AV Design is Important for Every Industry

AV Design is Important for Every Industry

 

Industries everywhere are embracing AV technology. Now more than ever, these businesses need to pay attention to AV design.

We’ve all been there – the restaurant bar with screens of every size and description with distorted colors, flawed alignment, bad cable management, or even worse, a black screen with an error message. It is supposed to feel vibrant, but the actual vibe is more likely to drive business away. Well-designed AV installations can make all the difference.

AV design has moved from the conference room to the hotel lobby, the table in the restaurant and the waiting room at the hospital. Consumers are starting to expect AV everywhere. Whether it is restaurants, hospitals, universities, hotels – industries of all kinds are embracing AV. Increasingly, design matters just as much as the technical aspects of an installation.

Design thinking is becoming an important aspect of creating any product or environment. It’s like if the kitchen gadget doesn’t feel good in your hand, you don’t use it. If the restaurant bar just throws up screens without a design approach in mind, patrons will find somewhere else to watch the big game.

Which is why AV design is important for every industry. AV systems need to work seamlessly and with the end user in mind. Design cannot be an afterthought. When you marry the technical, functional aspects of the AV purpose to the design aspect, customers in the space will be happy.
Let’s take a look at how AV design can make a big impact various industries.

 

Restaurants

That maze of large-screen TVs is just the start. AV is everywhere in the restaurant world. For instance, self-serve kiosks are becoming the norm at fast food and fast-casual dining establishments. AV design in restaurants is a large and fast-growing market.

Restaurant patrons have experienced the prevalence and changing developments of digital menu boards over the past several years. Digital menus are much easier to read than the old standard boards. They are becoming ubiquitous, so has the need to get the design process correct.

Customer experience is important, but so is ease of use. Expertise in the design and execution of a menu and kiosk program, is a must for restaurant owners who need signage that can be changed quickly, transitioning from menu to menu depending on the time of day and season of the year.

In any fast-paced restaurant or bar environment, the simpler the control panel, the better. Systems that use an iPad for quick changes to menu boards, music or visual channel choices will help employees get back to serving customers more quickly.

 

Hospitals

AV design in hospitals is changing the way patients experience a visit and the way caregivers interact with one another. Hospitals are a labyrinth of corridors, and patients and their loved ones are under stress especially as they first enter the hospital environment. Digital signage can do a lot to create a clearer direction for where a visitor or patient needs to go. Audio output is also critical in alerting hospital staff.

Rather than scheduling everyone to be at the same place at the same time, they can confer on diagnosis, course of treatment, symptoms, etc without having to physically be in the same place.

 

Education

User-centered design is getting a boost in the education space. Experiential AV design in education is another market with solid growth potential.

More and more campuses are using video walls in common space to keep the flow of information moving along. From student life to advancement, to recruitment—these large, complex systems need to work for everyone. AV integrators can play a critical role in making sure data is transported from distant parts of campus without interruption.

Collaboration is key in education, so that is another aspect of AV design that is coming into its own in higher education.

 

Hospitality

AV design in the hospitality space is another sector with nearly limitless potential. From hotel lobbies to every corner of an all-inclusive resort, design plays a big role in visitor interaction.

For instance, cruise lines and all-inclusive resorts are using AV technology to enhance the guest experience. Strategically placed touchscreens can help guests book dinner reservations, time at the spa, or a spot at the wine and yoga session. Once again, design is the star, with the layers of signal management, routing, control, and setting up the physical environment playing that crucial supporting role in enhancing the end user’s experience of that environment.

 

Design is playing an ever-increasing role in AV integration. Now more than ever, AV integrators serve a purpose when it comes to early stage design, planning, and implementation that can ultimately help businesses shine.

Fiber, Connectivity, and the Need for Fast, High-Resolution Audio and Video

What’s New in AV Connectivity?

