Posted: September 2015

September 28, 2015

I-26 ALT in the News

The tri-county area is expected to reach 1 million residents by 2027 and transportation is high on the list of priorities for the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) and other stakeholders.

Behind the scenes, Davis & Floyd has been integral in the research of viable alternative routes and methods that could alleviate automotive gridlock along the Interstate 26 corridor. The name of the study is i-26 ALT. Sharon Hollis, AICP, is Davis & Floyd’s senior transportation planner and leads a diverse team of our engineers who work with representatives from the BCDCOG and CARTA to unroll options and gather feedback from community members.

The team’s recent meetings have sought to finalize the types of mass transit alternatives that Lowcountry residents would utilize, based on input from potential riders. The group has narrowed the options to either light rail or bus rapid transit – each with pros and cons based on infrastructure, cost and time.

The Post and Courier has covered the project, and upcoming forums, open to the public, will take place this week. Citizens who want to stay in the loop can check out an online forum at or follow updates on the project’s i-26 ALT Facebook page, their Twitter account, or the Davis & Floyd Facebook page.


September 21, 2015

Team Highlight: Mark Warner

Image of Mark Warner, SCCED, Director of Relationship Development at Davis & Floyd

Mark Warner, SCCED, Director of Relationship Development at Davis & Floyd

Davis & Floyd’s Director of Relationship Development, Mark Warner, has over 25 years of experience in manufacturing and economic development—which includes stints in human resources, organizational design and development, and logistics at companies like Cooper Power Systems, Robert Bosch Corporation, and Maillis Strapping. Mark’s track record of economic engagement and development in South Carolina is a force to be reckoned with and he is essential in our partnerships with a growing and diverse clientele.

Prior to joining Davis & Floyd, Mark spent over six years in economic development at the Greenwood Partnership Alliance, which is responsible for the county’s industrial and retail recruitment, existing industry retention and expansion and community development. During that time, Mark served as CEO of the organization, recruiting companies like Colgate Palmolive, Crown Casting, Kohl’s, Ross and Publix to Greenwood County, and he also received the South Carolina Certified Economic Developer certification. He currently remains involved with SCEDA as an officer on the board of directors and a member of the Legislative Committee for the group.

Currently Mark is the lead for Davis & Floyd’s Industrial Sector Team and participates on the Water Resources Team as well. His current projects range from the Greenwood County North Industrial Park Certification to the New Ellenton Industrial Site Analysis, plus a site analysis involving a sizable tract of land in the Savannah River Site.

A particularly noteworthy project is his work on the Greenwood County North Industrial Park –the location was actually identified as a potential site while he was at the Greenwood Partnership Alliance. “I can see the development of the site from the beginning though the due diligence phase. Hopefully we will be able to be part of the future development of the infrastructure for the park,” says Mark.

The wealth of past Davis & Floyd work remains inspiring for Mark as he moves forward with ongoing projects: “If you think about it, Davis & Floyd has been a part of roads, bridges, water, and wastewater treatment all across this state and beyond,” he says. “Travel between Aynor and North Myrtle Beach or Jacksonboro to Point South and you can see our handiwork.”

September 14, 2015

Students Shake Out, Buildings Shake It Off

Image of the seismic retrofits implemented at Rivers Education Center following a seismic study by Davis & Floyd

A story in last week’s Post and Courier detailed the ways in which schools prepare students for potential quakes, like participation in the annual Great Southeast Shake Out, an annual preparedness practice similar to fire and tornado drills. This year’s Shake Out is set for October 15 and will remind students and staff to “Drop, Cover, Hold” when they feel the movement.

As students returned to school last month, many returned to rehabilitated buildings that have been reinforced (or rebuilt entirely) to withstand magnitude 5.0 quakes. In 2010, following seismic retrofit studies, Charleston County School District shut and rebuilt four buildings on the peninsula that were deemed unsafe for children. Five years later, the district and local governments are still making good on seismic safety by continuing to evaluate schools and buildings for their ability to withstand the force of an earthquake and its aftershocks. Many of the schools Davis & Floyd has evaluated are made up of multiple buildings constructed over decades.

