The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has long been a champion of energy-efficient design and measuring building performance in practice. Following the experience of building and testing their first ‘Low Energy’ office in 1982, the BRE formed the Energy Efficient Office of the Future (EOF) Group, a partner ship with leading members of the construction industry to ‘identify new technologies and refinements in existing practice required to meet energy and environmental targets that will be in place in the early part of the next century, while satisfying the demands of owners and occupants’. One of the key outputs of the group was a draft performance specification (later published as GIR 30), which they proposed should be tested in a series of real projects as a practical demonstration of the alternatives to deep plan, artificially lit, air-conditioned building types. At the time, BRE was also in the process of consolidating its estate by moving the Fire Research Station to their main Garston campus and had identified a potential site, replacing

some fire-damaged workshops at the heart of the organisation, close to existing seminar, lecture, meeting and social facilities. This was seen as a prime opportunity to test the GIR 30 specification in a typical business park setting, with the further benefit of ongoing research potential on their doorstep.