We draw on internationally recognised construction and built environment professionals to provide investigation, technical arbitration, technical dispute resolution and expert witness services. 

When an incident affects business operations and leaves unresolved or disputed issues, we have a wide range of expertise across the whole built environment which enables us to conduct the investigations that will help find the answers. The extensive range of areas in which we can help are shown in the following diagram, and our individual experts and their particular areas of expertise are listed below.

Our experts:

AllFire Safety
Alan Abela

Alan Abela

Consultant, HVAC

Expert in: Building Ventilation
Alan Abela

Alan Abela

Consultant, HVAC

Alan Abela is a BRE consultant specialising in building services, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and heat pump performance.

Alan has over twenty-five years’ experience of designing, installing and commissioning HVAC installations, including performance audits of building conditioning systems. His expert witness related work includes investigating chilled beam, air conditioning and ventilation installations for wide ranging clients. Alan has provided consultancy and expert opinion on filtration, air quality and energy efficiency in building conditioning systems. He has laboratory tested innovative technologies including solar assisted heat pumps, solar roofs, heat metering and sustainable HVAC designs.

Paul Blackmore

Associate Director, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Wind Engineering

Paul Blackmore

Associate Director, Building Technology Group

Paul Blackmore is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer with more than 30 years’ experience, and a leading expert in wind effects on buildings.

As an Associate Director in BRE’s Building Technology Group, Paul’s responsibilities have included managing government and commercial research and consultancy contracts in wind engineering, weathertightness, acoustics, whole building airtightness testing, structural testing, wind tunnels and flood testing.

He has written more than 25 expert witness reports and given evidence in criminal and civil proceedings as an expert on wind effects, including fatal accident investigations, building damage, failure of tower cranes, scaffolds, hoardings and roof coverings.

Gordon Breeze

Principal Consultant, Wind Engineering

Expert in: Wind Engineering

Gordon Breeze

Principal Consultant, Wind Engineering

Gordon Breeze is a Principal Consultant in the Wind Engineering Section of BRE’s Centre for Structural Engineering.

Gordon specialises in the wind testing of both structural components such as walls, roof coverings, roof underlays, roof ancillary products (e.g. gutters, roof vents), louvres, signs and fencing, and larger structures such as the Houses of Parliament’s pinnacles, HMS Victory, hospital walls and floors, light-weight floors, residential tower blocks, grandstands and grandstand risers. His work also includes the wind tunnel testing of model buildings and structures, and the statistical analysis of wind and vibration-related data.

Julie Bregulla

Director of Fire and Building Technology

Expert in: Structures, Timber

Julie Bregulla

Director of Fire and Building Technology

Julie Bregulla leads a team of structural, civil and geotechnical engineers and materials scientists, specialising in structures, structural materials, fire, loading, robustness and reliability standardisation.

Julie oversees work from material development to the behaviour of structures. Her research has focused on structural fire behaviour of building materials and systems. Julie’s strategic work includes regulatory barriers to innovative construction products, the robustness and reliability of structures, risk analysis, and the perception and use of experimental methods in engineering practice. She has technical language skills in German, French and English, and has published over 200 client reports, papers and presentations.

David Butler

Associate Director

Expert in: Building ventilation

David Butler

Associate Director

David Butler is Associate Director, HVAC Engineering and Building Diagnostics, specialising in building diagnostics, site investigations, mock-up testing, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning consultancy.

David has over 30 years’ experience of investigating and advising on conventional HVAC systems, low energy and passive systems, and heat pumps. His extensive expert witness services for many public and private sector clients have covered problems with dampness, overheating, humidity, cooling, condensation, insulation, underfloor heating, heat pumps, M&E specifications, chilled beams, and many related issues in houses and commercial and other buildings. David has written more than 80 published papers and technical articles.

