NORM for Building materials (NORM4BUILDING)

Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.

The depletion of energy resourses and raw materials has a huge impact on the building market. In the development of new synthetic building materials the reuse of various (waste) residue streams becomes a necessity. This COST initiative stimulates the collaboration of scientists, industries and regulators to gather knowledge, experiences and technologies, to stimulate research on the reuse of residues containing enhanced concentrations of natural radionuclides (NORM) in tailor-made building materials in the construction sector while considering the impact on both external gamma exposure of building occupants and indoor air quality. By improving radiological impact assessment models for the reuse of NORM residues in building materials we hope to further stimulate justified uses of NORM residues in different types of newly developed building materials. Based on these models, we aim at investigating realistic legislative scenarios so that the authorities concerned can allow reuse pathways for NORM that can be accepted from a radioprotection point of view in concordance with the Lead Marked Initiative (LMI) and sustainable construction.

Reasons for the Action

Waste to materials research is a challenging topic which needs to involve experts on all (chemical, physical, ecological, economical and radiological) aspects of materials. One important aspect, that is the focus of this Action, is that future building development needs to limit the gamma exposure of building materials to occupants and to meet air quality requirements taking into account radiological and chemical noxes.

This COST Action brings together the necessary variety of experts with different backgrounds in order to achieve efficient discussions towards optimal solutions and articulation of future challenges related to above mentioned problems. This Action will promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences between experts, each with a specific view of interest (radiological, economical, ecological,…) and stimulate future joint research on the reuse of NORM residues in new tailor- made sustainable building materials in the construction sector. This research will consider the impact of NORM containing building materials on both external gamma exposure to occupants and on indoor air quality.

A fast dissemination of the results to industry and regulators is pursued in the present economic

climate. Indeed, factsheets delivered by this project will provide information for factories that produce NORM to reuse their rest stream to new feedstock’s instead of waste. In addition, for factories that use NORM, it will give insight how to explore the best feedstock’s for their application.

Furthermore, if the waste to material conversion encounters risks related to the gamma exposure and indoor air quality of its application to the building occupants, this Action will provide recommendations for optimization of the building material production processes.

The reuse of NORM residues can also decrease an environmental detriment related to its accumulation at landfills.

Objectives and Benefits


The main objective of the COST Action is the exchange of multidisciplinary knowledge and experiences (radiological, technical, economical, legislative, ecological) to stimulate the reuse of NORM residues in new tailor-made sustainable building materials in the construction sector while considering exposure to external gamma radiation and the resulting indoor air quality.


  1. To deliver a practical evaluation of develop options for new tailor-made types of building materials to reuse NORM residues.
  2. To develop a data base with best practices for reuse of NORM residues in building materials.
  3. To evaluate and develop practical measurement protocols, if possible in situ measurement methods, to determine the indicators for the verification of the radiological impact of newly developed building materials containing NORM. A complementary secondary objective is to support standardization efforts of measurement protocols which is especially needed for in situ measurement methods.
  4. To develop realistic radiological impact assessment models for the reuse of NORM residues in building materials.
  5. To evaluate the concordance and applicability of current radioprotection legislations with usage of NORM residues in building materials and the related impact on both gamma radiation exposure and indoor air quality.
  6. To disseminate this knowledge to construction and NORM processing industry, consumers, national governments as well as to international agencies such as WHO and IAEA.
  7. To develop a practical guidance for industry to address questions and comments regarding the EU-BSS linked to the processing of NORM in building materials. This Action aims at providing answers, double checked with the European Commission.

Target groups/end users

The results obtained from the COST Action will be targeted to NORM processing companies, the building material industry, local and national legislators, institutes of standardization, European Council of Engineers Chambers, relevant Working Groups of the European Commission and the IAEA, and the public.

Representatives from NORM processing companies and the building materials industry were consulted in the preparation of the Action. Discussion with and input from national legislators, representatives from the European Commission and the IAEA further contributed to the construction of this Action.