Building Research Establishment

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) is a centre of building science in the United Kingdom, owned by charitable organisation the BRE Trust. It is a former UK government national laboratory that was privatised in 1997. BRE provides research, advice, training, testing, certification and standards for both public and private sector organisations in the UK and abroad. It has its headquarters in Garston, Hertfordshire, England, with regional sites in Glasgow, Swansea, the US, India, the Middle East and China.[1]

Building Research Station, Garston-geograph-4613243
BRE, Garston, Watford


BRE is now funded with income from commissioned research, commercial programmes and by a number of digital tools for use in the construction sector.

BRE's certification arm – BRE Global – is an independent, third-party certification body responsible for sustainability certification schemes such as BREEAM (for buildings and communities), CEEQUAL (for infrastructure), the Home Quality Mark (for housing) and LPCB certification (for fire and security products and services).

BRE's training arm, the BRE Academy provides online and classroom courses on built environment related issues like sustainability, fire, resilience and building information modelling (BIM).

BRE also carries out research and data generation in support of national and international standards and building codes, including the UK building regulations. It also develops its own standards for responsible sourcing (BES 6001),[2] and ethical labour sourcing (BES 6002).[3]

BRE's digital tools include construction waste management tool SMARTWaste and construction health, safety and wellbeing tool YellowJacket. It also has UKAS accredited testing laboratories, and a publishing business in partnership with IHS Press called the BRE Bookshop.


The Building Research Establishment is owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity that works to support research and education in the built environment. All of the profits accrued by BRE are passed to the Trust and are used to fund new research and education programmes designed to meet the Trust's goal of promoting safety and sustainability.

Over the last 20 years the BRE Trust has funded 117 PhDs on a total research programme of £15m, with other funding levered into the sector as a whole from research councils and European Union research sources.

The BRE Trust also financially supports five university Centres of Excellence. One of the first Centres established was at the University of Edinburgh in 2004, a research and education programme on fire safety engineering. The other centres are in Strathclyde (energy utilisation), Bath (construction materials), Cardiff (sustainable engineering), and Brasilia (integrated and sustainable communities).


BRE was founded in 1921 as the Building Research Board[4] at East Acton as part of the British Civil Service, as an effort to improve the quality of housing in the United Kingdom.[5]

During the Second World War, it was involved in the confidential research and development of the bouncing bomb for use against the Möhne Dam in the Dambusters Raid of 1943[6] A small scale model of the dam used for testing can still be found at the Centre in Garston, Watford, today.

BRE was a founding member in 1976 of BSRIA, the Building Services Research and Information Association and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) in 2007.

Having subsumed a number of other government organisations over the years, including the former Fire Research Station, and the Princes Risborough Laboratory, it was given executive agency status in 1990, before being privatised by the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions on 19 March 1997.[7]

From 1 January 2013, BRE took over the management of the UK and Ireland chapter of BuildingSMART.[8]

In August 2016, Constructing Excellence merged with BRE, with BRE undertaking to maintain the CE's brands and functions.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Contacting BRE". Building Research Establishment Ltd. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  2. ^ "BRE Group Responsible sourcing". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  3. ^ "BRE Group: Ethical Sourcing". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ "BRE Group: Our history". Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on 29 May 2005.
  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on 20 November 2008.
  7. ^ "". Archived from the original on 3 February 2007.
  8. ^ "BuildingSmart deal will hasten BIM adoption". Construction Manager. 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  9. ^ Walker, Andy (16 August 2016). "Constructing Excellence to merge with BRE". Infrastructure Intelligence. Retrieved 18 May 2017.


External links

Coordinates: 51°42′00″N 0°22′25″W / 51.7001°N 0.3737°W


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), first published by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990, is the world's longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings. More than 250,000 buildings have been BREEAM-certified and over a million are registered for certification – in more than 50 countries worldwide. BREEAM also has a tool which focuses on neighborhood development.


Bellway plc is a major UK residential property developer based in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Bloor Homes

Bloor Homes is an English housebuilder based in Ashby Road, Measham, Leicestershire, although it has a Derbyshire post code.

Cardington Airfield

Cardington Airfield, previously RAF Cardington, is a former Royal Air Force station in Bedfordshire, England, with a long and varied history, particularly in relation to airships and balloons.

Most of the former RAF station is in the parish of Eastcotts, as is the settlement of Shortstown.

Condensing boiler

Condensing boilers are water heaters fueled by gas or oil. They achieve high efficiency (typically greater than 90% on the higher heating value) by condensing water vapour in the exhaust gases and so recovering its latent heat of vaporisation, which would otherwise have been wasted. This condensed vapour leaves the system in liquid form, via a drain. In many countries, the use of condensing boilers is compulsory or encouraged with financial incentives.

Construction Industry Council

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) is the representative forum for professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations in the United Kingdom construction industry.

Crest Nicholson

Crest Nicholson is a British housebuilding company based in Chertsey, Surrey. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Edward Skoyles

Edward Skoyles (14 March 1923 – 30 July 2008) was the first quantity surveyor employed in the UK to research costs and practices in the construction industry. He did his research from 1960 until 1984 at the Building Research Establishment. Among his research projects was developing a new type of tendering for construction projects called operational bills. He also started the study of the actual amount of waste in the construction industry, and investigated the varying methods of cost estimation practices used in different countries. His contributions are still widely discussed in the academic literature particularly upon operational bills, and building waste

Garston, Hertfordshire

Garston is a village in Hertfordshire, England. Garston is contiguous with Watford and now, despite retaining a local identity, is effectively a suburb. It is within the Stanborough, Woodside and Meriden wards of the borough of Watford, although a small number of its streets are in Hertsmere.

