Blog

July 15, 2019

Davis & Floyd Names New Associates

Davis & Floyd, Inc. is pleased to announce that Jared Bramblett, Chris Haynes, and Greg McElhannon have been promoted to associates of the firm.

Jared Bramblett, PE, LEED AP is a senior civil engineer in the firm’s Charleston office and has 12 years of experience. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cum Laude, from the University of South Carolina. He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE), LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), and Certified Erosion Prevention & Sediment Control Inspector.

Chris Haynes, PLA is a senior landscape architect in the firm’s Charleston office and has 12 years of experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences and Landscape Systems at the University of Tennessee and Master of Landscape Architecture from Clemson University. He is a Professional Landscape Architect (PLA), Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) Certified Landscape Architect, International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, and LEED Green Associate.

Greg McElhannon is a senior project manager based in the firm’s Greenwood office and has 30 years of experience. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Clemson University. He is a Certified Erosion Prevention & Sediment Control Inspector.

According to Davis & Floyd Chief Operating Officer Jason Eppley, PE, “These proven leaders provide outstanding service for our clients. We are proud of their professional accomplishments and commitment to our team.”


About Davis & Floyd

What began as the dream of two engineers in 1954 has grown into a talented team of approximately 175 professionals across five offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Greenwood, SC, passionate about developing innovative engineering, planning, and landscape architecture solutions to improve our communities. We focus on construction engineering & inspection, environmental, federal, industrial, local government, private development, stormwater, transportation, and water & wastewater markets. Because we work where we live, we are good stewards of our resources and proud to see others in our communities enjoying our award-winning projects. For more information about our services and team, visit davisfloyd.com.

Jared Bramblett
Chris Haynes
Greg McElhannon
February 6, 2019

Commemorative Branding Honors 65th Anniversary

Davis & Floyd is introducing commemorative branding to honor our 65th Anniversary! Both the commemorative logo and heritage mark distinctly highlight our having been in business for 65 memorable years. Our 65th Anniversary logo not only pays tribute to Davis & Floyd’s distinct history, but also highlights key elements of our firm’s mission:

“Our mission is to challenge our team to deliver sustainable solutions based on a foundation of honesty, integrity, and innovation to our clients.”

We strive to be the preeminent engineering firm in South Carolina. Since our inception in 1954, we have established four additional Davis & Floyd offices across the state, strategically expanding our physical presence throughout South Carolina to better serve our clients and communities in which we work and live. Here is a quick look at key dates highlighting Davis & Floyd’s growth over the past six and a half decades:

– 1954: Emmett I. Davis, Jr. and Phil Floyd co-found Davis & Floyd in Greenwood, SC
– 1962: Davis & Floyd opens an office in Charleston, SC
– 1990: Davis & Floyd opens an office in Columbia, SC
– 2001: Davis & Floyd opens an office in Greenville, SC
– 2009: Our Florence, SC, office opens

Davis & Floyd is grateful to our past and present clients, team members, and associates who have supported us in reaching this major milestone in our firm’s history. We are excited to celebrate our past, present, and future through various initiatives throughout 2019!

January 31, 2019

Davis & Floyd, Inc. Celebrates 65 Years in Business


Davis & Floyd, Inc., an award-winning engineering and architecture firm based in South Carolina, is celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2019.

Founded in 1954 by Emmett I. Davis, Jr. (1929-2017) and Phil Floyd (1926-1986) in Greenwood, SC, Davis & Floyd started in a small, two-room office. Since its establishment, Davis & Floyd has grown to five regional offices located across South Carolina.

Today, the firm employs a team of more than 175 engineers, architects, designers, inspectors, surveyors, and administrative personnel under the direction of President & Chief Executive Officer Stephen L. Davis. Davis, a second-generation member of the Davis family, joined the firm in 1986 under his father’s leadership. Davis’ commitment to carrying on his father’s legacy is evident though his dedication to assembling a team that provides innovative engineering solutions to clients by applying Davis & Floyd’s core principals of honesty, innovation, and integrity to every project.

