Our story

Phoenix provides high quality specialist brick cutting and fabrication services to the building industry.

Our craftsmen and support team are all highly experienced in their own fields and are passionate about helping architects, builders and clients deliver their visions for beautiful buildings. Our tagline ‘Clever stuff with bricks’ is exactly what we offer.

It all began in 2009 after Duncan decided he wanted to run his own business again, after previously building and selling his first.

Hear it from Duncan in his own words:

“I started my first brick cutting business in 1987, at the family’s farm in Kent. I’d been in the brick supply business for ten years and understood the frustration of getting good quality reliable special shape bricks from the traditional manufacturers.

“Specials were priced at 5 to 10 times the price of the standard facing, the availability was often 12-16 weeks, and often specials differed in colour and texture to the main facings. The obvious choice was cutting and bonding.

“However, there was little choice of providers, and service levels left a lot to be desired. We undertook to produce samples for approval, offer a collection and delivery service, exhibited at major building exhibitions and we hired a sales team.”

After 14 years of continued growth and the opening of four regional factories Duncan sold the business to a major Plc, staying with them until 2009, when he left and founded Phoenix Building Products.

“I wanted to be back in control and focus on the market areas I understood and enjoyed. We’re now in a great position where we have an enthusiastic, knowledgeable team with a great attitude. We’ve grown consistently over the years and our large site means we can cater for both smaller specialist projects and be taking delivery of two hundred thousand bricks in a short space of time. Everything is centred on our customers’ needs.”

Our capabilities

Central to delivering the Phoenix vision was installing its own concrete plant, so all of its structural concrete elements are made in house.

Based in a 12,000 ft2 factory with over an acre of storage, the ability to store and process high numbers of bricks is proven.

Automation of the cutting process has been achieved with one decco line slip cutting machine and two Yanoni multi cutters. The Yanoni machine which are common in the US stone industry have huge capacities and can cut bricks, stone and concrete masonry.

The automation does not stop there.

Phoenix’s concrete moulds are built in house using CNC controlled timber cutting equipment and polystyrene cutting machines. This enables the most complex moulds to be built in house quickly and economically.

Collection & delivery Service

Collecting the customers bricks from site, and delivering back is a key part of the Phoenix service – not one we like to give to others.

Delivery of long, heavy, prefabricated brickwork components to site is not something we want to subcontract out. Phoenix runs its own fleet of purpose-built crane equipped vehicles, with dedicated Phoenix drivers who take care and pride in delivering the Phoenix product.

Environmental

“Waste material is simply something you haven’t thought of a use for” (anon)

Brick cutting produces several environmental challenges and waste streams. Phoenix tackles these through continuous improvement and by working with suppliers to maximise the reduce, reuse, recycle concepts.

1. Brick hardcore
The off cuts from the brick cutting process amount to over 2,000 tonnes per year. 100% of this is upcycled into subbase, an alternative to MOT type 1.

2. Water
The process of brick cutting must be cooled and kept clean by a constant supply of water. Phoenix recycles water through air driven filter press’s, ensuring a clean sustainable supply. Any loss of water through absorption and evaporation is made up through onsite rainwater

3. Expanded polystyrene
Key to Phoenix’s concrete production is the cost-effective manufacture of moulds through in house CNC EPS moulds. However, these moulds can only be used once, potentially creating a huge waste stream. Working with their EPS supplier, Jabite, Phoenix recycles 100% of their EPS moulds.

4. Wooden pallets
Every dispatch from Phoenix is made on a reused wooden euro pallet. The euro pallet has the advantage its always reusable as it’s a standard size. Pallets that come into Phoenix that are not reusable for Phoenix’s dispatches are taken to a local biomass facility.

Working at Phoenix

Many of us learn our values at our parents’ feet and the same can be said of our founder Duncan.

“I was brought up in a Christian family – treating people with fairness and respect was drilled into me from birth. My father was an accountant and my mother’s family farmers, all running their own businesses so hard work and motivated people were all around me.”

“The company ethos is derived from these values – it’s how we treat our employees. Our business is very labour intensive – so recruitment, training and keeping good people is key.”

We bring together highly experienced staff (our Sales Director and Technical Sales Manager have over 60 years of experience in the industry), talented specialists, like our CAD team and a skilled team of production operatives.

Phoenix actively employs ex-offenders and people who the education system has failed – some of our best people left school with few or no qualifications, but love working with their hands and creating products – here they can excel.

Meet the team

We’re a people business. These are the faces of who you will talk to and will make stuff happen!

Quality of product and quality of service are the cornerstones of the Phoenix operation, with an internal technical team producing CAD drawings for customer approval and a sales team with unrivalled experience in special shape bricks and prefabricated brickwork.

Commercial Team

Duncan Cunningham
Managing Director
Mark Higgs
Sales Director
Julian Ching
Technical Sales Manager

Post Order & Aftersales Team

Steve Clarke
Operations Manager
Daniel Hickey
Technical Manager
Alice Murray
CAD Operator
Amanda Ireland
Financial Controller
Ella Williams
Office Assistant

Production Team

Andy Barnes
Production Supervisor
James Tooth
Production Supervisor