Saturday, February 11, 2012

Work


This has been my view at work.  My current project is designing a radon mitigation system for apartment buildings.  I've done this before for previously built buildings, but it is a little (a lot) more complicated for new construction.

Radon, in case you were wondering, is a naturally occuring element found in the soil.  It is also found in granite (which makes sense since granite comes from the ground).  Radon gas is released from the soil and can come into your house through cracks in the foundation, walls, and windows.  Once it is there, it is basically trapped.

Radon gas causes lung cancer. In case you weren't aware... I hate cancer.

Oregon doesn't have as much concern for radon gas (except in the eastern portion of the state).  Some states have a higher concentration of radon gas than other.
 
 
{image from radongas.com}

Engineering pretty much always involves designing things that directly affect people's lives.  Lateral design for homes.  Retaining walls to hold up the side of the road.  Drainage systems to keep neighborhoods from flooding.  Since I don't want a faulty design to give people lung cancer, I have been taking my time to make sure everything is correct.

Today I mentioned that I was almost done (which I am) but that the standard I was using was complicated and confusing.  My brother replied, "I think you are making it more complicated than it needs to be."

My brother is not an engineer.

The standard for this is 40 pages.

I wanted to slap him and then give all of it to him to do himself.

But I couldn't do that.  I'm a professional.  So I did it.  Needless to say, his comment wasn't exactly motivating.

And now you all know about radon gas.  You can purchase a radon test for your home from Home Depot or Lowe's.  They are very simple and important.



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