Elara’s Experts – Today’s Spotlight: Adam Sanders

What Does Adam Do? 

Mr. Sanders is a 19-year industry veteran and a Project Engineer for a wide variety of multi-disciplinary, specialized projects.  Working with a team of engineers, designers, and support staff, he often serves as the Lead Engineer and Primary Contact for Elara’s clients in the commercial office and multi-family markets.

With a strong reputation for successfully completing highly complex projects in occupied buildings, he is passionate and committed to delivering sustainable solutions that improve building operations, enhance occupant comfort, reduce energy costs, and increase asset value.  Over his career at Elara, he has gained significant expertise related to mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection solutions including riser replacements in occupied, high-rise buildings, boiler and chiller replacements, air handling unit replacements, domestic booster pump and hot water heater replacements, de-watering strategies, renovations, and new construction.  He also has extensive experience in the design, troubleshooting, functional testing, commissioning of building systems such as boilers, chillers, AHUs, domestic water systems, waste and vent piping systems, and controls.

Through his years of experience in high rise condominium buildings, Mr. Sanders has become an experienced technical resource for reserve studies and estimating project costs while providing guidance to property managers and boards of directors.

His Areas of Expertise. 

  • Technical Knowledge
  • Industry Experience
  • Sustainable Design
  • Innovation
  • Construction Knowledge
  • Master Planning
  • Cost Estimating
  • Controls & Commissioning
  • Troubleshooting
  • Collaboration
  • Project Management
  • Experience in Multiple Markets

Mr. Sanders is driven by superior client service, collaboration, innovation (thinking outside the box) and an unyielding passion to successfully complete complex, challenging projects in occupied, high-rise buildings that require extensive planning, effective communication, and close collaboration with all stakeholders involved. These attributes have secured for Elara’s clients a long list of successful projects – including four ASHRAE Illinois Chapter First-Place Awards — while also benefitting those that have worked with Adam as he is eager to transfer his knowledge, lessons learned, and expertise to clients and fellow employees.

Key Project Contributions.

  • 33 West Ontario Fan Coil Riser Anchor Upgrades (Lead Engineer)
  • 3900 N. Lake Shore Drive Plumbing System Replacement and Conversion to Multiple Pressure Zones (Lead Engineer)
  • 1660 N. LaSalle Plumbing System Replacement and Mechanical Upgrades (Lead Engineer)
  • LUC Center for Translational Research Education (CTRE) LEED Enhanced Commissioning (Lead Engineer)
  • 2950 North Sheridan LEED Fundamental Commissioning (Lead Engineer)
  • LUC Mundelein Center Historic Landmark Phased (8-Year) Redevelopment (Lead Engineer)
  • 2800 N LSD Domestic Water Riser Replacement (Lead Engineer)
  • 3450 N LSD Domestic Water Riser Replacement and Bathroom Renovation (Lead Engineer)
  • Newport Condominium Plumbing Piping Replacement (Lead Engineer)
  • LUC Cudahy Library MEP Infrastructure Upgrades (Lead Engineer)
  • Completion of over 30 riser studies.

Key Industry Contributions.

Adam is an eager and active participant in industry associations, a frequent author and contributor of published articles in various industry journals, and an often-requested panel participant and presenter at association meetings and conferences.

For example, in addition to being quoted in others’ articles in at least a half-dozen instances, some of Mr. Sander’s authored and co-authored articles include the following:

  • Co-Author, “Electrical Vehicle Charging Station Retrofits for Existing Buildings,” Chicagoland Buildings + Environment, Spring 2022
  • Author, “Common Questions and Answers to High-Rise Condominium Plumbing Riser Replacement Projects,” Chicagoland Buildings + Environment, Spring 2019

Mr. Sanders is a member of the Chicagoland Buildings and Environment Advisory Board and is a regular panel participant at the annual Condo Lifestyles State of the Industry event held in downtown Chicago every winter.

What People Are Saying About Adam.

Adam is in a leadership position on my team and is a key contributor to the success of our company. While he is our most tenured employee, his passion for engineering and problem solving has only grown as he continually challenges himself to expand his expertise, product offering, and impact to our firm. Not only is Adam a reliable and knowledgeable advisor for our clients, he represents a strong technical resource, and sought after mentor for developing engineers and designers within our company. All of this is accompanied by a fun, outgoing personality and team player, who doesn’t hesitate to jump in when we need him. I am thrilled to be able to work closely with Adam and to celebrate his undeniable success.”  

– Matt Swanson, Principal / Practice Leader – Elara Engineering

Life Before Elara.  

Having grown up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin (outside Milwaukee), Adam attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (home of the Pioneers and Pioneer Pete) where he also worked as a Co-Op Intern at Pearson Engineering in Madison, Wisconsin.  Tempted by warmer weather and a job offer upon graduation, Adam headed south to Illinois to take a job with Elara Engineering – and hasn’t looked back since!!

Prior to his current role and responsibilities at Elara Engineering, Adam was a Senior Mechanical Engineer and a Mechanical Engineer at Elara.


Life Outside Elara. 

Adam, his wife, and his two sons currently reside in Batavia, Illinois where he is an active BBQer and sometimes woodworker, fisherman, and rock/wall climber when time allows. When pressed about his backyard BBQ acumen, he revealed that his smoked brisket is always a party favorite among his many offerings of smoked turkey, pulled pork, beef ribs, smoked wings, and baby back ribs.

Although typically utilizing indoor vertical climbing walls, Adam – with ten years of climbing experience – has scaled several outdoor faces including Cleopatra’s Needle at Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin.  Adam’s love of fishing – unabated since his childhood – started when he and his father would head out after dinner every night for their own personal fishing derby – with the loser having to scoop ice cream for the winner upon their return.

With a hectic work and personal life where his sons keep him busy and entertained, Adam has had to limit his time and allegiance to only one professional sports team…from one football team: the Green Bay Packers – to another football team: Liverpool FC.

More about Adam’s professional and technical abilities can be found at here.