In many ways, what’s new in connectivity has been with us for quite some time. While fiber is not a new technology, it remains unique and continues to provide exceptional benefits for AV connectivity. Fiber also has the capacity to adapt as technology around bandwidth, audio, video transmission and clarity continues to evolve. Copper is still around and will probably be around for a long time. But its limitations become more and more apparent as fiber rises to meet those same challenges.

Why Now is the Time for Fiber?

In many ways, fiber is seen as the safest choice. It is the safest, not in the sense of being conservative, but it is the clear choice that offers commercial clients positive outcomes that are future-ready. Here are just a few answers to the question, “Why fiber?”

1. Bandwidth
The thirst for bandwidth is so far unquenchable. Each benchmark reached is a great milestone, but today’s miracle speed and level of clarity is tomorrow’s telephone landline connection. CatX copper is limited to 10Gps on an unbent, perfectly installed line. Fiber’s bandwidth is only limited by how hardware connected to the cable performs, not the cable itself.

2. No Interference
Fiber means there are no metal connections creating interference. Metalic connection points create potential surge and noise interference, making copper a weak competitor.

3. Distance
Copper and Wi-fi have limitations when it comes to distance. For the best possible audio and visual experience from one end of a corporate campus to the other, fiber remains what is new in connectivity. Copper is limited to relatively short distances while delivering acceptable speed and clarity.

4. Future-Proof
Fiber’s adaptability may be its most relevant feature for the world of AV installation. What is “new” in connectivity, in this case, is how fiber creates such a future-proof infrastructure. Fiber meets today’s standards and is also ready for the next level standards.

This is a big win for consumers of AV connectivity since the infrastructure is put in once rather than over and over again.

Stigma
With all that good news about connectivity and fiber, what issues could there possibly be? Consumers of AV should be educated about this because there does remain some level of stigma around fiber. Many think wireless is the only game in town, especially in the future. But for the most seamless connectivity over distance, fiber remains hard to beat.

Another stigma is that fiber is too expensive. The truth is, fiber infrastructure is becoming more affordable. In line with copper, with many more benefits. And when you factor in fiber’s power of future-proofing, there really is no comparison.

Fiber and Beyond

Connectivity that the client does not have to think about needs to be the standard in commercial installations. Commercial projects often deal with long distances. Single mode installation allows for long runs without fear of diminished clarity, etc. Again surge or voltage droppage is typical with copper, so the future is fiber.

Years ago, integrators used matrix switchers, baluns and other devices to distribute AV signals. Some of these solutions required complex setups and lots of labor.

Today, however, through technologies like HDBaseT, AV over IP signal management and fiber cabling, integrators can tailor their system designs to meet the exact content, budget and future expansion goals of their clients.

Get Ready for HDMI 2.1

Another thing that is new but not is HDMI 2.1. It’s not here completely, even though it was announced back in November of 2017. But we’re getting close. Why should we be paying attention? Rob Tobias, CEO and President of HDMI Licensing Administrator, recently explained it this way: “With the promise of increase in bandwidth from 18Gbps to 48Gbps—that increases the resolution into the 8K realm, and with an optional digitally lossless compression called DSC it can even get to 10K.”

The industry has caught up to 4K60 with 18Gbps. We are not yet at 48Gbps, but we are all eager to get there.

These are truly exciting times in connectivity.

 

 

photo credit: C2G, Legrand AV

AV Integration and Experiential Design: Working Together in Harmony

There is the conference room screen, there are one-panel sign displays, there is the tinny sound of a laptop speaker – and then there is experiential design. Experiential design gets beyond the one-dimensional. It has the potential to sweep people into a memorable, multi-dimensional experience.

Whether it’s a museum, airport, or some other high-traffic public venue, experiential design has some key elements to consider. AV Integrators are in a position to be the guiding force in working alongside experience designers to help clients build out interactive storytelling environments. Let’s take a look at these key elements and explore how AV integration and experience designers can work together in harmony.

