As the Daytona International Speedway prepared for a more than $500 million renovation in Spring 2016 with general contractor Barton Malow overseeing most new elements on a quick timeline, Entech Innovative Engineering collaborated on projects as a subcontractor for the Florida Hospital (currently known as Advent Health) eye-catching areas of the raceway. The engineering work included structural design and integration into the guest-facing areas as well as new standalone work with fabrication and installation of a key water feature.
All the design work for the area was created by MC2, known for their immersive brand ideas with a distinct voice. The company created a solution to create an everlasting relationship between guests and the Florida Hospital brand.
For the Rockwork Waterfall and Hanging Branches portion of the rebranding called Daytona Rising, Entech Innovative skillfully integrated a water delivery system into the existing concrete structure beneath the waterfall.
The system included an integrated touchscreen control panel to monitor and deliver water to the system above. Four pumps and a modular holding tank recirculate water over faux rocks and plateaus to create the effect of a natural waterfall.
With the tank filled from the facility water supply, the four pumps send water through four-inch pipes up to the top of the feature. The water, with the help of gravity, travels down to the bottom of the feature and is collected in the tank to be recirculated.
The rocks were created by carving EPS foam and placing them on the structure to cover the existing concrete and form the waterfall itself. The foam was sprayed with shotcrete then carved; the rocks are still in place but used in a different themed environment.
Performing the shotcrete work on the faux rocks on site was the most cost-effective way to perform that task. Bringing real rocks would have been an unrealistic and extremely costly process to build the waterfall.
Rockwork aside, this was primarily a plumbing project. One difference from a standard plumbing project is that a large portion of the plumbing was done 40 feet above the ground on an aerial work platform.
The most challenging engineering for the creative renovation project was the requirement for recirculating the water - calculating the flow rate out of the tank, how much water was on the face of the waterfall and the rate of return of water back to the tank.
Another unique element of this colorful project was the Hanging Branches constructed of aluminum and painted PVC panels to create “leaves.” Each 15-foot-long branch was suspended from the ceiling with wire ropes and turnbuckles. Sixteen pairs of the branches, identical but mirrored lefts and rights, were suspended overhead to create a series of arches above one of the main guest walking paths.
Stainless steel wire rope and fasteners were used to hang the branches. The superior quality of stainless steel adds a safety factor above simply carrying the load. Stainless was not necessary, but Entech Innovative knows it is much safer.