11 JUN 2018
David Bucknall OBE, FRICS, was one of Birmingham’s most influential surveyors. During his time he was responsible for major projects in the city including the construction of three buildings that have helped provide crucial leisure and entertainment space to the area.
David graduated from Birmingham College of Art and Technology in 1961 and went on to take over his father’s company, Bucknall Austin. Over the years, David helped turn the small West Midlands firm into a large Public Limited Company. In 1999 the firm merged with Rider Hunt and Levett and Bailey to form Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), a leading global Construction and Quantity Surveying practice with 3,500 employees in 120 worldwide offices. He was a patron for the RLB's graduate recruitment scheme, Protégé, which provides industry experience for aspiring professionals.
Amongst his many notable achievements, Bucknall co-founded and chaired the Birmingham Community Foundation Charity, which helped fund local community projects, including for the £5.5M acquisition and full restoration of the derelict Victorian baths in Nechells, turning it over for community use. Other projects included the construction of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, Birmingham International Convention Centre and the Arena. All three buildings were opened in 1991 and have been transformative for the city. The Arena is one of the UK’s largest indoor sports halls and the 2,262 seated Symphony Hall hosts around 270 events a year.
David also cost-managed the repair and restoration of Windsor Castle following its infamous fire in 1992, and project managed the construction of the new Telecom Tower in Kuala Lumpur.
David was awarded two Honorary Doctorates, one from Wolverhampton University for his “outstanding contribution and eminence within the field of construction consultancy” and the other from Birmingham City University for his “outstanding business achievements and significant contribution to the regeneration and promotion of Birmingham.”
David was also heavily involved with supporting various opportunities for young people to start careers in the construction industry, his efforts for which were recognised with the award of an OBE in 2013.
David was made Chair of RICS’ Quantity Surveyors and Construction Professional Group for his vast experience and enthusiasm for the industry. Unfortunately David passed in 2015 training for an Ironman challenge, but his legacy has continued through the RICS “David Bucknall Award”, which acknowledges his desire to create opportunities for and encourage achievement among his younger colleagues.
David was hardworking and committed to the industry and Birmingham. His outstanding achievements as a surveyor have contributed to the regeneration and promotion of the city.
Ted Watts, co-founded Hyde Housing Association, which over the past 50 years has owned or managed circa 50,000 homes in London and the South of England. A true entrepreneur, Watts also started his own surveying firm and went on to become President of RICS.
Gonzalo Marquesini MRICS is the founder of RenKap, a PropTech company that is helping to scale the delivery of genuinely affordable homes across the UK through the use of its online platform.