Adam Nowoj: Challenging & Pushing Boundaries for Better Design

​Our in-house expertise, including our development, architecture, project management and construction experts, are not typical. Our model differentiates us and how we work with clients. Early in the preconstruction phase, our project architects, design architects and interior designers work directly with our project managers and field associates to understand the costs and implications of their designs. That's how we can provide clients with a guaranteed maximum price and certainty of outcome earlier than comparable models. Our in-house approach also benefits our designers by reducing redesigns and rework. This is what initially attracted Adam Nowoj to Opus, and it's one of the reasons he stays. 

Adam manages the architecture team in the Chicago office. He joined Opus four years ago and has more than 21 years of broad-based experience with industrial, residential, retail, institutional and government projects. Adam holds a Bachelor of Science in architectural studies and a Master of Architecture, both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Working within our Unique Design-Build Model

“Prior to Opus, I worked in several traditional architecture firms," said Adam. “While I enjoyed being the architect at the tip of the spear designing buildings that aesthetically pushed boundaries, we often didn't know we had surpassed the client's budget until after the bidding process. It was disappointing for the client, who had fallen in love with a jewel box design beyond their financial reach, and demoralizing for the design teams since it often required multiple redesigns, not to mention project schedule adjustments and strained relationships across the board." 

“It wasn't until I landed at Opus I realized a much better model existed. At the start of each project, we meet with our internal development and construction experts, establish budgets, identify any hurdles and discuss schedules. We are all employed by the same organization, working together for the same results. It greatly streamlines the process for clients and everyone involved." 

“What has impressed me the most about working at Opus is the majority of associates check their egos at the door and are truly genuine," said Adam. “There is also a great deal of talent at Opus. I continuously learn from my architectural peers, as well as those in development and construction."  

Delivering High-Quality Design & Service to Clients

In his role managing the architectural team in Chicago, Adam most enjoys working with clients and partners to understand their vision for the project, as well as preparing the deliverables, presenting ideas and gathering feedback and suggestions. 

“Our architects are on the front-end of the building process, which starts with Feasibility Studies," said Adam. “When projects gain favor, the design goes to what we call Proof of Concept, where we refine design concepts with architectural design, 3-D massing studies and color renderings. Once the project is committed, it's transferred to the project architecture staff and we stay involved all the way through the construction administration phase." 

According to Adam, every project starts and ends with the client. It's imperative to ask the right questions, listen carefully and take copious notes. Only then can he and his team challenge the design and look for ways to make it stand out.

“Adam is a committed and dedicated design professional," said Dean Newins, senior vice president of architecture. “With care and enthusiasm, he works hard to understand clients' needs and delivers creative solutions that meet or exceed the project goals."

“On every project, I strive to delight my clients, both internal and external," said Adam. “My goal is to gain their trust, which builds rapport and contributes to successful projects. I try to just be myself and give credit where credit is due. While I'm the worst joke teller, I like to make people laugh and feel comfortable, sometimes at my own expense. Having humility and redirecting praise to other team members is part of being a good team leader." 


Adam is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is LEED certified. He recently spoke as a panelist about the benefits of the design build delivery method at the DBIA (Design Build Institute of America) Great Lakes Conference.

Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.