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We’re delighted to announce that Manteena has recently signed a contract to construct the United Arab Emirates Embassy and associated compound in Canberra.

This significant venture falls in line with the UAE Government’s recent economic campaign, ‘United Global Emirates,’ which underscores the commitment of the UAE as a global investment hub and their focus on science and innovation.

The embassy and the associated compound will be reflective of one of the world’s most dynamic, competitive, and innovative business hubs. We’re tasked with ensuring that the new compound maintains the Emirati identity and values, key elements at the core of the country’s development and progress.

Our scope of work for this ambitious project includes the construction of multiple buildings within the compound – an embassy building, a consulate, a diplomatic building, the Ambassador’s residence, staff residences, a recreation building, a garage, and two separate guard houses. We’re thrilled to bring the vision of a new UAE hub in Canberra to life, constructed to the highest standards.

This greenfield site, located on the corner of Culgoa Circuit and Jindalee Crescent, in O’Malley, will be transformed into a symbol of international partnership and diplomacy. The total site area spans 14,015m², with a total Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 4,900m².

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting venture as we continue to shape Canberra’s diplomatic landscape.

Moira Frezza joined the Manteena team in 2018 as a part-time executive assistant. Now, the Safety Administrator is an integral member of the Manteena team, who can constantly be relied on to bring fun, laughter and a positive outlook to any situation.

So, How did you end up as Manteena’s first Safety Administrator?

My career is built on my ability to write. I’ve written education policy for the APS, fundraising for charities, PR for other builders, job applications for university graduates, administrative procedures for the UN… the only common thread in my career is that I write.

I started with Manteena in 2018 as a part-time Executive Assistant, to fit around school hours. I loved the variety of the role and the team I supported. In July 2022 – after just a little pushing – I moved across to a junior role in the Safety Team. They created a special position for me, to fit my non-traditional background and to accommodate primary school hours. Then, this year, they enrolled me in a WHS Cert IV so I will have a qualification to match my experience.

Why Construction/Safety?

The Safety Team at Manteena is the most attractive team. (As evidence, I wanted to supply a photo of us in Charlie’s Angel poses, but Marketing said ‘no’.) We can be on site or in the office. We get invited to all the events. We swoop in and save the day when problems are proving intractable. We’re valuable members of the construction team. There’s lots of talking and lots of reading. And every so often, there’s a pleasurable little buzz of knowing you made the world a better place.

How would you explain Manteena’s Offering and approach?

Manteena has been an amazing support to my career, as evidenced by my transition into Safety and the encouragement I received to pursue that career change.

What is it like to work at Manteena?

Some of my best friends work here. I’d turn up each day even if they didn’t pay me.

Did you always think this was an area you may end up working in?

No. I never had the safety posters up on my teenage bedroom wall. Not even an ‘emergency exit’ or a strip of orange bunting. But Safety is an area you can find if you enthusiastically say ‘yes’ to every opportunity.

What would you tell anyone considering a career in the Safety/Construction space?

Get confident in your reading, writing and number-ing. You’ll be communicating with people from all different backgrounds.

It started in 2006. A 19 year old Chris Piechocki got young Steve Smith out at U19s nationals and thought he had a one way ticket to being a cricketer or golf champion for Australia.

Needless to say, the Manteena estimating cadet did not quite reach a national level of recognition on the sporting scene in 2006, or later on in life, but around Manteena and with contractors we have worked with over the last 17 years, Chris is renowned for his larrikin approach, loyalty and passion for construction.

What has your journey been with Manteena to date?

I started at Manteena in March 2006 after a gap year in North Wales. I knew the Agnello family and Lou suggested I apply for a Cadet role to give it a go and see if I liked it. I interviewed with Rod Mitton, got the job as a Cadet Estimator and never left, which has made me the longest serving Cadet at Manteena who hasn’t gone on to be a Director.

I studied my Cert II, III, IV and Diploma through the MBA and then moved on to do my Bachelor of Building Construction Management, majoring in Quantity Surveying at UC, all while working at Manteena.

I moved from Commercial to Residential in 2017 and have just moved back to Commercial as a Contracts Manager for a new challenge and change of scenery. It allows me to use my 17 year estimating skillset and feels like a natural progression to broaden my career path so I am really enjoying it so far.

Why estimating?

