Flack + Kurtz Inc.
Flack + Kurtz Inc. was established in New York in 1969 by co-founders Peter Flack and Norman Kurtz, specializing in engineering services like plumbing, air-conditioning, and fire protection. Originally a small engineering firm, Flack and Kurtz used “a philosophy of creativity, sustainability, and technical excellence,” to quickly become known worldwide. In the 1970’s and 80’s Flack and Kurtz began to work with “world-class” architects which allowed their mechanical and electrical work to be seen in prominent buildings (3). Motivated by the fuel crisis of the time, the firm achieved its prominent status within the industry by pioneering energy-efficient and green architecture through various partnerships (2).
Several of the firm’s engineering breakthroughs included adopting variable-air-volume (VAV) air conditioning, implementing parabolic lighting systems, and embracing computerized energy efficiency analyses of entire buildings – all systems that would go on to become industry standards (2). After operating out of the New York office for two decades, Flack and Kurtz began to expand their company. The company briefly operated an additional office in Denver before deciding to expand to the San Francisco market (5). The office received commissions “including the Walt Disney Headquarters, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and San Francisco’s main city library” (3). Continuing expansion, Flack and Kurtz opened offices in Las Vegas and Seattle.
In 2000, the company became a part of the global WSP Group based out of London. With this acquisition by WSP, the group is represented by 200 extension offices in 30 countries (1). In 2007 WSP bought SEi Companies, a Boston based firm, “to give Flack and Kurtz a larger national reach”. The addition added offices in Boston, Houston, and Washington DC. Today Flack + Kurtz continues to pursue sustainable advances within the architectural engineering field including setting the initiative of developing a carbon-neutral building by 2030 (4).