Reflecting on the company’s 65-year history, Davis said, “Davis & Floyd has achieved this major milestone through the hard work and dedication of our associates, and the customer service-oriented culture that is evident throughout the entire organization. We have many long-term employees who have made tremendous impacts on our company and the communities in which they live and work. Their dedication to Davis & Floyd’s core principals and commitment to providing paramount customer service is paving the way for the future success of Davis & Floyd and our rising leaders. Our entire team’s devotion to our firm, clients, and future has awarded Davis & Floyd this honor, and we look forward to continued success for years to come.”

We will be celebrating our 65th anniversary throughout the year with several new initiatives. Stay tuned!

December 18, 2018

Flood Resilience in the Netherlands

By Jared Bramblett, PE, Senior Civil Engineer at Davis & Floyd

Bovenkerkerpolder – Emergency polder south of Amsterdam

I was recently given the opportunity to get a firsthand look at flood control and stormwater management projects in the Netherlands with representatives from the Charleston and Baton Rouge areas. The trip was a wide-ranging tour and briefing on various projects the Dutch have implemented to protect their population from riverine, rainfall, and coastal flooding in both urban and rural environments. It seems that the Dutch monitor and control every drop of water that falls within their borders, and they do it out of necessity. Only approximately 50% of the Netherlands is higher than 1 meter above sea level, with approximately 30% being below sea level (the lowest areas are over 20’ below sea level). They have been pumping and managing water for centuries, and some of these practices have caused their lands comprised of peat to subside. Ensuring that these areas remain wet is essential to preventing further subsidence. Polders, or low areas protected by dikes, canals, and pumping stations, make up a large portion of the Dutch landscape. Without these water management practices, approximately half of the Netherlands could be uninhabitable.

We were based out of Amsterdam for the week, but the itinerary included trips to Nijmegen, Delft, Rotterdam, the Noordwaard Polder Project, and the Bovenkerkerpolder. We also visited Deltares, “an independent institute for applied research in the field of water and subsurface” in Delft, to learn more about their research and projects across the world and to celebrate their 10-year anniversary. The overall goal of the trip was to study Dutch solutions to water management and bring ideas and inspiration back on how to make Charleston more resilient to sea level rise, storm surge, and rainfall flooding.

Day 1 – Nijmegen & Houten

Waal Room for the River Project – Nijmegen – The Waal River is left of this photo. The water shown in this photo is the overflow diversion.

The ‘Room for the River’ Program was a transition in river management policy for the Dutch, and it resulted from the 1996 Flood Protection Law (Water Law). Two explicit goals of the ‘Room for the River’ Projects were to prevent further dike heightening by making room for out-of-bank flooding and to enhance the natural and cultural landscape values (spatial quality). The Waal ‘Room for the River’ Project in Nijmegen consisted of demolishing and relocating approximately 50 homes in the village of Lent to make room for an overflow/diversion channel to mitigate against flood levels in the Waal River. The town of Nijmegen and the village of Lent are located on opposite sides of the Waal at a narrow oxbow that increased the risk of the river overflowing its banks. Floods in 1993 and 1995 showed the need for mitigation practices to protect residents against flooding. The project helps to alleviate this risk, and it also serves as a public amenity with bike bridges and a waterside amphitheater. From planning to implementation, the project only took 15 years to complete. It was delivered under budget and ahead of schedule. Since its completion, it has allowed the residents of Lent and Nijmegen to reconnect to the river and its water, an activity that used to be too dangerous due to the river’s configuration and boat traffic. The project is one of 34 projects that were designed and constructed as part of the Netherlands ‘Room for the River’ Program.

The Water Boards of the Netherlands are decentralized governmental agencies with legal responsibilities and taxation authority. The Water Board Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden (HDSR), located in Houten, is one of 25 regional water authorities throughout the Netherlands. Their mission is “Safe Dikes, Dry Feet, Clean Water”, and their tasks include flood control, surface water quantity, and surface water quality (including wastewater treatment). They have a chairman, who is appointed by the King, and commissioners, who are elected to 4-year terms. Per our hosts, the Water Boards are one of the oldest democracies in the world dating back to 1222. The HDSR manages 60 km of river dykes, 330 km of secondary dikes, 1,300 km of principal waterways, 8,000 km of smaller waterways, and 17 sewage treatment plants. They employ 400 people and serve a population of 755,000. Their income is generated through water system taxes, sewage treatment taxes, and a water pollution levy.

