Davis & Floyd is a multidisciplinary engineering firm that works collaboratively with its clients to design and build innovative projects that improve communities. Celebrating over 66 years of continuous operation, privately-owned Davis & Floyd has approximately 150 employees located in five offices across South Carolina in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Greenwood.
GroundBreak Carolinas recently sat down with Chris Haynes, PLA, associate, private development market sector leader, and senior landscape architect who was recently tapped to head up Davis & Floyd’s newest division, D|F Studio PlanscapeTM.
Tell us about the growth opportunity for D|F Studio Planscape, your new packaged set of services including surveying, planning, design and permitting.
I really think it is tremendous. We have been kicking around the idea of Planscape internally for several years at D|F and thought now would be the perfect time to launch. Folks are going through a lot of uncertainty right now and in some cases, budgets are tighter than they have ever been. Planscape allows D|F to help our clients on the front-end of a project during periods of due diligence with thorough, yet cost conscious, planning solutions. It also allows for an incredibly smooth transition into D|F’s engineering services that we have been providing to folks for over 66 years. We feel like we are bringing a unique package to the market.
Protecting the environment has always been important to Davis & Floyd. Explain how Planscape will continue that tradition.
D|F has been at the forefront of providing innovative engineering solutions and has a breadth of knowledge related to low-impact development (check out Oak Terrace Preserve in North Charleston). Naturally, as landscape architects we feel like we are stewards of the land and our input only enhances D|F’s ability to further this mission.
The Habersham waterfront development in Beaufort, SC seems to exemplify what Planscape is all about.
It was developed before my time at D|F, but luckily I have gotten to work on it a bit since I have been a team member here. I think what you see in Habersham is the realization of a vision started by Bob Turner and our CEO Stephen Davis for how a neighborhood can be more than just houses and streets. You truly can create a lifestyle and a community. The continued success of Habersham only solidifies that they were able to get the recipe right.
How has Davis & Floyd changed since you joined the firm in 2016?
Believe it or not, I have seen some significant changes over four years. First and foremost being the growth of our Planning and Landscape Architecture services. Planscape was just an idea on paper when I first arrived at D|F. Now we are putting ideas into action, which is super exciting! I have also seen us adapt to the markets around us. With five offices across the state, that is not always easy to do, but we have an incredibly passionate group of leaders and staff members that really motivates me day in and day out.
What questions are you asking yourself lately?
My primary question is: “What does the development process look like in the next five years?” I am really curious to see what effect COVID has on how our communities grow and how we interact with one another in the future. I am also curious if the Atlanta Braves will ever be able to make it back to the World Series. But we do not have time to go into that…
How do you manage a healthy work/life balance?
It is all about balance and making time for what is important to you in your life. It is definitely “easier said than done,” but you have to be able to add those non-work-related events into your schedule and not just push them off to another day. I also think it is healthy to step away, even if it is just to grab a bite for an hour, and then come back to the projects we are working on with a fresh mind. I think I have come up with some of my best ideas while clearing my brain on a jog before work.
What was your first job?
I worked at a local golf course doing everything from running food, waiting tables, bartending, and taking care of the retired guys playing poker in the back. I learned a lot of lessons about customer service and how to deal with people. It also helped that we were able to play golf for free on Mondays when the course was closed to the public.
What three adjectives best describe you… according to people who know you (what would they say)?
Driven, Loyal, and Fun. Or at least that is what I hope they would say!
What book are you reading right now?
The Pocket Guide to Action by Kyle Eschenroeder. As you can tell from the title, it reads more like a how-to book, but it has some fantastic lessons and strategies on turning your plans and ideas into actions. As a planner, it is sometimes hard to STOP planning and pull the trigger on an idea. This book has some solid motivational talks about stepping up, leading, and doing just that, acting.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I am a HUGE baseball fan and make a pilgrimage to Spring Training every year with some buddies of mine. I made it down there last year right before they shut the league down for COVID. We have hit almost all the clubs in Florida and are looking to go out to Arizona next. Hopefully, the season can happen as planned this spring. It is a great time for me to recharge my batteries and take in America’s Pastime.
Learn more and check out case studies on projects mentioned in this article and more by visiting https://davisfloyd.com/planscape/.