Content

It all starts with content. Clients will know what content they want to display, it’s our job as integrators to figure out how to deliver that message in a consistent and compelling manner. Since the message is being carried over multiple media sources and likely moves people through a beginning, middle and end point as they are physically moving through the interactive space, the content will need to flow seamlessly. Integrators are implementers in charge of taking the story our clients want to tell, and bringing it to life in the experiential design installation.

Design

Our clients and designers will have potentially grand visions for the experiential design environment. Working within your budget, what design elements are most important to you? Will this be an installation of smaller screens that lead people through a series of interconnected experiences? Or will there be multiple video walls that immerse people in one larger unified experience? Is it a single timeline wall, or is it a larger space where the intent is to lead the target audience through a buying journey?

Experiential design should get people’s attention, but it should not get in the way. It might be tempting to create a big wow factor – and there’s nothing wrong with that if it serves the overall goal of the installation.

Utility

Of course, in addition to being visually stunning, experiential design Installations need to provide something useful to the target audience. The experience may be geared toward educating or entertaining, or a little bit of both. It should solve a problem or provide the user with a sense that this was time well spent.

Environment

Planning AV solutions for all sorts of situations in all sorts of spaces requires paying attention to the environment. Where is this experiential design situated? is there an abundance of natural light, or is it in a windowless room? What are the room dimensions? Understanding layout, flow of foot traffic, window and doorway configurations, all will have some bearing on how the space will be utilized in terms of experiential design. Integrators bring a valuable perspective for how the wider environment will affect the overall experience.

Accessibility

Additionally, we work with our clients to ensure that the experience design of the space is physically accessible for the target audience. A learning environment for children will look very different from a space geared toward quantum physicists. For children, displays will be placed lower, and the interactivity will likely be an even stronger consideration.

UX

At the end of the day, our job as integrators is all about user experience. How does the target market interact with the experiential design? It needs to be simple and intuitive, but also engaging and something people want to spend time with.

The target audience should find experiential design intuitive. They should be able to move through the experience always with a clear sense of where they are headed next.

With these elements taken into consideration, the knowledge and expertise of an integrator helps in the planning and execution of an experience design installation. Working in harmony will not be a difficult goal to achieve – and there’s no reason it should not be an expected outcome.

Taking Video Walls to New Heights with AV over IP

Video walls in themselves are not new, but they have certainly not lost their “Wow!” factor. Add AV over IP technology and the flexibility plus scalability make a truly boundary-breaking opportunity for AV consumers to engage with their audience like never before.

Combine the advances in display resolution and hardware that can withstand weather of all kinds with the ever-lower latency and reach of AV over IP, video walls have the ability to make a significant impact in creating a dynamic visual experience.

If you are an AV consumer who is not already asking questions about the flexibility and greater potential reach with video wall technologies, you can use AV over IP video walls as a point of discussion. If you are installing or upgrading video walls, you should be making the transition from older technologies into AV over IP sooner rather than later.

(Almost) Infinite Possibility

Without AV over IP, a video wall is made operable with a combination of video cards and capture cards that wind up being very expensive and also very limited.

With AV over IP video walls, you can start with a standard server in the server room. The video wall content is delivered over an ethernet network. You are not limited to just one or a few live web pages. The switching capabilities in AV over IP are vastly superior, allowing for nearly infinite possibilities in terms of input and output sources.

A video wall capitalizes on all of this, creating a stream of images, video and information that can be contextualized for the precise time and place it is being displayed.

Creative Configurations

A video wall is more than just a standard display that’s been super-sized. Content is available in a mind-boggling array of formats and shapes. AV integrators and content providers can get as creative as you want with the size, shape and scale of your video wall installation.

The physical appearance of a video wall can also be customized to blend in with the environment. They can be creatively placed and mounted in a variety of configurations and styles. Your video wall can be freestanding or mounted onto a fixed wall or other object. Displays can be placed indoors or outside. They can be flat, curved, or wrapped around surfaces. Beyond the hardware, AV over IP allows for this creativity to expand beyond the distance limitations of earlier generations of video wall technology.

