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Martin Halliwell Talks About Low-Carbon Innovations in the Engineering Industry

Martin Halliwell, President of Footprint Engineering Inc., was interviewed by Adam Torres on Mission Matters Innovation Podcast.

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Footprint Engineering Inc. President Martin Halliwell talks with Mission Matters about reducing the CO2 creation in the industry and implementing new techniques with his firm, Footprint Engineering.

What mission matters to you? 

Led by his desire to cut down on carbon emissions in the construction industry and walk the path of value engineering, Halliwell says his mission is to “to reduce CO2 in the built environment by using my experience and applying a lot of creativity. I believe I’ve got a story to tell after many years, but also the good news is that whenever you reduce CO2, you lower cost and schedule.” 

How did you get started on this journey?

“I had the good fortune of working for a terrific company in Toronto, well-known for its deep foundations contractors,” Halliwell says. “I was in the right place, at the right time, and within two years when I got my professional engineering designation as a civil engineer, I was a graduate from University of Western Ontario in London.” 

Having now spent close to 40 years in the industry, Martin leads his firm with immense experience and knowledge, but back in the beginning, he ramped up quickly. “By 1989, I had set up and run a thousand projects, working with an innovative company,” he says, “and I had 100 tradesmen that I moved around at night.”

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Tell us about your company, Footprint Engineering Inc.

Discussing the firm’s commitment to designing and implementing low-carbon innovations, he explains that Footprint is a sustainability-focused civil engineering firm with more than 1000 years of combined experience across its team and partner network. The focus, he says, is on making a difference in the civil engineering and renewable energy sectors by helping clients choose more sustainable options in their projects. “We can do carbon capture and carbon tax,” he says, “but how about let’s not generate it at the source and then you get the cost and schedule savings?” 

This work, he notes, is a ground-up endeavor. “Once you understand how to buy equipment, then you can innovate the actual foundation—it is a tremendous advantage,” he says, reiterating that costs, schedule lengths, and carbon footprints can all be reduced simultaneously rather than at one another’s expense.

What problems are you solving at the core?

In the last two years, Halliwell has come up with 12 patents, of which seven have been approved so far, along with dedicated trademarks. Ranging from waterproof concrete and geothermal structures to Feng Earth Honoring Systems™, Martin says of the new wave of sustainable innovations, “A lot of young engineers care now. They know that the ice is melting in the Arctic and that there are three major causes to this problem— transportation, the methane from beef, and agriculture.” Footprint Engineering, for its part, is using its expertise to make the engineering industry as sustainable as possible.

To learn more, visit Footprint Engineering online.