• Areas of Expertise
  • Project - Slurry Tanks
  • Project - Glencruiten Earth Dam
  • Project - Earth Dams
  • Project - Shellachan Earth/Rockfill Dam
  • Project - Bearnach Dam, Isle of Mull
  • Environmental Engineering

  • Project - Glenfeochan Dam
  • Project - Barmore Dam
  • Project - Constructing a Lake
  • Project - Forestry Flood Alleviation
  • Project - Low-cost River Crossing
  • Project - Reed Bed Construction
  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Heat Pumps
  • River Training and Flood Control
  • Environmental Wetlands
  • Areas of Expertise

    • DAMS

    Slurry Tanks

    Design and construction of slurry tanks for a concrete batching plant. These enabled the separation and re-use of cement slurry, sand, gravel and water from waste concrete, transit mixers and yard washings.

    Economic savings in water use and concrete raw materials, together with a reduced risk of environmental pollution, were the result.

    Glencruiten Earth Dam

    Construction of an earth dam with geosynthetic clay membrane, to create a lake for environmental enhancement.


    Earth Dams

    An earth dam under construction in the Scottish Highlands to regulate farm water supplies affected by forestry development.

    Adrian Laycock Ltd has carried out investigations, design, and construction supervision for a number of small dams for flood control, farm and domestic water supply, micro hydropower schemes, and amenity purposes.

    Shellachan Dam, Argyll, Scotland

    Rehabilitation of an old earth/rockfill dam using synthetic membranes. The old dam leaked and was in danger of collapse. Rehabilitation included reconstructing the embankment, sealing with Nicoflex membrane and bentonite, and installing a 200mm diameter PE outlet pipe. The work was completed in a week.


    Glenfeochan Dam, Argyll, Scotland

    Glenfeochan Dam was constructed in 2002, turning a midge-infested Argyll bog into a beautiful lake.

    Glenfeochan Dam starts filling.

    The dam and lake from the air, and the spillway in operation.

    Barmore Dam, Argyll, Scotland

    Barmore Dam in the Scottish Highlands is being constructed across a deep peat bog. This calls for some careful machine work and some innovative engineering, aided by the use of geogrid for soil reinforcement in the embankment. Pictures illustrate the dam through construction to completion.


    Constructing a Small Lake, Argyll, Scotland

    Pictures show the construction of a small lake in Argyll, Scotland. After stripping the peat (top left), the main dam is formed with a clay core and peat shoulders. A sedimentation pond (top right) traps mud and silt from the excavation works to prevent contamination for downstream users. The picture at the bottom left shows the clay core, and the one bottom right shows the completed project.


    Forestry Flood Alleviation

    Forestry planting has had serious effects on the flow regimes and water quality of some Scottish rivers. Adrian Laycock Ltd has carried out a number of Hydrological studies into the effects of forestry planting, and has designed appropriate flood alleviation measures.


    Low-cost River Crossing


    A low-cost road crossing over a highland river. The structure is designed to submerge in heavy floods.

    Reed Bed Construction


    Reed beds are an environmentally sound means of purifying effluent from septic tanks or industrial, agricultural or domestic sewage. The beds shown under construction above, are for treating a million gallons per year of farmyard slurry from a livestock market in the West of Scotland. The options for disposal of waste were very restricted due to the absence of any filtering soils. The three stage vertical flow installation is constructed floating on peat and supported by geotextile. The picture below right shows the reed beds one year after construction.


    Reed beds under construction for a private house are shown below. They provide secondary treatment of sewage by taking effluent from a septic tank and passing it through a two-stage vertical flow process. With this form of construction they can be made to any shape.

    Left: A reed bed in an urban setting treating rainfall runoff from a main road.
          Below: Construction of a domestic reed bed in Argyll.


    Solar Energy

    The utilisation of Solar energy is incorporated into all buildings designed by us. Warm air from beneath the roofing slates is circulated into the building using solar powered fans, and warm water from solar collector panels is used for underfloor heating and as a base for domestic hot water. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Scotland offers great potential for economic savings using solar, since there is normally a high heating load coinciding with high insolation during spring and autumn. Every building should incorporate solar energy systems.


    Installing solar collectors in the Scottish Highlands.

    Wind Energy

    Using a helicopter to install wind turbine foundations in the Scottish Highlands. 
    Below: The completed wind turbine.
    Small wind turbines producing up to 6 kilowatts are becoming increasingly popular in remote areas such as the Scottish Highlands. We are involved in several projects which will utilise wind as an adjunct to solar energy.



    Heat Pumps

    Heat pumps are becoming an accepted method of reducing energy costs, and we have incorporated ground-sourced heat pumps into the design of houses and hydro power schemes.

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    River Training and Flood Control

    River bank strengthening, channel improvements and flood control measures have to be sensitively designed and carefully carried out to minimise disruption to sensitive environments.

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    Vortex weirs are rockfill structures in rivers designed to create a varied environment for migratory fish. The crescent-shaped weir concentrates flow in the centre of the channel, and floods scour out a natural hole in the bed downstream. Natural grading of scoured material creates progressively finer gravel beds further downstream, creating suitable habitats for fish at all stages of development from fry to adults. Strategically placed boulders in the downstream pool create scour holes and smaller areas of finer gravels, all within a short reach of the river.


    Environmental Wetlands

    Constructed Wetlands are increasingly seen as a means of securing biodiversity by providing a safe habitat for water birds, fish and aquatic flora and fauna. In many situations ponds can utilise bog or marshland that cannot be used for anything else. Islands are important to reduce the risk to nesting birds from predators. Within days of completion, these ponds attract a wide variety of ducks and water birds.

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    Bearnach Dam, Isle of Mull

    This dam is a reconstruction of an earlier dam and is large enough to be covered by the Reservoirs Act. It is an earthfill embankment dam constructed in May 2012. The site is inaccessible to vehicles and Aerial concrete placement was used to construct the spillway. Reservoir Panel Engineer is Ian Gowans. Design and supervision by Adrian Laycock ltd. The contractor is TSL.

    The dam was built to enlarge a small lochan which holds a thriving native trout fishery.

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    © Adrian Laycock Ltd 2000. Fair use and distribution of this material is encouraged provided proper citation is given.