2 min read October 2022 — Flux Architects provides clients with architectural services and premium design. In an interview with Invest:, Edgar Gonzalez, the firm’s founder and principal, discussed the past year and how the firm has navigated the challenges that have emerged. “From Central Florida down to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, there has been strong demand for single-family homes. We felt that we had to tap into that market so we began doing single-family homes,” he said.
How has Flux navigated the challenges of the past year?
This past year was a challenge being the last year with the pandemic but Flux, as a young firm, learned how to pivot quickly with the demands of the market. We specialize in multifamily but the demand for single-family showed strong growth, which had to do with a lot of people migrating to Florida from up North. From Central Florida down to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, there has been strong demand for single-family homes. We felt that we had to tap into that market so we began designing single-family homes, which we had not done in the past. There was a slight learning curve at first but we caught on fairly quickly. These are homes that are about 4,000 to 5,000 square feet and we felt very good about our understanding of the market, using our resources and pivoting to provide that service.
What technological developments have made it easier for you to deliver a more complete service to your customers?
In the past year and a half with the pandemic, we began to look into ways that we could provide a place for residents in our multifamily projects to feel safe living among other people in a dense population building. Among the items that we are beginning to implement are elevator sensors that eliminate the need to press a button. You simply download the app to your cell phone by scanning the barcode at the elevator lobby and indicate which floor you’re going to. This is helping us keep everybody safe as you don’t have to touch any surfaces. Plus, it is a cool trick you can show your friends.
What are some design mistakes that can hinder your productivity or efficiency?
I would say that as designers, we all know how to design beautiful buildings. But I think we need to be aware and cautious regarding the budget outlined by the client. We can design a beautiful building but if it’s not within the budget, that building is not going to get built. We need to work with our resources and our team, with the engineers, general contractors and with the clients to make sure that we’re meeting the budget early on in the project. This will also help avoid any design issues early on and the buildings get built very quickly. At the end of the day, the quicker we can build the project, the sooner they’re going to be occupied and the sooner our clients are going to be able to sell or rent the units.
How does social responsibility influence your building practices?
As a LEED-accredited architect, we have an obligation to the public welfare. We understand that three-quarters of electricity in the U.S. is consumed by buildings. So, we need to make sure that we design energy-efficient buildings. This means working together with the entire building team, whether it’s the engineers or the design team, to make sure we specify the right appliances or the right equipment that are more energy efficient than your standard equipment.
We are also working to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete in our projects. Concrete is a material that is very common in South Florida because of its strength and durability. The easiest way to limit the carbon footprint of concrete is to ensure the right specifications are included in your construction documents. Another way is to work together with your structural engineer to ensure the project is not overdesigned by reducing the amount of concrete required for the project.
What is your outlook for Flux Architects for the near term and what are your top priorities?
Three words: growth, growth and growth. As a relatively young firm we have established great relationships with our clients which have allowed us to grow significantly. We are also focused on being more efficient and providing a product to our clients that better meets their needs. One way of doing this is by analyzing the positives of our past projects and doing our own developments and providing the final product to our clients. This is something we are considering. I think that we will be able to provide a high quality product that will be a win, win for everyone.
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