David Crowder

Head of Fire Investigation and Expert Witness Services

Expert in: Fire Investigation, Fire Safety

David Crowder

Head of Fire Investigation and Expert Witness Services

David Crowder is the Head of BRE’s Expert Witness Services and Fire Investigation team, specialising in fire development and the fire performance of buildings.

Since joining us in 2006, David has worked on a wide range of investigations and projects for government bodies and private concerns.  His casework has included multi million pound losses and multi-fatality fires; wherein he has provided expertise in disproportionate damage and disproportionate loss of life.  David has been instructed on behalf of and against the Crown in fire safety prosecutions and provided expert witness testimony in the High Court, in mediation and arbitration.

Ed Suttie

Research Director, Centre for Sustainable Products

Expert in: wood durability and protection strategies

Ed Suttie

Research Director, Centre for Sustainable Products

Ed Suttie specialises in timber in construction, wood protection, service life performance, durability by design, materials sustainability, bio-based composites, sustainability assessment and supply chains.

With more than 20 years of experience in wood science and the forest wood chain, Ed leads a team delivering BRE's consultancy and research programmes sponsored by industry, construction users, UK Government and the European Commission. Ed serves on British and European Standards Committees, providing UK expert input. He is an internationally recognised expert in wood durability and protection strategies, and has published widely in the fields of service life, sustainability and timber.

John Holden

John Holden

Environmental Performance Certification Manager

Expert in: Renewable Energy Systems
John Holden

John Holden

Environmental Performance Certification Manager

John Holden is the Business Group Manager for BRE Global’s Energy and Environmental Performance Certification business group, providing MCS product certification and environmental technology verifications.

Since joining us in 2005 John has been heavily involved in developing the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), and continues to participate in its development through the MCS Standards Management Panel and technical working groups, including heat pumps, wind and CHP. He has also successfully developed an Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) scheme. John has authored BRE Information Papers and Digests, and successfully managed research projects for the BRE Trust, Innovate UK and the European Commission.

Ciara Holland

Senior Consultant - Fire Investigation

Expert in: Fire Investigation, Fire Safety

Ciara Holland

Senior Consultant - Fire Investigation

Ciara Holland is a Senior Fire Investigation Consultant in the BRE Fire Investigation team, specialising in fire development and the fire performance of buildings.

 Ciara investigates fire safety deficiencies, their contribution to fire damage, and how they relate to the legislative, contractual and professional duties of those providing fire safety designs and fire protection systems. Since joining us in 2012 Ciara has conducted research for clients on the effects of fire on electrical cable supports, the impacts of fire on consumer units, roof void compartmentation, hotel fire reconstruction, and guidance for the UK Fire and Rescue Service.

Gareth Howlett

Lighting Consultant

Expert in: Lighting

Gareth Howlett

Lighting Consultant

Gareth Howlett is a Lighting Consultant in the BRE Building Technology Group, specialising in daylight and sunlight consultancy.

Gareth has extensive experience on projects involving daylight and sunlight for planning and rights to light. He has worked on development sites of all kinds, covering loss of daylight and sunlight to neighbouring windows and rooms (including rights to light calculations and costings), daylight and sunlight provision to proposed rooms, sun on ground calculations, shadow plotting and assessing the impacts of trees. He has also been involved in research into the latest lighting technology trends.

Colin King

Director, Building Performance

Expert in: Building Fabric

Colin King

Director, Building Performance

Colin King is a BRE Director specialising in building performance issues such as hygrothermal performance, defect recognition, energy prediction, and condensation and mould growth assessment.

Colin is BRE’s lead officer on historic Structures, existing housing and building solutions pre- and post-refurbishment. He has produced many independent reports for wide ranging clients on the causes of mould, condensation (interstitial and surface), and premature failure of insulation. He has worked on several high profile listed buildings such as Trinity College Cambridge, Cardiff Castle, Windsor Castle, St Barts Hospital, St Josephs Church and Flat Holm Lighthouse, undertaking hygrothermal, materials structure and condensation analyses.

