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The Buzz: Install of the Month

Aug 1, 2005 12:00 PM, By Trevor Boyer

Givens Estates Asheville, N.C.


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The multipurpose room in Givens Estates’ Oxford Commons building houses various special events with the help of multiple Atlas and EAW speakers, Crown amplifiers, Shure microphones, a 3M projector, a Draper screen, and Symetrix SymNet Express digital signal processors.

Assisted Audio

Assisted-living facilities are a burgeoning alternative to nursing homes for elderly people who need some type of daily care. The facilities, such as Givens Estates in Asheville, N.C., attract seniors who want to avoid the hospital environment of nursing homes. Today, more than 1 million seniors reside in assisted-living facilities, and the number is growing rapidly.

Givens Estates is an upscale example of an assisted-living facility, with 120 “cottages” on its campus for seniors who are relatively independent, as well as three main buildings for traditional assisted living and hospital care. It's no surprise that when Givens was designing its new building, it hired a professional AV integrator.

The recently completed Oxford Commons building features a multipurpose room, which hosts a variety of events and presentations such as stage productions and visits from church groups. Givens Estates also wanted to pump music into the new dining area. Digital Systems Integration (DSI) of Charlotte, N.C., was hired to complete the AV systems for these rooms and to design and install the cable television infrastructure.

Robert Swiger, director of sales and principal of Digital Systems Integration, says that the cable system required a complex design because of the number of amplifiers that would need to be involved. Oxford Commons needed to be able to distribute an HD signal throughout the common areas and its 139 residential units. DSI ended up installing a dual backbone to accommodate expanded services. Givens Estates has yet to pick between Dish Network and DirecTV for television service.

In designing the audio system for the dining hall, DSI divided it into six audio zones for separate volume control. XM Satellite Radio is pumped in through Atlas Sound FAP62T in-ceiling speakers. DSI specified more than 100 of the ceiling speakers throughout the multipurpose room and dining hall.

In the multipurpose room, Swiger's team also installed a loudspeaker system that uses two EAW MK5196e 15in. two-way speakers, two EAW VRM12 12in. coax floor monitors, and a dedicated Crown amplifier for each speaker. For digital signal processing, Digital Systems Integration chose a Symetrix SymNet Express 12×4 Cobra and an Express 4×12 Cobra. Shure wireless microphone systems were chosen as well.

For video presentations in the room, there's an XGA-resolution 3M X80 LCD projector that sends images to a Draper 15ft. motorized screen. For control, a Crestron touchpanel system, which DSI configured, controls the AV for Oxford Commons — one pad each for the dining room and the multipurpose room. The Crestron system triggers the Extron presentation switcher in the multipurpose room, and the panels also control the lighting in the room and the dining hall. Because the primary users of the systems are Givens Estates employees who aren't necessarily tech-savvy, DSI tried to design the Crestron interface as simply as possible. They also trained the staff on the AV systems.

Digital Systems Integration also designed an “AV room,” essentially a rack room, to serve both the dining hall and the multipurpose room. Middle Atlantic racks hold the five-disc CD players and DSP systems that send audio to six zones of the dining hall, in addition to the other rackmounted hardware that serves Oxford Commons.

DSI also specified 100 Listen Technologies assisted-listening FM devices to be available for use in the multipurpose room. As with any senior community, many of the Givens Estates residents are hard of hearing, so the company specified a number that would serve up to about 50 percent of the audience in the room.


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