Acorn Engineering, Inc. is a Portland-based civil and environmental engineering firm providing Maine with quality engineering services.
Acorn was originally founded by Hugh Savage in 1988 and then reorganized under the leadership of his son Will Savage in 2007.
For the first 18 years Acorn was run out of the Savage’s home basement located in Brunswick. At the same time Caroline, Hugh’s wife ran a home-based daycare. So, after school Hugh and Caroline’s five kids found refuge in the basement. Hugh quickly put them to work mapping out stormwater subcatchments, soil groups, land-use changes, flow paths and entering the pre and post development data into HydroCAD.
Fast forward twenty years and three of the adult children are Professional Engineers with the two-engineering outcast rebelling to become a computer scientist/programmer and a neuroscientist/biopharmaceutical executive.
Growing up in a large family there was no such thing as an allowance. The entrepreneur was born, and Will started canvasing the neighborhood providing landscaping and snow removal services. He then picked up a weekly newspaper route in his middle class neighborhood and then the Sunday paper in the nearby manufactured housing park. He quickly learned which route gave the better holiday tips…a life lesson he carries to this day.
Growing up in the industry Will was all too accustomed to the boom-bust cycle and when the first round of layoffs occurred at his prior employer, he took the que to give his notice. He then took over Acorn in 2007 and it was straight into the economic recession. The recession was deep and profound. Will and Lynn were recently married in 2006 and on more than one occasion the question was asked “How long are you going to do this?” After a year of Acorn being in business, with money running short and credit card debt mounting Will started a side hustle Casco Bay Plowing. A plow business in downtown Portland, in which the driver got out of the truck to snow blow and shovel, quickly took off. Plowing turned into landscaping and for the next 5 years the work afforded Will the time to grow Acorn’s roots.
As one-time clients became repeat clients and the economy improved Acorn’s first employee was brought on board in 2013. Urban infill work continued to grow and in 2015 the Environmental Division was started. Fast forward to the present and Acorn has slowly and organically grown.
With Will’s leadership the Acorn team actively makes choices to promote employee health, our ecological footprint and follow sustainable business practices whenever we can. These goals go hand in hand with our commitment to important issues such as housing, inclusive design, multi-modal transportation, infrastructure resiliency, water resources and sustainability.
Within the last five years, Acorn Engineering’s civil design, environmental, permitting and construction administration work includes projects exceeding 100 million dollars in construction cost. We have developed a successful track record managing multiple stakeholders including, but not limited to, municipal, state, and federal regulatory authorities, quasi-municipal, railroads, private landowners, and contractors. Acorn Engineering has demonstrated the ability to break down and synthesize widely disseminated regulations into accepted engineering practices and practical measures.