The Water Board Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden, Houten

Day 2 – Delft & Deltares

Delatres is a planning and research institution focusing on flood risk, adaptive delta planning, infrastructure, water & subsoil resources, and the environment. Their work spans the globe, and they provide real-time reservoir management for Bonneville Poser Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Idaho Power in the US. They also developed a forecasting and warning system for main rivers in the US used by the Nation Weather Service.

Deltares’ 1/2-Scale Testing Flume

Deltares’ Flume Lab

They have developed a lot of different tools for planners, engineers, and the public to use to simulate different water management applications in urban and rural settings. At their Delft location, we toured a half-scale water flume used to investigate various parameters including energy dissipating shoreline plantings. They also have a water lab that includes several smaller scale models. At the time of our visit, they were modeling the interaction between the sweet water (fresh water) and the salt water for an expansion of a port facility in Rotterdam. Overall, Deltares employees over 800 people from 28 nationalities.

Deltares’ Flume Lab

Deltares’ Flume Lab

Day 3 – Noordwaard Polder Project, Kinderdijk, & Deltares

Charleston & Baton Rouge Delegations touring a dike protection system at Noordwaard Polder Project

Roadway Embankment, Noordwaard Polder Project

The Noordwaard Polder Project is another ‘Room for the River’ Project. It is a collection of unique wetlands with 34 bridges for recreation and 16 pumps and 26 small windmills for drainage. The project involved moving over 4,000,000 cubic-meters of earthwork to allow for the Nieuwe Merwede River to overflow its banks into the area to protect downstream areas. Several dikes were lowered to allow the flooding of land, and a main flow channel was constructed to carry the flood waters out to the sea. One innovative, nature-based solution implemented in the Noordwaard Poulder Project was the construction of a ‘griend’ – or strand of willows – to dissipate wave energy and allow for smaller dikes to be constructed. Overall, the project was constructed within 5 years and provides unique nature interaction, recreation activities, and economic activities.

Constructed wetlands and flow channel, Noordwaard Polder Project

Dike, Noordwaard Polder Project

Pump house in the Noordwaard Polder Project

Testing Flume Exhibit, Deltares’ 10th Anniversary

Day 4 – Rotterdam, Maeslantkering, & Katwijk

Rotterdam is somewhat of an urban lab with innovative experiments on urban resilience and flood mitigation projects. Rotterdam has a population of 600,000 and is Europe’s largest port. It experiences roughly two floods per year and is subject to an increase in ‘nuisance’ flooding. The outer dikes of Rotterdam are the highest areas, and some areas are up to 7 meters below sea level. Their drainage system is at capacity, so they have implemented a wide array of urban stormwater management facilities. They are changing their ways to use nature-based solutions to live with water. Their flood mitigation strategies are driven by data – measuring and monitoring. They have developed high resolution models and have detailed information on vital and vulnerable functions. 55 millimeters (2.17 inches) per year is considered extreme rainfall in Rotterdam.

Dual-purpose public space – Urban park during dry weather, stormwater storage during rains, Zoho District, Rotterdam

The World’s 1st crowd-funded pedestrian bridge in the Zoho District of Rotterdam

Zoho District, Rotterdam

The ZoHo District has been labeled a ‘climate proof test district’. Streets have been reconstructed with water storage under and within the pavements. Permeable pavements have been implemented and proven beneficial, even in areas with a high water table. Water squares have been constructed that serve dual purposes – recreation and flood storage. A retail building has been built into ‘levees’ with a green roof on top. All of these features were designed by stakeholders in the community. These projects, combined with Rotterdam’s overall resilience strategies, have resulted in increased ‘green tourism’ for the City.

Maeslantkering is a barrier constructed to protect Rotterdam from surges from the North Sea. The gates are crescent-shaped hollow structures that float on the water. When they are closed, they fill with water and sink to the river floor. In total, it takes up to 8 hours to prepare the gates to be closed and 2.5 hours to actually close the gates. The barrier has been described as the size of two Eiffel Towers laid on their sides.

