Merit Awards

Plan NH has a vision of healthy and vibrant communities across the state. Because we believe that what, how and where we build influences that health and vibrancy, our mission is to “foster excellence in planning, design and development of New Hampshire’s built environment.”


We do so by being champions of Smart Growth and Livability Principles, of the Triple Bottom Line (social, environmental and economic) as well as creative approaches to collaboration and cooperation.


One way we do this is through our annual Merit Awards program, in which we recognize and showcase outstanding projects that reflect the mission and values of Plan NH, and that demonstrate how the built environment can make a positive contribution to people and places.


Each spring, Plan NH calls for nominations for this Award.  Submissions are reviewed by a jury of diverse professionals from across the state. 


Nominations for 2021 are due May 5.   This year, as we did in 2020, Awards will be announced at a virtual event in the early fall.


Merit Award 2020
Keene MoCo Arts Dance Class

2020 Merit Award of Excellence Projects

The Awards evening was virtual in 2020. Click here to view a video.

Bank of NH Backstage
Owner: Capitol Center for the Arts

Bank of NH Stage

In spite of the challenges of working with such an old building to get it to where they wanted, today the venue is eclectic and flexible.  It can easily be walked or biked to from within the downtown, and it is on a bus route.  In addition, its flexible space means that a younger generation can stand and move with its music – or, other performances can be done in a more intimate setting.  It is a welcome addition to an already-vibrant downtown.

MoCo Arts
Owner: MoCo Arts

MoCo Arts (Keene)

The project transformed a derelict, downtown site into an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient institute for performing arts education that works well in the context of Roxbury Street and Keene’s Historic District.   MoCo Arts  is on a public transportation route It is easily walkable to and  from the downtown,  where students and their families can dine and shop, thus supporting the economic vibrancy of Keene.

23 Ammonoosuc
Owner: Jessie Griffiths

23 Ammonoosuc (Littleton)

What makes this project stand out is that the original spirit of hope and generosity, delight and collaboration modeled by the Owner has taken root in Littleton and made an immense impact on the well-being of the community.  It has become a center for residents to create.

Madbury Public Library
Owner: Town of Madbury

Madbury Public Library

The Madbury Public Library is both a traditional library and a new community center – a place to engage with ideas, technology, neighbors, and the surrounding natural assets.  Brought to life by the extraordinary twenty-year effort of a citizenry committed to supporting the venture,  the  new building serves as the Library’s first permanent home.

Nominations are now open and are due May 5, 2021

How Does it Work

Plan NH believes that what we build, where we build, and how we build influences the health and vibrancy of the community. One part of our mission is to show how that works – to our New Hampshire communities, and to the planners, designers and builders who shape them.

The annual Plan NH Merit Awards Program is one way we do this. The Awards recognize New Hampshire projects that have a positive influence on a community or neighborhood, incorporate Smart Growth and Livability principles, social responsibility, and/or creative approaches to collaboration and cooperation.

Submitted nominations are reviewed by a Committee of diverse professionals, and outstanding projects are selected to receive an Award

Merit Awards Trophy