Graham Lee

Principal Consultant, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Architecture, Design Process

Graham Lee

Principal Consultant, Building Technology Group

Graham Lee is a Principal Consultant in BRE’s Building Technology Group, with 25 years of commercial, residential and leisure building design experience.

In addition to his building design expertise, Graham has wide experience of historic building refurbishment, administration of building contracts, investigating contractual responsibility for design, and the testing, diagnosis and expert reporting of building failures and faults which may be used in litigation. Grahams’ extensive fault diagnosis experience includes glazing, cladding and roof problems (cold and warm, pedestals, pavers), condensation, air leakage, water and damp penetration, and solid bed, raised and natural stone flooring failures.

Tom Lennon

Principal Consultant - Fire Safety

Expert in: Fire Safety, Structures

Tom Lennon

Principal Consultant - Fire Safety

Tom Lennon is a Principal Consultant with responsibility for structural fire engineering at BRE, specialising in large-scale testing and site engineering.

Since joining BRE in 1983 Tom has become an enormously experienced and highly regarded expert in the behaviour of structures in fire, having been responsible for a great many fire tests on single elements, sub-assemblies and complete structures. Tom’s extensive contacts in the steel, concrete and timber industries, and with representatives of both active and passive fire protection, have given him a very strong understanding of the issues, regulations and standards applying to them.

Rob Lucas

Fire and Explosion Consultant

Expert in: DSEAR

Rob Lucas

Fire and Explosion Consultant

Robert Lucas is a Fire and Explosion Consultant in the BRE Fire Safety team, specialising in DSEAR and process safety consultancy.

Robert is highly experienced in conducting DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations) assessments for both public and private sector clients in a wide range of industries, including steel manufacture, military aircraft defueling, grain handling and biogas production facilities. His experience as an explosion investigator includes supplying post-incident consultancy services after a fatal accident at a steelworks. This included involvement in a HAZOP (hazard and operability) study of the system that caused the accident.

Steve Manchester

Director - Fire Safety

Expert in: DSEAR, Fire Safety, Fire Engineering

Steve Manchester

Director - Fire Safety

Steven Manchester is the Director of Fire Safety at BRE, specialising in fire safety engineering, fire risk assessment and industrial fire and explosion hazards.

Steven serves as expert witness in a wide range of criminal and civil court cases. Recent examples include fires in waste recycling facilities, a boatyard and a restaurant, the spontaneous ignition of compost, dust explosion incidents and a number of legal cases for compliance with ATEX/DSEAR. Steven joined BRE as a researcher in 1989, becoming manager of the explosion business in 1997, Business Group Manager in 2006 and now Director for the Fire Safety Group.

Stuart Matthews

Chief Engineer, Construction

Expert in: Structures, Building Fabric

Stuart Matthews

Chief Engineer, Construction

Stuart Matthews is BRE’s Chief Engineer - Construction, and an internationally renowned expert with more than 40 years’ experience.

This experience includes the design and construction of concrete infrastructure, service life and durability issues, works for water treatment and distribution, water retaining structures, inspection and assessment of infrastructure and buildings, and the general problems arising during concrete construction. His expert witness and investigation work has included structural and building fabric matters, structural deterioration, fire damage evaluation, service life prediction, innovations in concrete, in-service performance issues for concrete, and structural collapse and fatal accidents.

Connor McIntosh

Consultant - Fire Investigation

Expert in: Fire Investigation, Fire Safety

Connor McIntosh

Consultant - Fire Investigation

Connor McIntosh is a Fire Investigation Consultant with our Fire Investigation team. He specialises in fire investigation and chemistry.

Connor’s work with the Fire Safety Engineering team has included the development of fire strategies for non-domestic buildings and the undertaking of fire risk assessments at locations across the South of England. His research work has included real and modelled experimentation of a full-scale fire in an open-plan office in the BRE Burn Hall, and the development and use of the BRE Flashover Box, giving him a strong understanding of the conditions surrounding fire flashover.