Recently Davis & Floyd was engaged to report on the seismic safety of Mary Ford Elementary and Northwoods Middle School, both located in North Charleston. This Tier 1 screening phase consists of three sets of checklists that allow a rapid evaluation of the structural and nonstructural elements of the building, as well as the geotechnical/geologic site hazards. The purpose of the evaluation is to identify any structural and nonstructural deficiencies in the buildings’ abilities to resist seismic forces or compromise the life safety of the buildings’ occupants. The results of the reports will be used to undertake next steps in ensuring the building is less susceptible to significant damage or collapse during a large seismic event.

Because the re-use of an existing building is the most sustainable construction strategy that can be implemented, we are often able to successfully retrofit what otherwise would have been rebuilt. For example, at the Rivers Education Center, we were contracted to design extensive improvements to the two-story building originally constructed in 1938. Phase I of that project included a number of unique seismic design strategies to comply with current code regulations for wind and seismic loading. At the time of construction, the 627 micropiles (over 10 miles in total length) installed to strengthen the existing foundation made up one of the largest installations on the east coast. Additional retrofitting included 36,00 square feet of reinforced shotcrete, reinforcing 55-foot chimneys with steel frames, installing new double concrete shear walls with seismic isolation joints, and strengthening the existing attic with over 3,000 seismic/hurricane ties and additional wood bracing members.

The significant and potentially life-saving work done by Davis & Floyd at the Rivers Education Center was the first complete seismic retrofit undertaken by the Charleston County School District and was instrumental in raising awareness for the importance of not only seismic safety, but the unique measures taken to retrofit historic buildings. Davis & Floyd was presented with the American Council of Engineering Companies of South Carolina (ACEC-SC) 2014 National Finalist & Engineering Excellence Award for the work.


September 8, 2015

Team Building Across South Carolina

This year we added two members to the Davis & Floyd team to accommodate our growing portfolio of projects. Those team building efforts resulted in Thomas Mann, PE, and Richard Byrd, PE, joining the Greenville and Florence offices respectively.

Thomas comes to us from American Engineering Consultants, where he spent eight years. Thomas supervised a design team in the master planning, design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure projects and also has experience with engineering calculations, administering project bids, managing project construction and contract documents. Throughout his college career, Thomas worked as an engineering intern at various companies where he gained experience on water distribution systems, and preparing quantity take-offs, cost estimates and bid documents for infrastructure projects. His MS in Civil Engineering complements his BS in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering.

His skills are being put to use while he works on projects like the Davis Road Water Improvements in Maiden, the Irish Buffalo Creek Tributary Sewer Trunk Line in Kannapolis, State Park Gravity Sewer for Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) and the Sumter Water Plant No. 5 Expansion and Upgrade in Sumter. He’s proven to be a valuable asset to the team in our Greenville office.

Richard joined Davis & Floyd after acting as Director of Clarendon County’s Water and Sewer Department which puts him in a unique position to understand our clients’ needs from multiple points of view, having managed administrative tasks and partnered with subcontractors on daily operations, compliance and upgrades. Prior to working for Clarendon County, Richard held extensive engineering positions across South Carolina, beginning as a design engineer for water, wastewater and stormwater projects, then working as a civil engineer on design and construction administration capacities before co-owning and operating Byrd Equipment & Hydraulics, an industrial service company, while simultaneously working as a technician to prepare plats and drawings for engineering surveys. Richard went on to gain experience as a construction administrator, field construction engineer and design engineer for civil infrastructure projects at HSMM and AECOM.

Richard’s vast involvement throughout the engineering field will be integral to the civil infrastructure projects he’s engaged with, including serving as construction administrator/resident project representative for the Sumter Water Plant No. 6 project, and working as a design engineer on projects like the Sumter New Wells and Raw Water Main project, design for Rockingham (NC) School Pump Station, and construction administration of the Cheraw Raw Water Pump Station project.