Carnegie Mellon University

Veronique Adam

December 13, 2018

Adam Incorporates Strategy, Sustainability into Chase Center

When the NBA’s Golden State Warriors plays its first game in the brand new 18,000 seat Chase Center, CEE alum Véronique Adam (BS '15) will be cheering them on—not just as a fan, but as an engineer who helped to make the center a reality.

Adam is an engineer at Clark Construction Group, based in San Francisco. Her interest in sustainable design helped her to gain an expanded role in the Chase Center project. Her original role was on the finance team, acquiring and explaining pricing updates whenever design changes were needed. She knew that the sustainable design experience gained at CEE could be valuable to the project, so she approached her manager and asked to be involved in the project’s LEED process.

Adam is now tasked with getting product data and other LEED submittals from subcontractors. “Chase Center is working with LEED consultants who create energy models, review LEED documents, and ultimately work to ensure the center is on track for LEED Gold certification,” she says. The site is located in a brownfield area, requiring soil remediation. A water recovery system will be used for irrigation and toilets, and the center is partnering with local restaurants to locally source food.

The complete project involves more than just the center—the 11-acre site includes office towers, retail space, plazas, and parking. “We have over 60 people working together to make sure everything is done right and on time.”

Adam was recruited to work at Clark Construction by fellow graduate Rachel Browne. After two years of working as a civil and environmental consultant in South Florida, Adam knew she was ready for a change. Learning about the close-knit family feel of Clark Construction and the firm’s exciting projects prompted Adam to make the move. “I started out by working on the closeout process at Salesforce Tower, collecting and reviewing LEED submittals from subcontractors,” she states.

Adam asserts that her time at CEE prepared her for her career with a solid foundation in civil and environmental engineering. “My Project Management class built my knowledge of construction equipment, contract types, and schedules. That knowledge was strengthened by International Collaborative Construction Management (ICCM) with Professor Burcu Akinci.” Adams uses her ICCM skills daily to manage work with the construction team.

In addition to her sustainability work for Chase Center, Adam oversees the tension mesh scope of the project—installed to provide added safety and flexibility for lighting crews. “Tension mesh is common in theaters more than arenas, and I’m familiar with them from my time at CMU,” she adds.

Adam says that her experiences at CMU resulted in lifelong friendships and hands-on learning—especially when she mixed creative pursuits with engineering. “Nothing is more exciting than when two of your passions meet—and make each other stronger.”