Barry Reeves

Principal Consultant, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Building Ventilation

Barry Reeves

Principal Consultant, Building Technology Group

Barry Reeves is a Principal Consultant in BRE's Building Technology Group, specialising in structural and building assessment, and full-scale testing and monitoring of buildings.

Barry’s wide ranging expertise includes monitoring, investigating and appraising masonry, steel framed, concrete and system built structures. He also investigates water penetration of basements, roofs and external walls, diagnoses water ingress/egress problems in a range of construction types, and assesses compliance with building regulations and codes of practice. He has provided extensive expert witness and technical advisor services in legal disputes, and in cases involving building system defects and water ingress.

Carl Sherwood

Principal Fire Engineering Consultant

Expert in: Fire engineering, Fire Safety

Carl Sherwood

Principal Fire Engineering Consultant

Carl Sherwood is a Principal Fire Engineering Consultant in the Fire Safety Group, specialising in fire safety engineering and management, and fire risk assessment.

Since joining BRE in 2007, Carl has provided fire safety engineering support to a wide range of clients for buildings including airports, prisons and healthcare facilities. He has helped design teams and organisations to meet legislative requirements, and achieve their business and architectural goals. Carl’s research and testing experience has given him excellent practical knowledge of fire behaviour. He is a chartered engineer and a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

Michael Swainson

Principal Consultant in HVAC Engineering

Expert in: Building Ventilation

Michael Swainson

Principal Consultant in HVAC Engineering

Michael Swainson is a Principal Consultant in HVAC Engineering, undertaking investigations into the performance of buildings and building services systems.

Michael conducts laboratory-based testing, site-based investigation and literature reviews to assess building services performance, focusing primarily on ventilation and the occurrence of overheating. He has considerable experience as an expert witness in cases involving overheating in both new-build and existing homes, and of investigating the design, installation and performance of domestic mechanical ventilation systems - for owners, housing associations and construction companies - to establish the causes of poor performance and detail necessary remedial works.

Cosmin Ticleanu

Principal Consultant, Lighting

Expert in: Lighting

Cosmin Ticleanu

Principal Consultant, Lighting

Cosmin Ticleanu is a Principal Lighting Consultant in BRE’s Building Technology Group, specialising in lighting (electric and daylighting) consultancy, design, research and training.

Cosmin joined BRE in 2011, bringing ten years’ lighting design and research experience, including four years as an academic in lighting and electrical engineering. Cosmin provides consultancy and research services to government, local authorities and private sector clients into all aspects of electric lighting and daylighting. These include daylight and sunlight assessments, light pollution studies, and 3D computer modelling of daylight and electric light. Since 2012 he has been a visiting lecturer at Brunel University.

Chris Yapp

Consultant, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Structures, Materials

Chris Yapp

Consultant, Building Technology Group

Chris Yapp is a Consultant in BRE’s Building Technology Group, specialising in structural testing, material testing and concrete technology.

Chris is experienced in structural and material testing to European standards, and in designing and implementing bespoke testing regimes. He is involved in land surveying, using precision levels and total stations to monitor test structures, buildings and geotechnical tests. Chris has also worked on various research projects involving low carbon cements and other innovative concretes.

Tim Yates

Technical Director, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Materials

Tim Yates

Technical Director, Building Technology Group

Tim Yates is Technical Director of the Building Technology Group at BRE, responsible for managing projects relating to stone, heritage and other traditional building materials.

Tim has worked on buildings and structures for more than 35 years, in the areas of archaeology, materials analysis, the impact of climate and pollution on heritage structures, and the testing of stone and mortar. He has vast experience in acting as expert witness and technical advisor for a very wide range of clients, in cases involving natural stone cladding, flooring and paving, roofing materials, buildings and structures, and cast stone and architectural cladding.

Call us on 0333 321 88 11 if you would like to know more about our expert witness, dispute and investigation services or need help with a specific issue – or email enquiries@bre.co.uk.