Placework, an architecture studio based in Portsmouth, is now a Certified B Corporation. B Corps are part of a global movement committed to using business as a force for good. Certification by B Lab, the nonprofit organization that created and assesses B Corps, indicates that a business has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
Positive community impact and environmental responsibility have been integral to the Placework mission from the start. Founded by Principals Alyssa Manypenny Murphy and Brian Murphy in 2010, Placework serves cultural, education, and municipal clients. “Pursuing B Corp certification was a natural step in the evolution of our practice,” says Alyssa. “This achievement is not just a stamp of approval; maintaining our B Corp status will continually challenge us to be the company we want to be.”
In 2021, Placework participated in the University of New Hampshire’s B Impact Clinic, a unique program of the UNH Sustainability Institute’s Changemaker Collaborative. A committed team of UNH students worked closely with Placework on the research and documentation required by the B Impact Assessment, the extensive online scorecard that is the basis of the certification process.
As the first architecture firm in New Hampshire, and one of only nineteen architecture design & planning companies in the country, to earn B Corp status, Placework hopes to lead their profession by example. “How we build has such a profound effect how we live and the ecological system we live within,” says Brian. “We see this as an important milestone on our journey as we shift our work from a paradigm of ‘do less harm’ to one that proactively does good, supporting social and environmental justice for all.”
Placework’s projects on the Seacoast include the Portsmouth Senior Activity Center, the Madbury Public Library and Throwback Brewery. They are currently designing a new home for the Gregory J. Grappone Humanities Institute at Saint Anselm College and coordinating resilience planning as part of Strawbery Banke Museum’s Sea Level Rise Initiative.