Meet the team

The Forterra Technical team has a wealth of experience and expertise to help you make your project a success.

Meet the team - Richard Willets Head of Design Technical Services and MMC from Forterra Building Products
Meet the team - Gina Butler Technical and Product support manager from Forterra Building Products
Meet the team Gareth Rouse - Design manager from Forterra Building Products
Meet the team Mitchell Horler - Technical Support Advisor from Forterra Building Products
Howard Pickwell - Technical Support Manager from Forterra Building Products
Sarah Roberts - Product and Technical Services Administrator from Forterra Building Products
Mark Brooker - Product and Technical Services Administrator Forterra Building Products

Richard Willetts

Head of Design, Technical Services and MMC

Role and responsibilities:
Richard has overall responsibility for the Technical Services team, but stresses that providing technical support for Forterra’s range of brick, block and façade products is very much a team effort. He also leads the team in the development of new products, including research, design, testing, certification and product launch.

Qualifications and industry experience:
Since beginning his construction industry career in the early 2000s, Richard’s focus has always been on the external envelope. His experience spans the manufacture and installation of curtain walling and windows, window interface detailing, building air-tightness and vapour permeability. More recently, Richard’s attention has been on brick slip façades.

Richard holds two master’s degrees in engineering, including an MSC in Façade Engineering delivered by the University of Bath and CWCT. His dissertation titled ‘Characterising the Performance of Thin Brick Façade Systems to enable more Informed Design Choices for Specifiers’ has proved particularly useful for Forterra and its customers.

Meet the team - Richard Willets Head of Design Technical Services and MMC from Forterra Building Products

Expertise:
Facades, building physics and built-up walls.

Favourite piece of architecture:
Parkroyal Hotel, Singapore.

Technical passion:
Richard believes there is nothing more exciting than developing a new solution that helps improve efficiencies and contributes to the evolution of the Construction Industry.

Greatest technical achievement:
For Richard, it is not about one big individual achievement, but how, every day, the team is able to advise and influence customers and the industry, helping to overcome technical challenges and raise awareness of how to do things better.

Gina Butler

Technical and Product Support Manager

Role and responsibilities:
Providing technical advice and guidance to architects, housebuilders and self-builders about Forterra’s bricks, blocks and façade systems.

Qualifications and industry experience:
Gina shifted to a technical role after several years working in internal sales selling blocks. She is enjoying building her knowledge of the wider Forterra range with the support of her Technical Services colleagues.

Meet the team - Gina Butler Technical and Product support manager from Forterra Building Products

Expertise:
Aircrete and aggregate blocks.

Favourite piece of architecture:
Gina appreciates a fine railway viaduct.

Technical passion:
Very customer focused, Gina enjoys finding solutions to customers’ challenges, so they are able to go away happy and confident in what they need to achieve.

Greatest technical achievement:
As a recent recruit to the team Gina is still learning but hopes to be able to update this section in the not too distant future.

Gareth Rouse

Design Manager

Role and responsibilities:
Gareth looks after the day-to-day running of the technical office, dealing with specialist architectural projects, providing technical presentations and developing and improving new products.

Qualifications and industry experience:
Gareth joined Forterra straight from university, starting out in the technical department supporting clay and special shaped bricks and aerated and concrete block products. After honing his skills on standard products, Gareth started working on the development of new products, including cladding and prefabricated walling systems and was part of the SureBrick development team. Gareth also spent time working in Forterra’s precast concrete division as part of the team developing the Jetfloor flooring system designed to meet changing customer and regulatory needs. Since returning to the masonry division, Gareth regularly aids architects in bringing their concepts to reality whilst ensuring compliance with current regulations.

Gareth holds a BSc in Architectural Technology and Innovation and is an associate member of CIAT.

Meet the team Gareth Rouse - Design manager from Forterra Building Products

Expertise:
Architectural detailing and construction, facades and masonry, and ensuring compliance with current regulation.

Favourite piece of architecture:
Machu Picchu.

Technical passion:
Problem solving and seeing a building move from paper to reality knowing that he and the team had a small part in it.

Greatest technical achievement:
While Gareth stresses that he is part of a team, he would also like to point out that there is a patent with his name on it.