What kind of information might you want to display on video walls? You can display statistics, scores, announcements or even live feeds. AV over IP video walls are also being used in live events to engage audiences to make a big impact with the audience’s experience.

For instance, in the current Broadway production Network, over 40 video monitors are used, and technicians share the stage with actors as live video is used to enhance the live performance.

Not everyone is going to need a Broadway show, but AV over IP video walls will bring those production capabilities exactly where customers are ready to see them. AV Integrators can demonstrate tremendous value in collaboration with clients and content producers to deliver the best possible customer experience.

Collaboration and Interactivity

With fewer limitations on the placement of a video wall, with clarity and definition ever-expanding and latency times ever decreasing, AV over IP video walls can now deliver a “Wow!” factor like never before.

 

 

*photo courtesy of Leyard-Planar

Five Ways to Future Proof AV Technology Investments

Technological obsolescence is challenging enough in your personal life. At work, being an AV budget decision-maker really ups the obsolescence ante. Customers can get frustrated spending money on AV technology just to see it become quickly outdated. At the same time, they know that use of and access to innovative technology provides a competitive advantage. That’s why it is important to look at future proofing AV.

Investment in technology as a year-over-year line item is a given. That doesn’t mean the AV tech budget needs to be eye-popping. With forethought and planning, the return on investment can be maximized. Integrators can be an invaluable help to future proof client investment in AV technology. Here are five ways integrators can help provide valuable advice on AV tech investments:

  1. Scalability: A future proof AV plan will ensure that components can be added or subtracted depending on the needs of the organization. At the moment, maybe you need only a display screen in a vestibule – but plan to add several in conference rooms and other spaces in the coming months and years. Scaling up or down should be made simple and cost-effective. In a fascinating study on how to future proof a Buddhist shrine, sound was the main decision-making factor. The project included a speaker installation with an integrated processor and a mixing console. This allowed for pristine sound quality in the Lihn Phong Spiritual Dharma complex, while setting up the space for scalability into the future.
  2. Future Needs: Scalability is one aspect of attending to future needs. Beyond scalability, wider assessment is required. In assessing future needs, several factors matter. You and the integrator will need to discuss and understand the current situation and near-future plans. Are you looking at only current structures, or is construction a part of the overall plan? You will need to understand what kind of AV budget is anticipated. It is important to have a realistic picture of what is possible within budget and current technological constraints.
  3. Cloud Compatibility: More and more productivity and task platforms are cloud-based. This is especially true in AV, as conferences, one-on-ones, content viewing – all happen in the ether of the cloud. In future proofing AV outlay, cloud compatibility should be a standard for any purchase in the AV budget line. Integrators need to ensure that their clients are aware this is happening.
  4. Interoperability: The cloud is accelerating interoperability. To future proof AV investment, interoperability is a must. There are challenges on this front. Hardware and service providers all looking for market share have not all come together singing kumbaya; Not every piece of equipment will seamlessly play nicely with others. Integrators can help clients optimize in this area.
  5. Maintenance Plan: This is perhaps the most important piece of a future proof AV strategy. A maintenance plan should take into account the fixes, patches and preventive care needed on systems and equipment. Clients should see this not as a clever way of integrators keeping their foot in the door, but as a wise investment with a valued partner in future proofing their AV technology investment.

As a trusted advisor, AV integrators are the first line of future proofing defense for AV consumers. Future proofing will involve not just the tech, but evolving use of the space. Yesterday’s foosball lounge is today’s video conferencing room. What will that space be used for tomorrow? Integrators can work with clients to future proof AV budgets, from cloud platform fees to room re-purposing.

Staying ahead of the curve in AV tech deployment can be daunting. With good planning and nimble execution, it doesn’t have to be.

2018 AV Technology Showcase

Please join Backman Vidcom and friends at our AV Vendor Showcase on Tuesday, October 30th 2018, at the Hampton Inn Downtown Halifax.

