Austin Business Anniversary Issue: 1987-2017
Kipp Flores Architects celebrates 30 years of creating homes for over 300,000 families
What is the primary mission of your company?
Our mission is to make quality architecture accessible. It’s not just for the wealthy. For thirty years we have worked with some of the most successful builders in the nation and enjoy a reputation as a “builder’s architect”. By working directly with production and volume builders, we’re able to impact the lives of a broader swath of homebuyers. Whether an attached city condominium or a traditional suburban single family home, our goal is to provide quality architecture to enhance the everyday lives of homebuyers.
What sets your business apart from your competitors?
We think like builders. The most important decisions builders make are what to build and where. With so much at stake, we create an edge for our clients. Whether the product line targets the introductory buyer or the luxury market, our years of experience help our clients answer the needs of the buying public while controlling costs. The architects and designers at Kipp Flores use their years of experience working with and for builders to design beautiful homes that address the needs of both the buyer and builder. That’s why 97% of our customers are repeat business. We believe relationships are just as important as blueprints.
What if anything, has changed since your business was founded?
Over a span of thirty years, we’ve seen many changes impact architecture. Sustainability and technology have seen the most advances. Sustainable development has expanded from a movement to a norm. Many consumers first think of materials and appliances to increase energy efficiency. Take extra insulation or a new air conditioner for example. Increased regulation on both local and national levels dictates some amount of sustainable ‘green’ features. We go a step further to design to use materials more efficiently. This lowers construction costs and increases affordability. Sometimes called valueengineering, we design to minimize material waste. Efficient design is accessible design. Technologically, our staff has adapted to new software and hardware. A construction drawing once drafted in graphite with a scale and compass is now rendered with pinpoint accuracy with touch screens and a keyboard. Updated files are instantaneously shared digitally with builders and clients. This leads to increased communication with collaborators such as engineers and interior designers. We’ve also seen technology impact construction methods and materials. Typical 2×4 wall framing for example, while still the norm here locally, faces competition from 2×6 ‘smart’ framing, as well as alternate materials such as steel, concrete and structurally insulated panels. Similarly, sheathing, insulation, and wrap materials have evolved to accommodate trends in energy efficiency whether codified or market-driven. We continually educate ourselves and staff on advances in materials and assemblies to offer the best expertise to our clients.
Describe the defining moment you know your business would be successful?
“It was March, 1987 and the housing market had taken a turn for the worse. NPC, the homebuilder we worked for closed its doors on March 2nd. We started our business the following week. Within two weeks, not only was I blessed with a new baby girl, we got our first check for $200.00 from a small company we were dealing with in Killeen. I went to the bank and opened an account, and I knew at that moment that we were making money at the worst of times and we were going to be okay. 30 years later, I am so proud to be a co-owner of a company that has helped over 300,000 people have a place to call “HOME”.” -Partner, Sabas Flores
What are your plans for the future?
The team at Kipp Flores will continue to help families achieve homeownership. We cannot do that without adapting to the changing needs of homeowners and builders. We’ve seen demographic shifts in household makeup over the years, and plans need to change with that. Almost any architect can design his or her version of the home that has everything. But how many can deliver what a buyer is willing to pay for within the limitations faced by builders today? Each day we deal with lot dimensions, neighborhood restrictions, impervious cover calculations, environmental regulations and of course budget limitations. These constraints challenge us to design better and more efficiently. In the end, a home still has to ‘feel’ good. So our plans for the future are to grow and adapt with designs that will meet our clients’ needs today and tomorrow – so that everyone has access to quality design.