Chris Garvin

Terrapin Partner

Chris Garvin is an accomplished practitioner and active voice in the sustainable design community. Since moving to New York in 1998, he has specialized in environmental architecture and materials research, while serving on numerous advisory boards and in organizations that advocate for sustainability in design.


Chris Garvin Chris serves as a project lead for many of Terrapin’s consulting engagements while also managing projects for Cook+Fox Architects, where he is a Senior Associate. His interests include high-performance design at both the building and community scale, zero energy communities, biomimicry, and water conservation. An integral contributor to Terrapin’s development, he was named a Partner in 2008.

Complementing his work at Terrapin, Chris lectures frequently on sustainable design and has taught at the Pratt Institute’s Center for Professional Practice since 2002. He also advises several organizations on sustainability issues, including the National Building Museum and the New York Academy of Sciences. He serves on the Board of Directors for the US Green Building Council – New York Chapter and on the Advisory Board for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. In addition, he is currently developing an exhibit on “Biomimicry and the Built Environment: Lessons Learned from Nature”.

Chris began his career in Chicago, where he completed a postgraduate internship at Archeworks, a noted social design think tank. After working for three years in high-end residential design for Tigerman McCurry Architects, he moved to New York to pursue a growing interest in sustainable design. In 1999 he accepted a position at Croxton Collaborative, the highly-regarded firm responsible for redesigning the Audubon Society headquarters, at the time one of the greenest buildings in the country. While at Croxton, Chris developed an expertise in energy modeling, sustainable materials, and indoor environmental quality issues, and became increasingly active in the green building community, serving as Co-Chair of the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) for three years. He was named a Vice President at Croxton in 2005 and was awarded a two-year national Fellowship with the Environmental Leadership Program in 2005-2006.

Chris received a Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors from Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked with noted professor Vivian Loftness and spent a year at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland. He became a Licensed Architect in 1998 and maintains professional licenses in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and North Carolina. He and his partner Todd Sears live in Manhattan.