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Installation Profile: LEEDing the Way

May 13, 2009 3:39 PM, By Dan Daley

The Bank of America Tower in New York pursues LEED certification with keen system design and integration.

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Bank of America Tower in New York City

Understanding that AV systems in such large buildings are often left on after use, CMS engineers devised an energy-efficient control system. During work hours, it’s programmed to put systems to sleep if it does not detect use within 2 hours. At night, that goes to 30-minute increments.

The MMR is a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. Live presentations are made from a lectern on a dais in the front, center of the 125-seat room. Presenters are on a basketball-style shot clock located at the rear of the room that enforces 2-minute presentation limits. Those limits give other sources a piece of the precious hour or so that such morning gatherings usually take. Data and live video and audio stream in continuously from London, BOA’s Charlotte-based Knowledge Channel, and elsewhere. This data is displayed on the two Stewart Filmscreen 135in. (diagonal) 16:9 rear-projection screens lit up by Panasonic PT-DW5000U rear-projection systems. This information is carried over/hosted by Level 3 Communications’ Vyvx fiber-optic system.

Presentations are recorded (and can be used for potential webcasts) using a Sonic Foundry Mediasite RL440 rich-media recorder with a 120GB hard drive. Prerecorded video is played back from a 1080p Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray/DVD player, while audio is heard through JBL Control 26 CT loudspeakers soffited in the ceiling and powered by 34 Crown D75A amplifiers; wireless audio is via a Sennheiser wireless IR SZI series listening system and wireless Shure ULX Professional series microphones.

Bank of America Tower in New York City

In an adjacent control room, engineers switch video, graphics, and audio on an AMX Modula and Precis series maxtrix switchers that route ultrawideband RGBHV and stereo audio signals. (Audio is done in an LCR configuration with stereo program material and the speaker’s microphone in the center channel.) Meeting attendees can also interact using the Taiden HCS-MC/05 digital discussion system —a legislative-type microphone matrix with microphones at each seat and its own CPU that limits the number of Taiden HCS-4341b flush-mount, push-to-talk mini boundary conference microphones that can be on at any one time.

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There are also fiber tie lines for connectivity between key AV spaces, including the auditorium and MMRs, and trading-floor press cameras and the broadcast studio. From the studio, content can be fed via fiber to the Cat-5 headend for further inhouse distribution or via a Vyvx encoder for distribution to outside networks. Satellite TV and inhouse channels are distributed throughout the building. A coax backbone spans the north and south vertical risers of 51 floors, and crossover switching allows for redundant backup. At each floor, the coax is tapped to feed a series of Cat-5 distribution hubs that are cross-connected to the structured cabling network. Once at its destination, the Cat-5 drop passes through a balun, converting back to coax for feed to the room’s TV tuner.

The new Bank of America Tower offers some welcome consolation for the times it arrives in. The millions some estimate the building’s green technologies will shave off of operating costs won’t make a dent in the national debt, but it does point the way toward more effective use of energy on the skyscraper scale, and that’s a return on investment any banker can appreciate.

Wired Theater

As sleek, new, and green as the Bank of America Tower is, it has a bit of history tucked into it. Preserving and restoring the 50,000-square-foot Henry Miller’s Theater on West 43rd Street was part of the project’s real-estate proposition. It sits like an antique cornerstone enveloped by the rest of the more recent building. It’s not part of the building proper, but it is now connected to BOA by strands of coaxial, triaxial, and fiber cabling. Left dark for now, it’s ready to be animated if the bank needs the space for a presentation. —D.D.

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