There’s the old adage, “measure twice, cut once”. As resources become more precious and the speed of business continues to increase, this sage advice has never been truer. However, when it comes to workplace and space design, it often goes ignored. Imagine building a football arena and after the concrete was poured, the sod was planted and the seats were placed, you realized you never thought about where the scoreboard was going to go, or how fans would see replays, or whether they’d be able to hear and understand the PA announcer. Your office, conference room, and other workspaces can have the same problem if you are building a new facility or simply remodeling. One of the most important elements of each space is usually the last to be considered, A/V integration.
Often times a conference room is designed by a handful of different experts. Architects, interior designers, etc. They all play a critical role in the creation of this new space. However, unfortunately the audio/visual integration professionals are usually brought in after the schematics are drawn up and the furniture is ordered. It is much more difficult to retrofit an A/V system into an older room or into a room that is in the process of being built.
Depending on the needs of the space there are a number of variables, devices, applications and platforms that should to be addressed in terms of technology. This is where your IT director and other key stakeholders need to be involved.
Here are 6 considerations that need to be made when remodeling or building a new boardroom, office, or workspace that will have audio/video integration.
- Mechanical: Whether you are starting from the ground up, or modernizing an existing space, mechanical devices (not only IT related, but also standard facility equipment) that are noisy should not be located around this space. Factors like additional heat being generated should also be considered as well.
- Acoustical: Teleconferencing and other communication platforms are going to be very susceptible to the acoustics of the space. Everything from the room’s layout to the furniture can impact the sound quality in the room. Fabric wrapped panels placed on parallel walls can improve the acoustics. Ideally this room will have an NC rating of 30 or more.
- Electrical: This is especially important when remodeling an older space. With new and more powerful equipment, electrical upgrades may be necessary. It is also key for new facilities to be prepared for the demands of their A/V design. Floorbox, conduit stubs, and other suitable pathways should be able to work with the plans and provide accessibility.
- IT: The control system for your integration will likely run on an existing IP network. This is where it will be important for your IT director and integration team to be involved. Any security loopholes or other potential issues will need to be addressed.
- Users: Functionality, dependability and user-friendliness will be key for any integration project. This where an integration professional will be vital to the effectiveness of your new system.
As technology becomes more important to businesses of all sizes in terms of scalability and communication, keeping your A/V integration needs at the forefront of any redesign can be a major cost saver. Whether you are building or remodeling, an experienced integrator will know the right questions to ask and have the solution to any problems. However addressing these at the beginning of the process can save a lot of money and time.
Link Integration Group is a commercial integration firm in Baton Rouge. Serving all of south Louisiana, Link develops customized plans that meet the exact needs of each space. From structured cabling to audio/visual technology, Link Integration Group provides solutions for businesses.