Originally I didn’t want to do a trade, so this allowed me to learn about multiple trades in a ‘learn it how you build it’ kind of way.

I like the problem solving and math components of the job and have built a great rapport with the subbies over the last 17 years.

How would you explain manteena’s offering and approach?

Manteena has an excellent reputation for high quality outcomes and are heavily community orientated. They have been supporting the Queanbeyan Whites for the last few years which I am pretty passionate about and it is great to see the support from Manteena in that sense.

I think we are really well known for our great relationships with our subcontractors and the way we work alongside them in project delivery.

What is it like working at Manteena?

I mean it is all I know from a career point of view but if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t still be here 17 years later. Manteena has a great family environment and I have made lifelong friends while working here. It is an incredibly supportive environment and the interaction with our directors on a daily basis is something unique that adds to the value of Manteena. Our Directors really care about the team personally and professionally which is also really important.

Did you always think estimating was where you would end up?

No. (Insert Steve Smith story and the glory of being a national sporting champion here).

I was young, playing sport and didn’t know what life entailed but I fell into it really well and kept doing it. I think it is hard to find people who enjoy doing estimating for such a long time but it made sense for me.

I think the progression into Contracts Manager is an extension of that too. I get to apply my knowledge as an estimator and work with the Bid and Project Delivery teams to take a project all the way through to completion.

What would you tell anyone considering a career in estimating

It can be viewed quite negatively so I think if you want to learn it you have to quash the negative stuff. That being said it is incredibly rewarding!

It is like a footy team, if everyone does their part it works. The price has to be right for the client and the company so there is a balance you have to find there but when it pays off its “better than LEGO”.  You have to be willing to cop a loss though. You aren’t ever going to be 100% successful and sometimes that means it isn’t for everyone.

You get to identify the risks and the opportunities for the project team to work through so you end up setting the job up for success from the very start. That being said it requires a lot of due diligence and a system that works when you are reviewing 40-50 trades for each project.

Lastly, what have been your favourite projects to date?

There have been a few! The National Arboretum Functions Facility has to be on there, it was my first win as a leading estimator.

The Lodge Refurbishment was also a really good one, and so was the Tennis Centre at Next Gen and the Chinese Embassy Indoor Swimming Pool Facility.

The Garangula Gallery is also on the list. You don’t get to do jobs like that too often.

Dominion Circuit was the first job I priced for Residential and it went on to win a Heritage Award so that is up there, along with Torres Street which has recently been completed.

Modular construction has been on the rise over the last 5 years, growing from a concept used largely for demountable classrooms in schools, to now a significant and specialised area of the construction industry.

At Manteena, our experience with modular construction continues to grow, especially in the security space where it is now recognised as a core capability of Manteena Security.

So, what is modular construction?

The terminology involved in modular construction can sometimes be confused, so let’s start at the top.

Prefabrication is the general offsite construction of materials for onsite construction. For example, wall structures can be prefabricated offsite and joined together onsite to create the structure of the building.

Modular construction is the overarching term used to describe offsite construction, and prefabrication is likely to be involved in modular construction. In general terms, the process of modularisation involves the construction of an entire building, significant components of a building, or smaller sections of a building in factory like conditions off-site. These elements are often pre-tested and commissioned in these factories to the same standards and codes as traditional methods. The ‘modules’ are then brought together on site to create the whole facility, typically in an accelerated program compared to that of traditional construction techniques.

Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) is the design philosophy behind prefabrication that stresses a holistic view of the prefabrication and modular construction processes. It takes into account the design of individual elements and the completed structure, but focuses on how the elements will be connected to make the structure.

There are a few key ways in which modular construction tends to be adopted. 2D modular construction is essentially the equivalent of a flat pack. The components are prefabricated to specification offsite and then installed onsite, this is the type of Modular construction that Manteena regularly utilises.

3D, or volumetric, modular construction is where the systems are fully assembled offsite and transported as a finished product to the final location, generally in modules which are connected together onsite. This includes the modularised shooting ranges delivered under the Zeroed capability.

There are also hybrid models that take the best from both 2D and 3D, which we employ in remote locations where there is a trade-off between shipping cost and the efficiency of sending finishing trades to site.

