and in the 1990s, one of the former barracks became the home of the ERRTC.

Photo of Camp Kilmer
Former Military Camp Kilmer Station was the site of Rutgers' previous radon training slab

For many years, the mock crawl space and attic at the slab did a great job of mimicking the conditions of real-world vapor intrusion situations; however, the building was getting dingy and dusty with age. Regardless of its interesting military history, the slab needed a face-lift.

A NEW Design by Radon Expert Bill Brodhead:
To freshen up the Radon Measurement and Mitigation Series, which the ERRTC offers several times a year, Rutgers hired President of WPB Enterprises Inc., Bill Brodhead, to design a new hands-on radon mitigation training center on Cook Campus. A radon expert for over 30 years, Bill Brodhead has been conducting EPA-sponsored radon research since 1986 and served as one of the key players in the development of the ERRTC's radon courses, which he continues to teach to this day. Bill has also been involved in the development of regulations regarding radon resistant construction for homes and schools in New Jersey. Brodhead is optimistic that this newly constructed radon mitigation training center is going to offer an incredible teaching tool for future students.

Photo of Radon Expert Bill Brodhead
Bill Brodhead, a 30-year radon expert, designed Rutgers' cutting edge training slab.

“We have never been able to demonstrate exactly how a radon system influences the pressure under the slab. In this new facility, we will be able to show how different diagnostic sub-slab pressure field extension testing is done.”

Rutgers' cutting-edge training center will also have different fan models that students can activate by flipping a valve. Students will see first-hand how each fan performs in comparison to diagnostic testing results, as well as how much wattage each fan actually uses.

“The students will be able to see the difference in real time how different fans will perform and how closely diagnostic testing was able to predict the final results,” Brodhead explains.

In addition to mitigation fans, the new and improved radon mitigation training slab will give students the chance to participate in live demonstrations of air pressure/flow gauges, smoke tests, installing pipes and meters and more!

“This setup will be the envy of all the other training centers,” said Brodhead.

The new radon mitigation hands-on training slab is located within the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture on Cook Campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey. For twenty years, the 30,000-square-foot facility housed a collection of historic farming equipment, including tools, machinery, scientific instruments, farm vehicles and early electrical appliances. Other displays told the story of important agricultural crops in New Jersey, including apples, cranberries, tomatoes, blueberries, corn and potatoes. Today, classrooms and hands-on training spaces are used for various professional development courses offered by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education.

An additional benefit of the new hands-on mitigation training slab is its convenient location. Both the classroom based lectures and the hands-on training portions of the mitigation course will now be offered within the same building. The farmhouse in which students have the opportunity to see an actual, working radon mitigation system is a short walk down the block. And it is all located right off of Route 1, just a mile off of exit 9 of the New Jersey Turnpike.

Overall, Springard-Mayer and the ERRTC, “are thrilled to freshen up the Radon Program with this new and improved training facility!”

 

Interested in learning more about radon measurement or mitigation? 
Explore our Radon Certification & Continuing Education course offerings.

 

*According to the National Archives at New York City: http://www.archives.gov/nyc/exhibit/camp-kilmer/