Plan New Hampshire is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of the Merit Awards of Excellence.
Projects were selected based on their reflection of the mission of Plan NH to foster excellence in planning, design and development of the built environment, as well as incorporating Smart Growth principles, social responsibility, and/or creative approaches to cooperation or collaboration.
At a dinner held at the Centennial Inn in Concord on March 29, the following projects were recognized:
A New Public Vision and Streetscape for the Village of West Peterborough. Town of Peterborough, Owner.
The citizens of West Peterborough came together to discuss their vision for a new streetscape that would recapture the historic feel of the neighborhood through improvements in infrastructure. This was a pilot project for the CSS (Context Sensitive Solutions) concept that the NH DOT had recently adopted.
In their discussions, citizens expressed a desire to become reconnected with each other and to their community. They also supported adaptive re-use of existing buildings as well as infill development where appropriate, and suggested looking at different ways to handle storm water so that the environment would not be so adversely affected.
The Ironwood design group and the Louis Berger Group worked closely with the Town to ensure continued public involvement as they developed traffic calming measures, enhancements to roads, intersections and sidewalks, as well as sewer, water, and drainage. Not overlooked were lighting, utility poles and lines and their relevance, along with landscaping. to connection/pedestrian linkages.
By promoting traffic calming measures, encouraging a human scale of development, promoting choices and safety in transportation including walkable communities, and involving the community in the planning, the jury commended that many NH Smart Growth Principles were incorporated.
Use of sustainable design elements including bio-retention, reductions in pavement and use of local materials where possible is to be commended. Soundly demonstrates community outreach via public participation process.
Newbury Center Meetinghouse Historic Preservation. Newbury Center Meetinghouse Committee, Owner.
Constructed in 1832, this building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the center of the community, where town meeting takes place, religious services, cultural events and other public gatherings have been held since the beginning.
North Branch Construction was hired to raise the building, replace the foundation, and in phases, perform necessary restorative repairs to the building, including sills, roof and the bell tower. Working with Richard M. Monahon Architects, final interior and exterior renovations were completed in 2010.
While retaining original historic character, the project soundly demonstrates numerous Smart Growth principles including fostering traditional character of NH villages, and providing a space for a mix of community uses.
Skillful reuse of existing and local materials for this important town structure.
Commended re-purposing of building for community gathering space and creative community fundraising of each phase.
Regeneration Park (Portsmouth). Regeneration Realty Trust, Owner.
A long-vacant former car dealership site was transformed into a state-of-the-art, near net-zero office, retail and restaurant building, In addition, improvements to the outside, including run-off considerations and parking lot materials mean a healthier wetlands which are part of the property.
6-12” of insulation was included in the re-design that should produce a near net-zero use of energy (results not yet available). Increased daylighting, reuse of materials when possible and other considerations made this project stand out.
Team members included TMS Architects, Summit Engineering and SCADD, Altus Engineering, Toomey Landscape, Maldini Electric, A.T. McDonald and Associates (Food Facilities Consultant) , Gobbi Plumbing and Heating and George Barker, Photographer.
•Many NH Smart Growth Principles are demonstrated including incorporating a mix of uses. •Celebrated dynamic transformation of a single use building into a office, and restaurant building. Many would have demolished the automobile dealership building and built new. •Compelling renovation which balanced material reuse & salvaging (including a creative reuse of former NBA flooring) with energy saving updates, a bio- retention basin and planned solar PV array on roof.
The West Granite Homeownership Initiative (Manchester). NeighborWorks Greater Manchester, Owner.
When selected by NeighborWorks Greater Manchester as a recipient of assistance, the neighborhood had derelict and vacant properties, a high population of transients and some residents who were fed up with rising crime rates and declining property values. NWGM saw the potential and chose to invest in this neighborhood and restore it to a place where people would want to live, work and play. Access to services and amenities was already in place due to the location of this small part of town.
Success for the project rested heavily on the participation of the people who live there, and their involvement was integral in “taking back” their own community. The original look and feel of the area has now been restored, with rehabilitated houses, along with cleaned-up streets and green spaces. A sense of pride has returned, and the area is on its way to thriving once again.
Partners in the project included CMK Architects, Pidela Construction, New Hampshire Community Development Finance Agency and the City of Manchester.
Heartening to see skillful transformation of a neighborhood size project. While many would be satisfied with transforming one building, the extra effort required to revitalize a neighborhood is truly commendable.
Project fully embraced numerous NH Smart Growth Principles including maintaining traditional compact settlement patterns.
Applaud true community effort from conception, through financing, volunteer labor and implementation. NeighborWorks Greater Manchester and the project team provided a needed service to the community.
Plan New Hampshire, The Foundation for Shaping the Built Environment, is a 501 (c ) 3 founded in 1989. Its mission is to foster excellence in planning, design and development of the built environment. Members include architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners, contractors and others who recognize that what we build, where we build and how we built has a direct impact on the social, economic and environmental fabric of a community. For more information, visit www.plannh.org. We also invite interested parties to visit www.vibrantvillagesnh.org, the center of a new initiative to inform and inspire Granite Staters in thinking about creating a new future for their communities.
Robin H. LeBlanc Executive Director Plan New Hampshire 56 Middle Street 2nd floor Portsmouth NH 03801 603-452-PLAN (452-7526) email@example.com