The key benefits of modular construction over brick-and-mortar builds tend to vary based on the context of the project. However, the major benefits are as follows:

Time on site

The prefabrication and DfMA nature of modular construction means the average time on site is significantly reduced. This results in less overall impact to a site, especially where sites are still operational (such as offices, schools and operational Government facilities). It also allows for activities to be undertaken simultaneously i.e., offsite module manufacture occurs in parallel to onsite preparation activities such as civil or service works, overall leading to a net reduction in project duration.

An example of this benefit is the COVID-19 hospital in Canberra, which was designed and built in 36 days. This was a hybrid between offsite and onsite construction where wall structures and other key elements were prefabricated offsite to save as much time as possible during onsite construction.


With most of the construction occurring in controlled factory environments rather than insitu onsite constraints, safety is better able to be controlled including use of factory lifting facilities, ready access to tools and other input resources to minimise lost labour time and safety.

Cost effectiveness

In a number of circumstances, modular construction can be more cost effective. This is especially true in regional and remote areas where costs of having trades on site for extended periods of time can be cost prohibitive to a project.


The redeployable nature of modular facilities creates additional advantages over conventionally constructed facilities. The ability to temporarily set up a facility where and as required, and move it upon completion, creates a level of accessibility and offering that has not been available in the construction industry before. It also provides significant benefit in a changing operational context such as high security and Defence applications, where a use-case will change relatively quickly over the building’s lifecycle, and continued ability to reconfigure a building is a significant value add and capability enhancer.

Quality Management

Since modular construction is completed within a controlled and dedicated manufacturing environment, and every aspect of the build is pre-planned and pre-tested, there are fewer variables to account for i.e., inclement weather or site conditions, and a higher degree of certainty on achieving operational readiness on site. This leads to a higher level of quality control overlay and management compared to conventional construction techniques.

In the Security space, Modular construction plays an integral part to guaranteeing highly complex and secure outcomes, especially in remote and international locations. The components of modular construction ensures high quality security solutions that meet Australian manufacture and trade requirements are available, regardless of where the project is located.

“Manteena Security have delivered highly complex modular solutions to some of the most remote locations around the world in support of Australia global strategic footprint. Our ability to meet tight-time frames, to the highest level of quality, and guarantee operational readiness in support Australia’s national interests has led to our role as a leader of modular solutions in this space and a partner of choice to many Government clients and our international partners.” 

Peita de Boer – Director

As the requirement for secure facilities to support Australia’s strategic interests grows, so too will the need for modular construction in this space. Manteena has several modular solutions for the high security space which offer pre-validated high security solutions which are cost effective and minimise disruption to clients premises by minimising onsite installation time.

When it comes to supporting Defence and law enforcement capability, the ARCAS Modular shooting range was launched in Australia in 2021. On top of the key benefits of general modular construction, benefits of modular shooting ranges include:

The ARCAS solution offer by Zeroed | Australian Shooting Range Solutions in Australia, in collaboration with Action Target, is further supported by other modular capabilities in the Defence and Police training space including 2D modular shoot houses and containerised armoury and ammunition storage systems.

“Modular ranges, shoot houses (CQB’s) and armouries provide an advanced capability for the growing requirement within Australia when it comes to deployable infrastructure to meet the needs of Defence and Police end-users.

  Dan Knight – General Manager of Zeroed

Our focus on supporting Australian Government capability in the Defence and security space with modular solutions has naturally grown to other areas. Any project that has either a high degree of complexity, time pressures, or logistics challenges may benefit from modularisation. We have developed modular heath facilities in short time-frames, modular data-centres, accommodation to support mega projects such as the Snowy 2.0 project, and Australian Aid projects across the Pacific and SE Asia.

With growing labour challenges across the industry, the increasing time pressures and the incorporation of more complex services and automation in buildings, the benefit of off-site manufacture of all or most of a building’s elements will continue to increase.

Manteena and Zeroed will be at the forefront of this as we continue to support our clients’ requirements around Australia and the world.

Come and join our NAWIC award winning women—Sarah and Jess—who were recently recognised as Construction Businesswoman of the Year & Emerging Leader, respectively, by the National Association of Women in Construction – ACT Chapter.

We are currently seeking experienced construction professionals to join our team and fill a number of roles for an exciting pipeline of new head contractor works in Canberra.

The roles include:

More information about the roles will be posted shortly, however if you wish to jump ahead of the queue then contact Sascha Eves, HR Manager, Email: to initiate a discussion about any of these opportunities.



