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Expert Viewpoint: The Green Push

May 12, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jon Melchin

How AV can improve sustainable design

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Green AV Summit

In October 2008, a group of InfoComm International members convened at a LEED Certified Platinum facility in Atlanta that is the headquarters of Southface, a nonprofit organization that provides sound environmental education and outreach programs that promote sustainable practices. In the daylong meeting, the group discussed the current and future position of the audiovisual industry in the green movement. The Green AV Summit members considered various ways the AV industry can contribute to a sustainable future and generated ideas on how to get there. The group identified five areas where the AV industry can contribute:

  1. Lighting control and devices: how AV control technologies affect more sustainable instruments
  2. Energy Star/energy-consumption information: how AV products can become Energy Star-compliant and consume less energy
  3. Green processes and products: how AV companies can incorporate processes that recover waste, recycle products, and use fewer virgin materials
  4. Videoconferencing: how AV can deploy a variety of conferencing technologies as alternative transportation
  5. Digital signage: how AV, through digital signage, can reduce the use of unrecyclable materials while increasing the impact of the intended message.

These five areas of the explanatory examples are essentially the foundation of the green AV movement and will be used to develop a body of green AV knowledge and best practices. Other initiatives were discussed to use this body of knowledge for the creation of educational and advocacy programs to encourage InfoComm members, the industry, and the industry’s customers to adopt green AV practices. Engagement with the USGBC was also planned. A Green AV Task Force was established from the members of the Green AV Summit meeting.

The Green AV Task Force includes me and the following industry professionals: Randal Lemke, Shana Rieger, and Duffy Wilbert of InfoComm; Scott Walker of Waveguide Consulting; Byron Tarry of AVW-TELAV; Brian Huff of ; Peter Pekurar and Mitch Rosenberg of Christie Digital Systems; Paul Depperschmidt of Polycom; Midori Connolly of Pulse Staging and Events; Elizabeth Taaffe of Sonic Foundry; Jay Rogina of Spinitar; Mark Valenti of The Sextant Group; Barbara Brandt of Emory University; and Kirk Muffley of the Whitlock Group.

Jon Melchin is a member of InfoComm International’s Green AV Task Force and is an advocate of green building practices. He has developed marketing programs and sales strategies to promote AV products for specification within the architectural and design communities, and he frequently contributes editorial material to publications that serve the audiovisual and construction industries. He can be reached at

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