10 things you might not know about the BRE Group
BRE (Building Research Establishment) Group
- In 1940 Barnes Wallis created a small scale replica of the Mohne Dam on the BRE site to trial out his famous bouncing bombs. The prototype still exists today.
- BREEAM is the world first environmental scheme for buildings - Since its inception 20 years ago, over 818 943 homes and 22 972 buildings have been registered under the scheme.
- Prince Charles's Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment is currently building a house on the BRE Innovation Park that adopts an alternative natural approach to sustainable house building
- BRE is one of the world's top five centres of excellence for the built environment with expertise in virtually every area that relates to it.
- In 2007 BRE's Innovation Park launched the world's first volume build zero carbon house - the Kingspan Lighthouse.
- BRE conducted a series of tests for NASA to determine how fire would behave in a zero gravity environment
- BRE has many wonderful and unique testing facilities on site; a structures lab that can fit a four storey flat inside and can simulate everything from a flood to an earthquake; a wind tunnel that has had many a television presenter blown to extremes; a burn hall that can accommodate a 9m tall fire; and an anechoic chamber that absorbs all sound allowing for no echo at all, an underground tube train and a plane that are used to test passenger air quality and the world's largest timber library
- The 1985 Front Room Fire film made by BRE for the Fire and Rescue Service led to a complete overhaul of the furniture industry and its approach to fire safety.
- The Building Research Station (BRE's former name) is referred to in Peter Wright's infamous "Spycatcher" memoir. The book reveals that BRE developed a special quick drying plaster to enable spies to go into rooms, drill and insert bugs, then re-plaster so no-one would notice.
- BRE's SMARTWaste suite of tools has measured over 13 million tonnes of waste so far, that's the equivalent to 130,000 Blue Whales (weighing approximately around 100 tonnes each)!