BRE was founded in 1921 as the Building Research Board at East Acton as part of the British Civil Service as an effort to improve the quality of housing in the United Kingdom. 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 famous Dambusters Raid of 1943 The 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. 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 March 19, 1997. From 1 January 2013, BRE took over the management of the UK and Ireland chapter of Building SMART. In August 2016, Constructing Excellence merged with BRE, with BRE undertaking to maintain the CE brands and functions.