The Building Research Establishment has its headquarters within Garston.

Garston has several large secondary schools including St Michael's Catholic High School, Parmiter's School and Francis Combe Academy.

Green building in the United Kingdom

Both the public and private sectors in the United Kingdom promote green building. Presently, there are already regulatory mechanisms in place that establish Britain's commitment to this kind of building construction. The government, for instance, set out a target that by 2016, all new homes will have zero carbon emission and it also includes a progressive tightening of energy efficiency regulations by 25 percent and 44 percent in 2010 and 2013, respectively. The UK Building Regulations set requirements for insulation levels and other aspects of sustainability in building construction.

For the private sector, there is the case of the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB), which promotes green building (or sustainable building) in the United Kingdom since 1989.

The UK is also bound to the European Union policy covering green buildings. Under the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD), Europe has made a mandatory energy certification since 4 January 2009. A mandatory certificate called the Building Energy Rating system (BER) and a certification Energy Performance Certificate is needed by all buildings that measure more than 1,000 m2 in all the European nations. According to the UK Green Building Council, existing buildings account for 17 percent of the UK's total carbon emissions. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), UK's first green building certification system, was established in 1990. Houses are also rated according to the standards set by the Code of Sustainable Homes, which was established in 2007. Here, homes are evaluated against a minimum standards for energy and water usage and are rated from one to six stars based on how they meet the requirements in nine different categories.In Wales, advice on and access to sustainable building is available from a not-for-profit organisation called Rounded Developments Enterprises. They run a Sustainable Building Centre in Cardiff.

Henry Boot plc

Henry Boot PLC is a British construction and property development business, listed on the London Stock Exchange. It was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1919, becoming the first ever quoted housebuilder. Between the wars, Henry Boot built more houses (public and private) than any other company.

Horseshoe vortex

The horseshoe vortex model is a simplified representation of the vortex system of a wing. In this model the wing vorticity is modelled by a bound vortex of constant circulation, travelling with the wing, and two trailing wingtip vortices, therefore having a shape vaguely reminiscent of a horseshoe. A starting vortex is shed as the wing begins to move through the fluid, which dissipates under the action of viscosity, as do the trailing vortices far behind the aircraft.

The trailing wingtip vortices are responsible for the component of the downwash which creates induced drag.The horseshoe vortex model is unrealistic in that it implies uniform circulation (and hence, according to the Kutta–Joukowski theorem, uniform lift) at all sections on the wingspan. In a more realistic model, the lifting-line theory, the vortex strength varies along the wingspan, and the loss in vortex strength is shed as a vortex sheet all along the trailing edge, rather than as a single trail at the wing-tips. Nevertheless, the simpler horseshoe vortex model used with a reduced effective wingspan but same mid-plane circulation provides an adequate model for the flows induced far from the aircraft.

The term horseshoe vortex is also used in wind engineering to describe the flow pattern created by strong winds around the base of a tall building. This effect is amplified by the presence of a low-rise building just upwind. This effect was studied at the UK Building Research Establishment between 1963 and 1973 and the cause of the effect is described in contemporary wind engineering text books.In hydrodynamics, a form of horseshoe vortex forms around bluff bodies in the flowing water, for instance around bridge piers. They can cause scouring of bed materials from both upstream and downstream of the pier.In nature, a horseshoe vortex can cause a horseshoe cloud to form.


Keepmoat Homes Ltd is a housebuilding company in the United Kingdom that provides private homes for sale. Its headquarters are in Doncaster.

Lend Lease Residential Development

Lend Lease Residential Development (formerly Crosby Lend Lease or Crosby Homes, trading as Lend Lease) is the British residential development division of the Australia-based global property developer Lend Lease.

Muir Homes

Muir Homes, based in Inverkeithing, Fife, is one of the largest privately owned housebuilding companies of Scotland.It is part of the J. W. Muir Group, one of the country's leading property development companies, which specialises in timber-framed construction of houses and apartments.

Operational bill

Operational bills are a tendering document for estimating costs prepared by architects that describes a construction project in terms of the operations (which include labour and plant) needed to build it. This form of document contrasts with that of bills of quantities in which such tendering and estimation is limited to the materials in the completed work. Operational bills have the advantages of enhancing communication between design and production, enabling realistic tender pricing, and making the preparation of critical-path analysis easy for the contractor.Operational bills were proposed and developed by Edward Skoyles at Building Research Establishment in the 1960s. Priced-activity schedules of the NEC Engineering and Construction Contract are a modern related form, prepared by the contractor.

Security Assurance by the Building Research Establishment (SABRE)

SABRE (Security Assurance by the Building Research Establishment) was launched in 2017 by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Organisations such as RIBA have already acknowledged SABRE as a recognised security approach.SABRE is a security assurance approach focussed on providing a comprehensive record and rating of a building’s resistance to threats.It uses similar principles as the well-established sustainability rating system known as BREEAM, also developed by BRE.

Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey plc (formerly Taylor Woodrow plc) is one of the largest British based housebuilding companies. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Its operational headquarters in the United Kingdom are in High Wycombe.

The company was created from the merger of rivals Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey on 3 July 2007.

Telford Homes

Telford Homes is a house-building company listed on the Alternative Investment Market that specialises in developments in non-prime areas of London.In April 2018 it was reported that Telford Homes was expecting record profits and revenues for the financial year 2017/18 as a result of London’s shortage of housing.

Law and
government and
regulatory bodies


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.