Barron Schimberg remembers the exact moment he decided to become an architect —he was only 11 years old at the time.
“My family was putting an addition on our house,” says Schimberg. “I took one look at the drawings and said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
Schimberg followed his passion to Tulane University, where he graduated with a master’s degree in architecture. He worked for Hoyt Architecture after college, but after 10 years with the company, he decided to go out on his own.
Schimberg started his company in 2004. He was the sole employee, but he named it the “Schimberg Group” in honor of how he saw his company evolving in the future.
“One of the reasons I named it the Schimberg Group is because I see it growing into multiple facets of a company,” says Schimberg. “We have a lot of different things going on right now, and I want to continue to expand and to develop each one of those as much as possible and as successfully as possible.”
One area that the Schimberg Group has expanded in the last few years is green building. A green building is one that has been constructed or renovated to incorporate design techniques, technologies and materials that have less dependency on fossil fuels and minimize the building's overall negative environmental impact.
“There’s sort of an honesty to looking at a project and saying, ‘What’s the right thing to do here?’ and being sustainable and responsible,” says Schimberg.
The Whole Foods Market in downtown Sarasota, which opened in 2004, was one of the Schimberg Group’s first big green building projects. Schimberg was the LEED consultant and construction manager on the project, which became the first Whole Foods store in the country to win Silver Certification from LEED, an internationally recognized green-building standard.
Schimberg now tries to implement as many green building techniques as possible on all of his projects, from incorporating as much natural daylight as possible to installing LED light bulbs.
“It always ends up coming back to cost,” says Schimberg, “Sometimes it’s more expensive to do the green thing, but sometimes it costs significantly less. You have to look at the life cycle cost and what you can end up saving in the long run.”
AT A GLANCE
Address: 73 S. Palm Ave., Suite 303, Sarasota
Start date: February 2004
Number of employees when started: One
Number of employees now: Three
Advice: Listen to people who can provide and educate on being sustainable.
Biggest challenge: Getting people to communicate.
Where do you see your business a year from now? Continuing with the range of projects that we’ve got now. I love that every day is different and every project is different and I’d like to keep that going.