Category: History

July 26, 2017

Happy Birthday to Us!

On June 21, 2017, Davis & Floyd celebrated our 63rd anniversary.

Sixty-three years ago, two young engineers from small town Greenwood, SC, Emmett I. Davis, Jr. and Phil Floyd, staked their all on a dream with no guarantee of success. Through their hard work, vision, and passion, Davis & Floyd has grown to more than 200 employees in five offices throughout South Carolina.

Davis & Floyd vehicle

Our firm’s success is no secret. It’s about the people who’ve been a part of the journey. Our people are what makes Davis & Floyd not just a company, but a family.

We have a strong history that we can be proud of. To take a glimpse into the past, take a look at our firm’s timeline.

This year, as a token of appreciation, each employee received a book, “A History of Davis & Floyd”. This book was a labor of love, which our founder, Mr. Davis, cared deeply about and worked tirelessly over the last several years to memorialize the company’s history. We were honored to distribute the books to our team in his memory.

As we celebrate our 63rd year, we look forward to continuing our work to make South Carolina even better. Thank you to our clients – past and present, friends, colleagues, and employees. You’ve played an important part in making Davis & Floyd what it is today and we couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to the next 63!

June 29, 2017

Evolution of Industrial Sites

Industrial sites and parks, which are large areas of land developed for industrial purposes, have had a major impact on South Carolina’s economy for years. After World War II, there was a concerted effort to attract more diverse industries to the state to provide jobs for returning veterans. Some may remember the State Development Board – the predecessor to what we currently know as the Department of Commerce. Part of their long-term mission was and is to assist communities prepare for industrial investment and the resulting job creation. Historically, as a state, we have been identifying and developing industry-ready properties for many decades, but the process has evolved.

In the early days, this type of development moved much slower than it does today. There was ample time to identify a suitable piece of land for an industrial site, survey the land, and if utilities weren’t there, providers and developers had plenty of time to get them there. Sadly, that’s not the case today. We move fast and so do our projects. In today’s world, manufacturing companies have to avoid risks associated with moving or opening an entirely new facility. Risks are usually in the categories of time and budget.

It’s easy to assume that a large area of land would make a great industrial site, but that’s not always the case. There are many factors that must be weighed, but two to consider when identifying an industrial site include:

1. Identify an existing site where operations have closed and repurpose the land. One benefit is that the required utilities typically are already in place. A challenge generally lies in existing environmental issues from previous operations that need to be mitigated.

2. Identify property that has been undeveloped that would be suitable for industrial development. For undeveloped property, there are many important factors to consider, including if utilities exist on the site or if they need to be brought in. If it’s the latter, that adds risk in both time and money. Not only is there a large cost involved in bringing in water, power, etc. to a site, but it takes more time due to coordination with various utility providers.

While there are many more details that go into developing an industrial site, these keys items are crucial in the beginning of the process and so is having the right team in place from the beginning to help evaluate the viability of a site. It’s important to work with a consulting engineer that understands not only land development, but also utilities, regulatory agencies, transportation, environmental issues, etc. At Davis & Floyd, our experienced industrial team has assisted in the development of sites and parks throughout the state and stands ready to help in the development process from start to finish.

Upstate South Carolina Industrial Site - April 2017

Upstate South Carolina industrial site – April 2017

Upstate South Carolina Industrial Site - June 2017

Upstate South Carolina industrial site – June 2017

November 23, 2016

Turkey Talk

Rendering of the Round House

The Round House at the Palmetto Shooting Complex has a second floor “Crow’s Nest” observation area overlooking the shooting stations. The building’s design draws inspiration from George Patton’s former hunting lodge located at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Across the spectrum of our projects, there’s one that stands out this holiday season – and that’s our work for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). The organization was established in 1973 as a national nonprofit conservation and hunting organization. When they were founded, there were about 1.5 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of nearly 7 million turkeys.

Located in Edgefield County, South Carolina, the NWTF have experienced substantial growth over the years, becoming the largest employer in the county. They organize fundraisers, operate marketing and retail divisions, and conduct conservation and hunting education programs. The site also houses a museum!

It was in 2000 that the organization’s board decided to significantly expand operations. Davis & Floyd was awarded the project, which included the design of a 3-story, 30,000-square-foot business office addition; 2-story, 7,200-square-foot museum expansion; two warehouse additions; and additional 200-space parking area.

Putting aside our neighborly pride for the organization (and our many enthusiastic hunters and conservationists on staff), we were very aware of the challenges of such an increase in operational space. Civil design issues included addressing an increased volume of stormwater due to the 54,000 square feet of additional impervious surfaces and layout of 200 new parking spaces.

Structurally, we reinforced the concrete masonry unit as well as wooden studs, floor trusses, and roof trusses. Our mechanical engineer was challenged with providing HVAC to three floors – each floor with perimeter private offices and large core interior space with cubicles – therefore, a complete HVAC system was designed for each floor utilizing heat loss analyses due to each floor’s unique location and relationship to the other floors. Additionally, the museum’s HVAC design required special attention to maintain very limited variations in temperature and humidity. Our electrical design provided additional primary power to all expansion areas by upgrading and rerouting service lines.

The additions and expansions were completed and approved for occupancy in the spring of 2004. The staff now enjoys a spacious, modern, and energy-efficient work environment while supporters benefit from their expanded reach.

