05 October 2021

A Coffee with Glenn Chapple of Minicon

A Coffee with Glenn Chapple of Minicon
With Willow Brighton now well and truly under construction, we sat down (virtually) with Glenn Chapple, Construction Manager at Minicon for a chat. In the interview below we cover Minicon's approach to building, together with Glenn's personal journey into construction and how he and the team plan to deliver an exceptional product at Willow;

Tell us a little about your background and what got you into the contractor side – locally and internationally?

I originally started working with Telstra in their property department while I was at Uni, at the same time Lendlease were fitting out their 242 Exhibition St office. Unbeknownst to me, someone must have mistaken me for a Lendlease employee who actually knew what they were doing, because I was offered an Undergraduate role at Lendlease, then into their Graduate programme. 

I spent time in Melbourne and Adelaide working on various projects before I headed to NYC to build two hospitals. Having spent 3 or so years in NYC, I then headed back to Melbourne for a year, then back to the UK to build a stadium and underground rail. I think, for me, the appeal was not necessarily the location itself, but more the challenges associated with working in a foreign country – new projects, different ways of working, new friends, etc.

I would always recommend working abroad because, in my opinion, it not only assists in career development, but plays a huge role in personal development, and aiding you for future endeavors, of which I hope I have been able to transpose to my time at Minicon.

What do you think are the most important aspects when delivering a high-end product like Willow Brighton?

It may sound corny, but for Minicon, we like to place ourselves in the shoes of the purchaser. If I were to purchase this property, what would I expect to receive as the end project – not just my own apartment, but the common space, the external areas, the amenities and the general feel. This is how we need to approach the build. The end product ultimately drives our approach.

Granted, it can often be a little bit of a juggling act, in that we need to maintain the mindset as the D&C builder, while ensuring that all aspects and desires of the client and their purchasers are met. 

Willow has all of the key elements of a bespoke product in a great suburb – large open spaces, expansive floor plates, architectural undulation and, my favourite, the brick arches. The product speaks for itself. The area speaks for itself. It’s now up to us, as Minicon, to deliver another successful high-end product, for a well-respected client in Samuel Property.

How do Minicon evaluate successful completion of a project in their mind?

Ultimately, success is the end product. From a technical perspective, it’s a build with no defects. Realistically, sharp eyes will always pick up something – I think I cook a nice meal, but my missus thinks otherwise. Everyone sees things differently.

We have a rigid QA process from the inception to the completion of every project, with an end goal to ensure we have minimal defects to rectify at the completion of the build. We want to commission a building and handover to the standard that we would expect our own residences, of which, as company, we believe we achieve – notably through our recurrent work with our clients.

How do Minicon differentiate themselves from the market, particularly in the high-end residential space when delivering a product in a suburb like Brighton?

 I think the key driver that differentiates Minicon from the market is our reach, in such that we have access to an array of skillsets and key minds that help from tender through to delivery and handover, sitting under the ICON / Kajima banner. 

We are essentially a Tier 1 builder working in the non-EBA space. In essence, we have all the benefits of being part of the ICON Group, with Kajima’s support, in tandem with direct national group integration – staff, processes, sector experience. 

We started out as high-end residential builders and recently, have completed luxurious projects of note such as Hawksburn Place Residences, The Botanic Collection, Piccolo’s Fitzroy House and now constructing Willow for Samuel Property. We are always looking to apply our unique skills to new challenges and have since expanded our portfolio to acute health, commercial and recreation. 

Importantly, Willow plays strongly to our historic roots. We have a shared outlook with Samuel Property on what a successful project should be and that’s why we believe that Willow will be second to none.