We are gathering leading commercial and pro AV industry manufacturers to showcase the latest technologies for focused around Commercial Audio, Video and Data solutions and Unified Communication & Collaboration. Our exhibitor showcase format will feature over two dozen manufacturers and vendors of audiovisual equipment and services that specifically target technology professionals, facility and venue managers, academic technologists, AV & IT managers, and events professionals.

Our attendees will have the opportunity to interact and speak directly with AV representatives from some of the industry’s top suppliers and manufacturers, as well as learn about some of today’s leading trends and emerging technologies. There will be presentations throughout the afternoon covering related topics.

This free, by invitation-only, one-day event is from 12 noon to 4:30 pm, followed by a cocktail reception.  Please feel welcome to stop by the show anytime throughout the afternoon and enjoy complimentary access to a culinary-inspired, all-inclusive snack and refreshment bar across the exhibit space hall at the Connections Café®

  • Media Distribution via the Network
  • Unified Communication and Collaboration
  • Digital Signage
  • Control and Automation
  • Videoconferencing
  • Video and LED Walls
  • LCD Panel, Projection and Screen
  • Capture and Streaming
  • Security
  • Paging and Emergency Communications
  • Audio DSP
  • Classroom, Boardroom & Conference room
  • Broadcast and Production
  • Routing and Wiring
  • Wireless Networks
  • Cloud-based Solutions
  • Intelligent Power

For further details please contact Tom Murray, tmurray@bvcl.ca.

What is Your Video Conferencing Security Policy?

The high-profile hacking of a Canadian political party videoconference in 2016 was a wake-up call. The hacker eavesdropped on a video conference, then contacted a news organization. No actual harm was done, but it highlights the need for security protocols.

A STARTING POINT FOR SECURITY

We can help our customers establish a strong video conferencing security policy through:

  • System audit services – Video conferencing systems don’t age well. While there is a certain amount of maintenance we can recommend, old systems eventually need to be replaced. Audits and upgrades are a standard part of our service program.
  • Provide a domain-based approach – Domain-based security enables the system administrator to control access to video conferences through various levels of permission. Without the permissions, access will be denied. This is one of many systems we can put in place to thwart potential security breaches.

FURTHER BEST PRACTICES

Beyond the audit and domain approach there are a number of other best practices for helping clients develop excellent video conferencing security policy:

  • Establish a BYOD (bring your own device) policy – Allowing employees to use their own devices can improve employee productivity and happiness. However there are security considerations. We help clients navigate a comprehensive policy to guard against attacks via employee owned devices.
  • Secure networks and devices – Transferring sensitive information across unknown or unsecured networks is a dangerous practice. For instance, any device connected to a company’s network should be identifiable and authorized for access. In doing so, their network will instantaneously become safer.
  • Staff Training – A system of security protocols and device update protocols should be established and enforced. We offer a system of reminders and training as part of our service program.

STAYING COMPLIANT

If your work takes you into the healthcare industry, staying compliant with privacy regulations is something you need to understand.

Canada’s federal law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), is a compliance standard that provides patients with the same level of privacy and confidentiality required for in-person visits. It is comparable in many ways to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States. Regardless of what industry you are in, PIPEDA is a good standard to follow when it comes to storage and dissemination of video materials.

Best practices for PIPEDA compliant video conferencing include:

  1. Use encryption and other security precautions such as authentication, access auditing and reporting, well-defined per-user access controls, etc.
  2. Secure prior approval for video transmissions. A video service provider cannot store video transmissions without explicit approval of the client.
  3. Consider a business associate agreement (BAA). Depending on the nature of the service provided, a good safeguard to ensure that there is an unbroken chain of responsibility for any information that may be “touched” by a vendor and/or service provider is to implement a standard agreement that all parties are required to sign.

Whatever sector our clients serve, a comprehensive video conferencing security policy is something they need, even if they are not aware of the need. With input and direction from our team of experts, systems will be more secure, staff will be better educated and security breaches can be prepared for and avoided.