Mitchell Horler

Technical Support Advisor

Role and responsibilities:
As Technical Support Advisor, Mitchell offers comprehensive technical advice on Forterra’s brick and block product ranges. He also creates the technical drawings and details for brick specials, façade systems and Quickwall.

Qualifications and industry experience:
Since joining Forterra in 2017, Mitchell has also been working to gain construction-related qualifications and to develop his knowledge. He recently completed an HNC in Construction and the Built Environment.

Meet the team Mitchell Horler - Technical Support Advisor from Forterra Building Products

Expertise:
CAD, detailing and building materials.

Favourite piece of architecture:
The Interlock by Bureau de Change Architects.

Technical passion:
Mitchell enjoys working with architects to create unique, bespoke design utilising brick elements and special shaped brick products.

Greatest technical achievement:
Working with Bureau de Change Architects to design the multi-award winning Interlock.

Howard Pickwell

Technical Support Manager

Role and responsibilities:
Advising customers on best practice and the correct use of Forterra products, and assisting with construction-related queries, helping to overcome difficulties where necessary.

Qualifications and industry experience:
Howard has worked in the construction sector for almost four decades, in a variety of practical, commercial and technical roles for British Rail Estates, property developers and Forterra.

A qualified and practised advanced craft bricklayer, Howard has attained a Licentiateship of the City and Guilds of London institute and holds an HND in Construction Technology.

Howard Pickwell - Technical Support Manager from Forterra Building Products

Expertise:
Masonry specification and construction practices.

Favourite piece of architecture:
Tower Bridge, London: a truly innovative engineering and construction project for its time, which remains functional and architecturally iconic.

Technical passion:
Assisting customers in overcoming design, specification or construction challenges and being involved in projects with exemplary brickwork that go on to win industry awards.

Greatest technical achievement:
Lead author of a site practice and workmanship document for the Brick Development Association and representing Leicester college in national competitions while an apprentice bricklayer.

Sarah Roberts

Product and Technical Services Administrator

Roles and responsibilities:
Sarah provides technical advice on Forterra’s brick, block and cladding system product ranges as well as looking after the order processing for the Wonderwall and SureBrick cladding systems, including ordering the raw materials for stock. When it’s a case of all hands on deck, Sarah can also be found preparing quotations for brick specials and cladding systems.

Qualifications and industry experience:
Sarah joined Forterra in 2018. She has a background working initially as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor in the Electricity sector before completing a Graduate Diploma in Quantity Surveying and moving into an Estimator role.

Although not a fan of having to answer questions about herself, Sarah is a whiz with figures, holding a BSc in Mathematics.

Sarah Roberts - Product and Technical Services Administrator from Forterra Building Products

Expertise:
Administration and Excel.

Favourite piece of architecture:
Alconbury McDonalds. Unfortunately, it was demolished in 2008 but, as a kid, Sarah thought it was pretty cool.

Technical passion:
Anything to do with numbers and spreadsheets.

Greatest technical achievement:
There was once a lovely bit of conditional formatting that Sarah was particularly proud of...

Mark Brooker

Technical Sales and Business Development Manager (Façades)

Role and responsibilities:
Mark is responsible for developing and promoting Forterra’s façade systems and innovative product ranges, working with customers to identify projects that would benefit from these ground-breaking solutions.

Qualifications and industry experience:
Mark began his career as a trainee bricklayer before joining the family construction business. In recent years he has enjoyed a successful sales career in account management and technical roles focused on the construction industry, working for companies such as Hilti, Fischer, and Sto.

Mark Brooker - Product and Technical Services Administrator Forterra Building Products

Expertise:
Developing strong customer relationships via the introduction of new products and creating reciprocal business opportunities.

Favourite piece of architecture:
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Technical passion:
Working with an architect to create a product specification opportunity and following the process through to completion.

Greatest technical achievement:
Mark has been involved in securing a project which will feature the Forterra SureBrick system, in a white glazed brick finish, covering an internal area over three floors high in a new restaurant. Mark says that although this is not the usual application for the SureBrick system, it demonstrates the flexibility and adaptability of the solution.