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AV in Space Planning: A Holistic Approach



AV in Space Planning: A Holistic Approach


Today, more than ever before, users expect their spaces to be both extremely functional and highly interactive. Whether in public spaces, boardrooms, or classrooms, a key component to effectively creating functionality and interactivity lies within the creative design and skilled integration of audio visual (AV) technology. From lobby-based video walls to enterprise-wide digital signage systems, from academic and corporate huddle rooms with the latest in wireless collaboration technology to boardrooms with 4K quality video-conferencing, AV technology has become as important to the user experience as network connectivity and furniture selection. Upon entering a space, the presence of audio visual technology attracts the users’ attention and can be a key component in forming the first impression of that environment. Quite often, it is the integration of the technology in the space that determines whether or not it will help an organization achieve their goals. Therefore, taking a holistic approach to the space planning process by including expert AV design leads to the creation of successful environments.

AV often takes a back seat in the space design process and is only considered after the walls have been constructed and floors have been installed, leading to cost over-runs and project completion delays. To avoid these stumbling blocks within your next project, AV considerations should be included as part of the initial design process.

The true benefits of this holistic approach to space design can be realized within workflow efficiencies, resulting in both cost and time savings. As with any project, the upfront effort required to detail and plan for each and every design/installation component will help to realize these benefits.  This becomes even more critical when incorporating AV technology due to its potentially devastating effects during the project construction phase. Once the wiring is installed under finished floors and behind finished walls, moving AV components can either be extremely difficult or nearly impossible. Without pre-planning the precise calculations involving viewing distances, heights, ADA compliance, and more, the final AV landscape, along with the total space design, budget, and timeline may all suffer.

In the past, it was often common practice for architects, interior designers, and end users to rely upon either AV consultants and/or installation-only AV companies to assist in the design of their spaces. While this approach can work in some cases, today’s elevated importance of AV demands a new strategy. Most AV consultants possess the engineering talent and experience to design a quality audio visual system. However, they often lack the daily hands-on installation or operation experience to make the best recommendations for a user specific solution.  When designing the latest in AV technology to provide high level functionality based on a user’s specific needs, they rely on a product spec sheet rather than real-life experience. AV installation-only companies may have the field experience but often overlook the big picture and overall space objectives to achieve your design goals. The most effective strategy for space design can only be achieved by engaging a firm that combines both the AV design engineering and installation expertise so that there is end-to-end responsibility within one vendor.

IMS Technology Services fully embraces this holistic approach and invites you to experience our comprehensive design/build/maintenance difference with your next project.

 

Article submitted by Louis Stricoff, M. Ed & CTS

 



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