THE TAKEAWAY

Video conferencing enables teams and individuals to connect and collaborate no matter their location. If you’re using video conferencing to discuss sensitive information or business, it’s imperative to ensure the proper security measures are in place.

 

The Importance of Cable Management

No one wants to detangle wires when a problem arises. It simply makes sense to invest in a structured, well-organized cable system from the start.

As audiovisual integrators and technicians, one of our most important responsibilities is addressing cable management, especially when it involves fixing a poorly implemented initial installation. We’ve all experienced the horror of arriving at a client’s business only to discover a rat’s nest of cables, cords, coax, and wiring connected to a poorly designed or maintained server network. We are then forced to immediately address these concerns and offer guidance on how and why the network should be improved to mitigate heat-related server performance issues and lost productivity.

 

Correcting this tangle of cables can be time-consuming upfront, but it will save precious resources and money over the long term. When we discuss cable management solutions with a client, whether it’s a new installation or update to an existing network, we focus on the equipment that will deliver the best access to maintain and modernize the system, adequate cooling to ensure optimum performance and meet the company’s efficiency objectives. Any downtime a client experiences directly translates to lost revenue and needs to be the top priority to address.

 

Cable Rack Management Solutions

According to PACRAD, the top five cable management solutions are horizontal racks, vertical racks, cable hangers and trays, data patch panels and fiber optic patch panels. Each one has a place and purpose within the server room or user platform. Our job as a professional AV integrator is to show our clients how this equipment will benefit their operations and save money over time.

 

Horizonal and Vertical Racks

Horizontal racks are ideal for organizing cables in a server room at the time of the initial installation. While there is an initial investment with lacing bars when opting for horizontal racks, the end result is a neat and professional looking data center which is much more conducive to subsequent maintenance and troubleshooting.

On the other hand, using vertical racks maximize airflow at network stations. Vertical racks also tend to take up less space leaving more room for future network expansion.

For more information about which type of rack is best suited for your system, take a look at Using a Horizontal vs. a Vertical Rack PDU. According to the article’s author, “knowing how to optimize your rack space is a matter of understanding trade-offs and being able to balance your actual requirements with the configuration of your cabinet.”

Note that both horizontal and vertical lacing management allow for bundling using Velcro strips instead of zip ties, which tend to pinch and compress cables. Velcro strips can also be reused or repositioned as needed unlike zip ties. We employ industry best practices of signal separation in racks when bundling cables and make sure to allow sufficient service loop length.

 

Cable Hangers and Trays

Cable hangers are used to organize cabling within racks. These cable hangers can be mounted either on the ceiling or floor and are excellent for organizing long cable runs.

According to the cabletrays.org website, “Per the National Electrical Code, a cable tray system is ‘a unit or assembly of units or sections and associated fittings forming a rigid structural system used to securely fasten or support cables and raceways.’” There are two popular types of trays: perforated trays and solid trays. Perforated trays provide superior air ventilation. Solid cable trays offer superior protection. For more information on cable tray use, check out Understanding Cable Trays by David Herres.

 

Patch Panels

Data patch panels consist of a board with multiple ports to connect network wiring. Using data patch panels is a great solution to label and consolidate cabling to ensure a tidy installation. According to the Firefold’s website, “Troubleshooting problems are [sic] simplified with patch panels since they provide a single location for all input jacks. They’re frequently used in industries that require extensive sound equipment because they work well for connecting a variety of devices…By centralizing cables in one place, patch panels make it easy for network administrators to move, add or change complex network architectures.”

Fiber optic patch panels, also known as termination units, are similar to data patch panels, but are designed specifically for fiber optic cables, according to PACRAD. These panels can accommodate connectors and patch cables. Integrators can easily connect cable fibers through cross connection, test and connect with other network equipment.