Master Builders Australia “Large Commercial Construction Business of the Year 2022” & Housing Industry Association “National Residential Builder of the Year 2021”.


Manteena has been awarded the Large Commercial Construction Business of the Year 2022 at the Master Builders National Business Excellence Awards held on 2 September in Melbourne.

Announcing the award, the Master Builders described Manteena is an iconic name in Canberra’s construction industry, going on to say that its history of delivering projects of the highest quality is backed by a dedication to ensuring that the excellence of its business operations matches that of its construction prowess.
Manteena’s business success is built on:
Mark Bauer, Manteena Group CEO, described the award as wonderful recognition for the entire Manteena Group. He said, “It’s one of the few times we have been recognised for an industry award that isn’t directly related to a project, so to combine this with success on the national stage is an even greater achievement”.
“This award is for the whole group and acknowledges the hard work and commitment made by all our staff in every aspect of our business from: Finance, HR, Business Systems, Estimating, Marketing/Comms, HSEQ, IT and Head Office Support; through to all our site teams working at the coal face”.

Manteena’s strong pipeline of ongoing and up & coming work means that we are growing. This growth has created exciting opportunities for a range of site and project related position vacancies across the company.

We are seeking commercial construction professionals to fill a number of positions in the following roles:

This is your opportunity to join one of Canberra’s most awarded privately owned construction companies.

We value innovative thinking and a passion for excellence in Construction; creating a positive work culture, whilst maintaining a strong work life balance.

Manteena is an equal opportunities employer and encourage all people with the right skills and qualifications to apply for the relevant role.

Please contact Sascha Eves, HR Manager, on +61 2 6280 7033 for further details regarding each role or forward your resume to

Manteena is delighted to announce that it has achieved ISO 27001 certification for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). The certification and audit process was conducted by Equal Assurance.

ISO 27001 is a system of processes, documents, technology and people to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information, through a risk management process that guarantees the safe processing of data, thus providing peace of mind and building trust among all stakeholders.

Gareth Hunt, the Business Systems Manager for Manteena explains, “This certification provides high level validation of Manteena’s information storage and management practices across our Security and Commercial areas of the business”.

“It also provides clients with validation that their information is secure”.

Andrew Kemp, Manteena Security General Manager added, “We are now a construction industry leader with this certification, reinforcing Manteena as a frontrunner in delivery of security outcomes”.

The ISO 27001 certification further compliments Manteena’s recently acquired Department of Defence DISP accreditation and ISO31000 Risk Management certification.

Following the departure of Simon Butt, incumbent Director & General Manager Mark Bauer has now been appointed Manteena Group CEO. On Monday 23 August, it was announced that Simon was stepping aside from his daily role of Chief Executive Officer, shareholder, and director of the companies making up the Manteena Group. Mark will focus on the executive management across Manteena’s three main business streams: commercial, security and residential—whilst still maintaining a strategic operational role for all commercial works.
“Although the industry is facing significant challenges during the pandemic, Manteena is well positioned both financially and at an operational level with its capability and capacity to ride out this wave,” Mark said.
“We are looking ahead to the construction industry rebounding from the current pandemic situation and I’m really excited to expand my role and lead the Manteena Group into the next phase of its development”.
Mark is a director of Manteena – a position he’s held since 2000. In 2004, he was given responsibility for the general management of all Canberra activities as Canberra Branch Manager, in response to the strategic expansion of the company to include business operations in other regions. Mark officially became General Manager in 2008 and now succeeds Simon Butt in the role of Chief Executive Officer.
Manteena Group CEO Simon Butt has announced that he is stepping aside from his daily role of Chief Executive Officer, shareholder, and director of the companies making up the Manteena Group, effective 13 August 2021.
Simon started with Manteena in 1989, when company founder John Hailey employed him as a Project Manager. In 1994, Simon was invited into the business as a shareholder and upon John’s retirement, he then assumed the role of CEO to lead the company through a period of significant growth and expansion. In a career spanning 42 years, Simon has made a significant contribution to Manteena and the construction industry, particularly in the role of National President of the Master Builders Australia (2019-current).
Simon has had the fortune of working on and being associated with projects at many of the iconic national institutions, which make Canberra such a special place: National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, Old Parliament House, Parliament House, Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade.
The team at Manteena, both past and present, wish to extend their best wishes to Simon in his future endeavours and thank him for his outstanding contribution to the company.