The Maeslantkering Storm Surge Barrier

Maeslantkering Storm Surge Barrier

Maeslantkering Storm Surge Barrier

Katwijk, a coastal resort town located on the North Sea, was identified as a ‘weak link’ in the Netherlands coastal defense. A project was initiated to study practices to reinforce the shoreline at Katwijk in 2009. An elevated dune was selected as a potential solution. The local community opposed the solution as it would block views of the beach/sea from the residents and businesses. An integrated design solution was identified and implemented that considered the community concerns and improved the coastal defense infrastructure. Ultimately, the dune system was widened and 660 space parking garage and dyke built below the dunes. Most impressively, the project was constructed in approximately a year.

Katwijk Dune/Parking Garage Structure

Katwijk Dune/Parking Garage Structure

Day 5 – Bovenkerkerpolder & Amsterdam Rainproof

Bovenkerkerpolder – Emergency polder south of Amsterdam

Areas south of Amsterdam are very low and subject to subsidence. Some of the areas have been lowered by the excavation of the peat material for energy production. The Amstel River actually flows higher than much of the surrounding lands. The Bovenkerker Polder is an ‘emergency polder’ that has been designed to function as farmland most of the time. During the potential for flood events, the livestock and residents with the polder can be evacuated to allow for the polder to store floodwaters and prevent flooding of more developed/populated areas.

Amsterdam Rainproof is “a platform that activates and stimulates different stakeholders to create a more resilient city for dealing with extreme rainfall.” Like Rotterdam, Amsterdam’s underground storm drainage infrastructure cannot handle the increased stormwater runoff volumes, so they have implemented the program to look into ways of storing and retaining stormwater in urban settings. Essentially, the goal of the program is to make the city into a sponge, absorbing rainfall before it floods urban areas. The program is a result of the city observing significant flooding from heavy rains in Copenhagen. At the core of Rainproof’s mission is public engagement. Their strategy seeks to build “an influential, broad, sustainable” platform for the Amsterdam community.

‘Polder’ Green Roof, Amsterdam Zuid

Public-Private Urban Raingardens, Amsterdam Zuid

Pervious parking lot, Amsterdam Zuid

October 25, 2018

East Court Avenue Streetscape Project

Davis & Floyd has enjoyed working with the City of Greenwood on several South Carolina Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funded streetscape projects, including Riley, Magnolia, West Court, Oak, and Maxwell Avenues and Main Street. These projects have increased pedestrian traffic and created an aesthetically unified Uptown Greenwood through consistent use of materials in sidewalks, crosswalks, decorative light poles, and urban tolerant landscaping. These improvements have had a very positive impact on stimulating economic development throughout the Uptown.

For East Court Avenue, the latest streetscape project, we have completed the design and permitting phase and started construction. This streetscape also focuses on making the pedestrian experience safer and more enjoyable. East Court Avenue will have new paver accented sidewalks and handicap ramps, which will allow easier access and mobility. Along the south side of the avenue, landscape “bumpout” planters will be added to create a physical buffer between automobile and pedestrian traffic. These planters also will provide additional shade and visual appeal. We selected plant material that matches the surrounding areas of Uptown Greenwood. Additional lighting and a security camera will promote safety for nighttime activities.

These streetscape projects have faced a unique set of challenges due to the use of US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding. The funds were acquired through the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s CDBG program. According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s website, “The program addresses a variety of community and economic development needs in areas of the state that do not receive CDBG funds directly from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).”

Our Davis & Floyd team has been involved in all stages of the grant process for these streetscapes, starting with the original application process, which involves producing a conceptual design and construction budget that serves as the basis for the grant amount. Once awarded, our design team develops construction documents including drawings, details, and specifications. During the development, items in the design need to be identified and quantified as either eligible or ineligible for the grant. The CDBG has strict regulations that govern what these funds can pay for within a project. These same items also need to be tracked during the construction phase and separated out from matching funds to make sure all payments and materials are accounted for and used within the requirements of the CDBG.

These projects and grants have been vital to the development of Uptown Greenwood. Our Davis & Floyd team, while working with the City of Greenwood, has developed a successful strategy for procuring and implementing these grants and projects.

East Court Avenue Streetscape Project

East Court Avenue Streetscape Project