Originally published in Interiors & Sources

10/01/2008

Sustainable Technology: Building Controls

Designing AV-integrated Conference Rooms for Businesses Going Green

 

By Nina Parker

In the 1980s, greed was good. Today, green is good. Companies that implement green policies not only help the environment but they also reduce expenses by limiting energy consumption. Now there are added incentives for businesses to go green: As awareness about environmental issues is raised among consumers, a growing number prefer to purchase products and services from companies that are green, and employees would rather work for organizations that they perceive to be environmentally ethical.

As a result, the market for green technologies is growing. Videoconferencing is one such technology. The latest high definition (HD) videoconferencing equipment delivers images that are so clear and crisp that they can substitute for face-to-face communication, reducing the need for business-related travel. Less travel means fewer car and plane trips and a reduction in a business' carbon footprint. As demand for videoconferencing has increased, so has network reliability, greatly improving the user's experience. Costs for the technology, on the other hand, have gone down.

Designing Rooms for Videoconferencing
Videoconferencing works best when it is part of a specially designed AV-integrated room. When new conference rooms are built or existing rooms are renovated, it is now the norm for customers to request these rooms be fully equipped with HD technology. HD systems, including HD videoconferencing, are more complex than standard definition solutions. For example, HD video requires more complex signals and a larger amount of network bandwidth than standard definition, and this requires new practices and devices for working with digital cables to make them flexible enough for an integrated room. As a result, HD is not just one component of the room; it changes the way everything must be designed.

A high-end version of HD videoconferencing called telepresence is designed to create a life-like virtual meeting experience—in part by using replica conference rooms across various locations with large monitors and matching tables so that it appears the remote participants are in the same room. Some telepresence manufacturers offer room-within-a-room solutions while other manufacturers require rooms to be set up with preconfigured equipment and furniture.

Conference Room Controls
Perhaps the most important feature of a well-integrated conference room is the room control system, or GUI (graphical user interface). The GUI can be programmed to control most of the equipment in an integrated room, including the lighting, videoconferencing solution, audio systems, DVD players, document cameras, projectors, and microphones.

There are many ways to integrate control of these systems into a common interface, and finding the best solution can be challenging. When developing a plan for the room system control, it is important to first identify the business needs of the customer. What kind of meetings will take place in the room? Which functions will be used most often?

The room control system must be designed so that it is easy to use; a simple user interface will ensure that anyone can pick it up and use it with minimal training. Commonly deployed control systems include tabletop or wireless touch panels with custom user interfaces, wall-mounted touchscreens, wall-mounted button plates, wireless remote controls, and IP- or Web-based controls.

AV-integrated rooms with control systems are a central component of buildings that are built to be energy efficient. When designing buildings that are green and comply with LEED standards, it is important to consider the design needs of an AV-integrated room early in the process because most systems cannot be made to retrofit your build. Include green solutions in each of your building designs and you will stay ahead of the curve.

Nina Parker (nparker@ivci.com) is the marketing director at IVCi. Based in Hauppauge, NY, IVCi is a leader in managed conferencing services and AV integration.

 


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Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 


 
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