Established in 1972, our Elgin office has a long-standing reputation for delivering high-quality civil and structural engineering solutions. In line with our ongoing expansion, we relocated to a larger office space at the end of 2022. This move has increased our capacity, enabling us to better serve a diverse range of projects and further solidify our presence in the Moray region.

We recently employed Liam Stirling as a Senior Civil Engineer who brings a wealth of experience to the team and allows Fairhurst Elgin to develop its civil engineering consultancy services to the Moray Region.

We had the pleasure of interviewing him as he brings an in-depth knowledge of civil infrastructure design and has been tasked to grow a civil engineering team within the Elgin office.

Q: What types of projects does the Elgin office focus on?

A: Within the Elgin office, we work on a wide variety of projects with different clients including local authorities, house builders and commercial and domestic properties.

The projects range from structural inspections, extensions to existing properties, new build properties (civil and structural design), drainage improvement works and alterations and extensions to new and existing warehouses for distilleries.

Having grown the Civils presence in Elgin means we can offer more services whilst offering specialist services through our multidisciplinary approach.

Q: Are you able to dive deeper into one or two significant projects?  What were some of the challenges and how were they overcome?

Linkwood Distillery

A: Diageo engaged us to address an issue with an underground effluent tank at their Linkwood Distillery.

We attended a site meeting to discuss resolving the issue without impacting production outside the “silent season.” Fairhurst carried out extensive surveys which allowed us to determine that the existing tank lining had failed which was the fundamental cause of the reported issues. In order to resolve this issue and not impact production, a two-stage approach was adopted, undertaken during the “silent season” when production is stopped for maintenance. First stage was to eradicate the initial issues with the liner and also resolve the confined space access problems to the tank to allow safer future inspection/ upgrade works. New kerbing was also installed to ease traffic flow issues around the area. Stage two has yet to be implemented however will involve the installation of a new lining system which is currently being designed and specified for installation within the next “silent season”.

Challenges included maintaining site operations, coordinating with a third-party construction contractor, and managing logistics with stakeholders like Macphersons Haulage, handling up to 16 large vehicles daily. The upcoming challenge is ensuring the tank is prepared for the new lining within a shorter “silent season.”

New House at Rafford, Forres

A: We were instructed by the client’s architect Ken Duncan to provide a drainage design and drainage report suitable to accompany the planning and building warrant applications for a new-build property. This site was very tight and the main challenge was getting everything to fit within the standoff parameters from the property and surrounding boundaries.

We attended the site and with the help of a local contractor witnessed trial pits and soakaway testing being done to ascertain the quality of the ground to help form the basis of the drainage design for the property. The testing yielded positive results regarding unique design proposals to treat the rainwater in the rear garden and the foul water in the front garden.


Fairhurst, along with two other consultants were asked to provide a fee proposal for carrying out a ground investigation report including calculation and designing the drainage and sewerage for the above project.

Liam Stirling was assigned the task within the practice and he responded quickly and favourably in both cost and timescale.

The work produced by Liam was first class in its detail, its thoroughness and clarity and resulted in one of the best prepared reports of this type received by this practice.

The site was not without its challenging constraints for both investigation and design space but the challenges were met without complaint or requiring excessive input from either the client or this practice.

All in all, “a job, well done”

 — Ken Duncan, Architectural Technologist

Q: What is your role in the Civils team? Any future plans?  

My role within the civils team

A: My role within the team is to lead through the design process, engaging with the parties involved to ensure successful project delivery including on time and on budget.

Plan for the future

A: The office recently moved to a new larger location. We plan to continue the natural growth of the team through increased workload. We would like to make our existing and prospective clients aware of the wide range of services we can offer and that we now have increased civils capacity within the office.

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