UK: RFAS Awarded Commendation by Saltire Society

RFAS Awarded Commendation by Saltire Society

The Rothes Flood Alleviation Scheme (RFAS) has received a commendation at the 2012 Saltire Society Civil Engineering Awards for its innovative approach to flood alleviation in Rothes, Moray. The £25 million scheme heralds a new era of flood protection for the town of Rothes and its residents.

The Saltire Society runs its prestigious annual awards in association with the Institution of Civil Engineers. The awards showcase excellence in civil engineering in Scotland.

The Rothes Flood Alleviation Scheme has been operational since July 2011. A technically complex project, it involved extensive engineering work on all three of the town’s watercourses, as well as construction of a new road bridge in the town centre.

The Scheme was promoted by The Moray Council. Royal HaskoningDHV provided engineering and environmental consultancy services throughout the Scheme’s development. Morrison Construction was the main contractor, providing Early Contractor Involvement advice as well as physically building the scheme. Built asset consultant EC Harris provided cost consultancy services. The team are collectively known as Moray Flood Alleviation.

Councillor George Alexander, chairman of Moray Council’s flood alleviation sub-committee said “The Saltire Society award is recognition of the efforts by all those involved to provide Rothes with an effective flood scheme while causing as little disruption as possible to everyday life in the town.

It was a project with major challenges in that the vast majority of the work was carried out in the heart of Rothes, right next to homes and shops and businesses, yet the work was carried out efficiently and sensitively and with the full support and co-operation of the community.”

The Saltire Society judges commended the team for its dynamic approach in a challenging environment, commenting:

“The Rothes Flood Alleviation Scheme required complex engineering works to be constructed in a constrained, populated and commercially active urban area. The co-operation, goodwill and ingenuity demonstrated by the Moray Flood Alleviation team, coupled with the response elicited from the community, achieved a highly successful outcome.”

The capacity of the town’s three watercourses, the Back Burn, Black Burn and Rothes Burn, to convey flood waters was increased significantly by the scheme. Engineering work involved modifying channels and existing structures to create formal flood defences. A maintenance and monitoring programme has also been implemented to secure the town against flooding in the long term.

The land needed for the works was owned by 70 different individuals or organisations, requiring extensive consultation prior to and during construction. The site also included a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the works included the implementation of vital channel rehabilitation and habitat restoration.

Rothes is the third part of a wider programme to bring flood protection to communities across Moray. Successful flood alleviation works have already been completed at Lhanbryde, and at Forres (Burn of Mosset). Operational since August 2009, the Forres scheme now protects 800 properties and has received two Saltire Society Civil Engineering commendations.

An £86 million flood defence scheme at Elgin, began in April 2011 and is due to complete in May 2015. The fifth and final part of the programme is the Forres (River Findhorn & Pilmuir) Scheme. Construction of this £45 million scheme commenced in September 2012 and is due to complete in February 2015.


Press Release, November 20, 2012