David Hunton: Australian Construction Industry Icon

It is with great sadness and deep regret that we write to inform you that David Hunton, has passed away this week.

Holding the role of Technical Director for Inhabit’s Melbourne office since 2011, David was instrumental in establishing the foundations for Inhabit in its early days. Prior to Inhabit he spent time leading the development of the concept of façade engineering, holding tenure with respected peers including:

2011 – 2017      Inhabit (retirement 2017)
2007 – 2010      BG&E
1994 – 2007      Arup
1991 – 1994      Connell Wagner
1990 – 1991      Mott McDonald, United Kingdom
1976 – 1990      Connell Wagner
1974 – 1976      Crooks Michell Peacock Stewart
1972 – 1974       Ward Ashcroft & Parkman, United Kingdom and Nigeria
1967 – 1972       Ministry of Works, New Zealand

Throughout his career, David was noted for his integrity, professionalism and technical excellence, influencing many of Australia’s most well known structures.

Some 32 years ago in 1987, following 10 years of experience in façade design, he co-presented the paper “Curtain Wall Engineering” at the First National Structural Engineering Conference held in Melbourne, Australia.

The paper makes for interesting reading and illustrates David’s contribution to the development of our profession as we know it today.

The original paper can be downloaded here : 19870826-CurtainWallEngineering-DavidHunton-FirstNationalStructuralEngineeringConference.pdf (PDF, 314kB)

With David’s official retirement in July 2017, he continued to positively influence Inhabit’s next generation of consultants and the wider industry in general. His engineering outlook, tempered by 50+ years of industry experience will be missed for its mentoring approach and professionalism.

Inhabit CEO, Tony Alvaro, comments of his 20-year friendship with David:

“As can be expected with a character like David, his positive influence didn’t stop with retirement. He continued to advise over email and phone as if nothing had changed. His ongoing mentoring was highlighted by occasional office visits that were met with enthusiasm and displayed best, his unwavering professional interest in all things engineering and façade related.

Those of us fortunate to have worked with him have lost a treasured friend and colleague, who gave himself selflessly to improve both ourselves and the projects we worked together on. We are all the more privileged to have learnt as much as we did from David and his contributions are unmatched.”

David’s vision lives on. During his retirement, he continued to exercise positive influence on key stakeholders across the industry. He was instrumental in bringing together a group of passionate experts to create the Façade Industry Association. His vision was to gather a group focused on creating positive change. Its underlying driver is to be a holistic association that involved all facets of the industry equally – designers, fabricators, engineers, builders and surveyors – with the common ground of improved quality and outcomes for façade-related endeavour.

He will be sincerely missed by all of us at Inhabit and the broader construction industry. Our thoughts go out to David’s family, friends and former colleagues, past and present, at this sad time.

The below is only a fraction of the projects David was involved with, across a significant career of achievement in engineering for the built environment:

. 2015 Flinders University Student Hub, Adelaide
. 2015 New Medical and Nursing School, Adelaide
. 2015 Bendigo Hospital Redevelopment, Bendigo
. 2014 Margaret Court Stadium Tennis Centre, Melbourne Park, Melbourne Tennis Centre
. 2013 Box Hill Hospital Redevelopment, Melbourne
. 2013 Adelaide Oval Redevelopment Stadium
. 2013 Dandenong Municipal Offices, Melbourne
. 2011 Epworth Geelong Teaching Hospital
. 2011 Eastern Plaza, Melbourne Park, Melbourne Tennis Centre
. 2010 Windsor Hotel Redevelopment, Melbourne
. 2010 Royal Children’s Hospital Redevelopment , Melbourne
. 2007 Menzies Redevelopment at Monash University, Melbourne
. 2007 Victoria University, Melbourne
. 2007 ANZ Headquarters, Docklands, Melbourne
. 2007 Victoria Square No. 1 SA Water, Adelaide
. 2006 Ericsson, 830 Bourke Street, Melbourne
. 2006 No 3 to 5 National Circuit, (Attorney General, New Offices), Canberra
. 2006 Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne
. 2006 400 King William Street, Adelaide
. 2005 Southern Cross Station, Melbourne
. 2005 No 1 National Circuit (Prime Minister & Cabinet New Offices), Canberra
. 2003 Adelaide Airport, New Terminal Building
. 2002 Herald & Weekly Times Redevelopment, Melbourne
. 2002 Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne
. 2001 Western Precinct, BIO 21, University of Melbourne, Melbourne
. 2001 Adelaide Convention Centre
. 2000 Federation Square, Melbourne
. 1998 New Stock Exchange Building, Sydney
. 1997 Mal Ciputra Development, Jakarta
. 1997 Chek Lap Kok Airport, Hong Kong
. 1996 Kwai Tsing Theatre, Hong Kong
. 1995 Energy Australia, Sydney
. 1995 City Plaza Development, Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong