2018 40 Under 40: James Gronek, PE, LEED AP BD+C; 35

By Jack Smith, Content Manager; Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief May 14, 2018

Vice President, Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD), San Francisco

BS mechanical engineering, Tufts University, Medford, Mass. 

Gronek started his career in 2005 at an engineering firm in San Francisco, working on retail and workplace interiors and developing a specialty in commercial office developments. He joined ESD in 2015 to help the firm establish a presence on the West Coast. The new challenge of building an office in San Francisco’s dynamic environment with the support of an established and well-respected firm greatly appealed to him. Starting with just two employees, about 2.5 years later, the San Francisco office has a bigger team (eight people) and is working on a variety of exciting local projects. As vice president, Gronek coordinates daily activities for ESD’s San Francisco office as well as functions as the main point of contact for all project-related issues and interfaces with clients’ project managers regarding scheduling, design, and coordination. Gronek has extensive experience in central chilled-water plants, water- and air-cooled DX and VRV systems for commercial, mixed-use, hospitality, cultural, sports, residential, and retail applications. He possesses in-depth knowledge of projects from schematic design through construction, as well as thermal-comfort modeling related to displacement ventilation, radiant cooling and heating, and natural ventilation systems. Gronek is on coed softball and flag football teams in San Francisco and has been an active participant in the San Francisco Architect/Engineer/Contractor Softball League since 2005. He takes advantage of the Bay Area’s amazing outdoors—mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding—as well as riding the gorgeous winding roads on his motorcycle. He also is a member of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. He enjoys attending concerts at SFJAZZ and Berkeley’s Greek Theater.

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