 

Rack Organization Matters

In The Art of AV Equipment Rack Design, Mike Tomei, an AV design and management consultant based in central New York and owner of Tomei AV Consulting wrote, “Paying attention to some basic rack design concepts early in the project’s timeline can prevent a handful of issues you’ll have to address in the future… Incorporate a couple internal rack shelves to secure all of your small items like twisted pair transmitters/receivers, distribution amplifiers, scalers, converters, power supplies, etc.” Labeling cables and wires accurately and thoroughly is a must as well as preserving easy access to the rear of all equipment within the rack for troubleshooting and maintenance purposes.

 

Promoting Cable and Wire Management

Effective cable and wire management benefits our clients in several ways. To this end, Cable Management for Server Racks presented by Middle Atlantic Products offers an important tip:

“Installation of cabling systems during building construction or renovation is significantly less expensive and less disruptive than after the building is occupied. The small cost associated with running extra wires for future expansion will save money down the road.”

Power use effectiveness (PUE) is affected by cable management in regard to data center airflow. Many clients simply do not realize that if cable management is improved, cooling unit fan speeds can be reduced and temperature controls increased. By selecting the proper equipment and organizing it to optimize airflow, there is an improvement in the ease of access thereby saving our clients valuable time and money.

 

Disorganized racks make it difficult for our technicians to follow the cable flow and test, install and remove or repair equipment. When you take into account installation and labor costs, a haphazard installation can easily double the cost to the client. It simply makes sense to invest in a structured, well-organized cable system from the start.

 

Case Study: Acoustic Issues Solved at Corporate Office

 

THE PROBLEM: Acoustic Challenges post-Renovation of Corporate Office

Our client, a prominent professional services firm in our region, recently underwent extensive renovations at their main office. From a very aesthetically pleasing and inviting reception area to boardrooms and meeting spaces with expansive harbourfront views, the refreshed interior design, look and feel of the renovated space is modern, impressive and truly cultivates the overall professional image of the firm.

While the visually appealing design elements made the new office space stand out, the use of glass and hard surfaces throughout – typical of today’s modern style offices – presented acoustical and noise control challenges in the public areas near the reception, elevators, and stairwell. Sound traveled freely creating echo and reverberation, and a noticeable distraction for those using the space.

 

THE TREATMENT: Sound Proofing using Acoustic Absorption Panels

After consultation with Backman Vidcom and the firm’s interior designer, the firm’s partners decided on an office sound-proofing plan that incorporated the following:

• More than two dozen 2’x4′ thick beveled sound panels mounted on the walls outside the meeting room areas, nine of which were paintable, and customized to match the décor in that area of the office.

• Over four dozen 2’x4′ thick beveled sound panels, placed on the walls and ceiling throughout the lobby, elevators and stairwell area.

The affected areas required a panel coverage of 15% – an acceptable level of sound absorption determined to make the overall environment acoustically comfortable.

It was not an easy task to determine the location and placement of the tiles as there was a need to work around an already finished space that contained fire suppression sprinklers, lighting fixtures and HVAC vents. Backman Vidcom worked closely with the firm’s interior designer to determine the placement of the panels in a subtle manner that allowed for them to blend in the environment while still achieving the intended technical objectives. It was of critical importance that the project team not compromise the existing interior design and infrastructure associated with the recent renovation.

 

THE RESULTS: Ultimately, the strategically-placed panels complemented the warm and inviting space and created an acoustically optimized office environment that decreased the echo and reverberation in affected areas by at least half.

While honoring the design aesthetics of the finished space and incorporating acoustic absorption at strategic locations, the panels solved the firm’s overall acoustic issues. The partners and staff, who were actively involved throughout the process, noticed a significant improvement throughout the office.

The end result was a lobby area free of noise distraction and offering a comfortable ambience where conversations can take place without any noise interruption or distraction.

In addition to achieving the desired technical outcome, the placement of the sound panels incorporated into the environment seamlessly thus keeping intact the attractive design features associated with the firm’s office renovation.