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Chris Huston, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP, Principal

Chris spent the majority of his 27-year career specializing in designing and building Learning Environments. For 10 years Chris worked in Boston for DiNisco Design, focusing entirely on significant school projects ranging in value from $1M to $50M. After moving with his family to Vermont, he served as Vice President of Architecture at Bread Loaf for 14 years, where he led the majority of educational master planning and building projects. He is the Architect of Record for the 28,500 SF award-winning Landmark College STEM building.

As as outdoor enthusiast, Chris is inspired by and dedicated to protecting the natural world. In addition to working on several historic preservation projects, he has spearheaded many environmentally focused projects, such as the net-zero energy Town Office Buildings for both Middlebury and Hartford. He is the former Vice President of the VT Green Building Network and he is currently Chair of the Energy Task Force for the Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative.

Chris is accustomed to leading large public meetings and at skillfully facilitating small project discussions. His past experience in Boston working on large, hard-bid projects, coupled with his experience with design-build, gives him the unique perspective on a range of project delivery methods. He is committed to providing his clients with a balanced, integrated approach to budget and schedule, while also achieving the highest quality of design.

Chris’ passion for his profession has been evident throughout his career. He believes that the most successful projects begin with deep, empathic listening, leading to timeless, environmentally-conscious design solutions.
 

 

Leah McGavern, RA, NCARB, Senior Associate

Leah has practiced residential design for over 20 years throughout New England. Her work includes new construction, renovations and additions, historic preservation and landscape design.

Sustainability is fundamental to Leah’s way of thinking. Built space is expensive, and buildings have significant and lasting impacts on our natural environment. Leah’s mission is to create practical, timeless designs, with an emphasis on appropriate scale, minimized site impact and efficient use of space. Maximization of natural light, use of green materials, and creating relationships between buildings and the outdoors are key to nurturing better relationships with our environment and in encouraging stewardship and protection of our natural resources.

Working with architects should be an enjoyable, exciting process. All too often the pressures associated with building projects challenge relationships. Leah emphasizes a collaborative process where owners and designers are equal partners. Open and responsive communication are key to successful projects.

Combining her passions—education, architecture and the environment—Leah has recently chaired the building committee for a new campus building at an independent school in Massachusetts. The project, a new 12,000 sf administrative, classroom and student center, will meet Passive House standards, and is scheduled for construction in 2019.
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