In 2014, Davis & Floyd returned to work on four interconnected projects for the Palmetto Shooting Complex: Road design and drainage, including space for RV parking complexes for events; entrance gate; new 8,600-square-foot maintenance building for the complex, which stores target machines and shooting clays as well as has room and charging capabilities for transportation carts and tractors; new 9,400-square-foot “Round House” for events that includes a gathering lobby, lounge area, bar, commercial kitchen, conference room, retail area, restrooms, and second-story observational area.

This year, we designed the layout and cabinetry for a new display area in the NWTF Museum, which highlights the history of the organization’s founding.

Interested in conservation work with NWTF? Read more here. Looking for a recipe to grill or smoke your wild turkey this year? They’ve got tips right here.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

July 2, 2016

From the History Books: A Celebratory Site & Naval Memorial


As Davis & Floyd celebrates the Fourth of July, we take a look back at two projects that reflect the spirit of the holiday.

A gem on the South Carolina coast, North Charleston Riverfront Park was opened to the public on July 4, 2005 and has been continuously used for the city’s annual celebration and fireworks display – the festival is the city’s largest sponsored event and features national performers each year.

The park site was originally the grounds of the Officer’s Club and golf course on the former naval base and today it provides access to the river that citizens of North Charleston previously lacked. Serene vistas, graceful grand oaks, and historic homes set the scene for a contemporary arts pavilion. Fitted with a one-of-a-kind amphitheater and interactive fountain, the park draws patrons to community events year-round. As the initial anchor set within the 3,000-acre Noisette Master Plan and planned 350-acre Navy Yard at Noisette, this project incorporated sustainable development practices in all facets of the design from the site lighting to its source of irrigation.

For this special project, Davis & Floyd served as the park’s design engineer, supporting the project team by leading the due diligence and design necessary for deconstruction or protection of existing structures, pavements, and utilities, and the design of new retaining walls; boardwalks; structural foundations; and water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater facilities.

Two years later, we completed the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial located within Riverfront Park. Davis & Floyd was commissioned to lead a team of professional engineers and architects for the survey, design, and construction documentation for the memorial.

The memorial’s structure includes a pavilion, a water feature with a reflection pool and pedestrian bridges, sculptures, and landscaping that continue the unique sustainable fabric used in the construction of the city’s Riverfront Park.

This project is a monument in honor of the importance of the Charleston Naval Base to the community and a memorial to the military personnel and civilians who served the United States and the Greater Charleston region while the base was operational.

From our family to yours, we hope you have a safe and celebratory Independence Day – whether you are out at your city’s arts venues, in your own backyard, on the water, or at a ballgame.

Riverfront Park

August 14, 2015

The Conway Bypass: Ahead of Schedule & Under Budget

Aerial image of the Conway Bypass in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina designed by Davis & Floyd in 1994.

The Conway Bypass was finished seven months ahead of schedule and under budget.

In 1994, the State of South Carolina sought a design-build team for the Conway Bypass, also known as South Carolina Highway 22 and the Veterans Highway. In partnership with Fluor Infrastructure Group in Greenville, South Carolina, Davis & Floyd’s transportation engineering expertise helped win proposal selection by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in 1998 with construction to be completed by 2002.

The 22-mile route featured engineering designs for a total of 57 miles of roadway that included six interchanges—at US 501, SC 319, US 701, SC 905, SC 90, and US 17—in three different configurations: partial cloverleafs, diamonds, and an elevated trumpet interlaced with a side road and frontage road. The roadway also required seven grade separations, and 17 AASHTO-girder grade-separation bridges. Prior to construction, Davis & Floyd also coordinated bridge designs by The LPA Group, Inc. and Figg Engineers, Inc., handled environmental permitting, and performed all construction survey work.

During the lead-up to the project, Davis & Floyd organized a stakeholders “field walk” among SCDOT, engineers, and regulatory and resource agencies, which facilitated the group to agreeing to reclassify many areas as uplands instead of wetlands. The original design featured 10 miles of wetland bridges, making the project financially prohibitive. But by eliminating 5 miles of bridges (and saving $60 million off the bat), Davis & Floyd was able to finish ahead of schedule and under budget and the bridges that remained were shifted or segmented to minimize the impact to wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas.

With the reduction of project cost by bridge elimination in areas of “marginal production wetlands,” Davis & Floyd was able to make a lump sum (from project savings to mitigation fund) available to regulatory agencies in order to acquire sites for preservation and conservation.

Davis & Floyd also modified the plan for a proposed development of an 800-acre mitigation site, including restoration of bottom lands to hardwood, replanting of higher ground areas with mixed hardwoods, removal of roadway and ditches, and establishment of eight 5-acre test tracts. The area was monitored on a continuing basis for four years by Davis & Floyd, culminating in a study report of improved methods to re-establish this and similar tracts to their original status—valuable expertise for application on future projects.

As with other large-scope projects, Davis & Floyd was able to conduct recurring environmental compliance audits, participate in status meetings, monitor compliance with wildlife crossing requirements, and acquire land disturbance permits and (modified) wetland permits. Construction layouts, staking, controls and monumentation were also under the purview of Davis & Floyd—including daily communications with on-the-ground contractors and the creation of a 3D model which allowed for project grading without physical staking.

When all was said and done, the Conway Bypass was finished seven months ahead of schedule and under budget, thanks to initiatives undertaken by Davis & Floyd. When the construction was completed, it was the largest design-build project completed by SCDOT and the $385,000,000 project received numerous engineering excellence awards for its success.