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The Nuts and Bolts of a Green AV Installation, Part 2

May 3, 2010 11:38 AM, By Bennett Liles

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Well, at least in those particular situations you don’t have that many different people trying to use the system. The only thing that bothers me about those, and I deal with a lot of VGA cables working AV on a university campus, these things really take a beating sometimes. I wish somebody would come up with something like titanium pins on these things. I would corner the market on those, but your installation was obviously a much less brutal environment for those. So have they come up with some sort of central control point for all the AV systems? I think I read they were using Crestron's RoomView application to coordinate monitoring and control.
DeZess: Yeah, we had worked with them to ensure that they had the proper capacity in their servers to load on the Crestron RoomView software and that ties into centralized scheduling that can be operated to automatically schedule rooms and make sure the rooms are turned off, things of that nature. [Timestamp: 7:35]

Who does that for them? I mean, is it inhouse or do you guys get a call or something?
DeZess: They do it inhouse. They do all the management and scheduling of that within their organization. I believe they have a couple of points in their facility where they can do that. [Timestamp: 7:50]

Well that’s a real nice application. I use that every day myself, and really once you get up into a certain scale of things, it’s almost impossible to keep up with it if you don’t have an application like that. It sure saves on shoe leather.
DeZess: Yeah. Their facility stretches over two floors. So having rooms where they’re not directly within close walking distance, it really cuts down on the clients time needed to make sure their systems are maintained and operated properly. [Timestamp: 8:19]

Did you guys put some stuff in some of those rooms in credenzas and things like that?
DeZess: They had some built in cabinetry in the rooms, and we were into some more of those hidden unexpected areas while trying to integrate our racks into those … through the process of design and everything as most integrators do when you’re working with built in cabinetry—you check the specs and you expect certain things out of cabinets. But with this being a LEED-certified building and all, the concept of material reduction found its way even into the installed cabinetry, so where you would normally expect a certain depth to be able to put a rack into, we found that we were 2in. or 3in. short and had to do some custom modification to get our Middle Atlantic racks to properly fit within the provided space. It’s definitely a surprise to the installer when they expect the equipment to fit all the way in and it actually sticks out an extra inch or two. [Timestamp:9.18]

Amazing what transpires between the brilliant concept and when the nuts and bolts and wood starts being cut and things like that—all the little gremlins that pop out. In all this kind of work, have you had the occasion or the opportunity to incorporate any sort of energy monitoring equipment for installations like this?
DeZess: It’s something that we’re definitely looking into on how we would approach energy monitoring and put it together in such a way that we’re providing our clients with an accurate picture of energy usage or energy savings, but we have not done that as of yet because we want to make sure that when were doing it, we’re doing it in a way that’s both consistent and accurate with current standards for monitoring energy usage and savings. As system integrators, even though there’s not currently industry standards on how to monitor power and how to present that information to our customers, we really have the ability to be creative and to come up with ways to do that so that our customers are getting the most of value from us as service providers. So I think it’s definitely something that our shows of system integrators are looking at and other system integrators definitely have a huge amount of space to work within to provide those services. [Ttimestamp:10:40]

Well I would think that equipment like this would very soon get to be a growth industry because obviously energy isn’t going to be getting any cheaper any time soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see outfits like Crestron maybe incorporate more features dealing with energy use into RoomView and maybe other applications. So did you get a chance to talk with the users on this system? I mean, what’s been their reaction so far since they’ve had a chance to use it?
Childers: The clients seemed very pleased with the system. We haven’t had any complaints or anything go wrong with it after the install, so they seem very happy with it. [Timestamp: 11:16]

All right, well, it was obviously sort of a new challenge working with more strict guidelines for energy savings, but I’d say you’re kind of breaking new ground with it because it’s a growing movement. It was the U.S. Green Building Council headquarters and the installer is Audio Video Systems and Mark Morrison, Patrick DeZess, and Allan Childers. It’s been great having you with me here on the Corporate AV podcast.
Morrison: Thank you very much.
DeZess: Thank you.
Childers: Thank you.

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