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InfoComm Goes Solo on Green Ratings

Having met a roadblock in getting AV recognized by LEED, InfoComm is announcing work on its own sustainability rating system for AV and electronic systems.

A priority of InfoComm’s Green AV Task Force since its inception in 2009 was to work with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to include provisions for energy-efficient or sustainable AV systems in the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings. First, green AV proponents tried to make it so efficient AV systems could qualify for LEED’s innovation credits. Then they set their sights on the new LEED pilot credit program, which the USGBC set up so organizations such as InfoComm could work with the green building community to test and refine requirements outside the normal LEED process before submitting credits for possible inclusion. However, AV was not among the pilot credits chosen for the program.

As a result, InfoComm decided to blaze its own trail. At the InfoComm 2010 trade show in Las Vegas, the organization is announcing work on its own sustainability rating system for AV and electronic systems.

“The InfoComm Board of Directors decided to de-emphasize the association’s pursuit of LEED innovation points for green AV and instead create our own AV sustainability rating system,” Betsy Jaffe, InfoComm’s director of public relations, told Pro AV prior to the show. “While a lot of good work was performed [by the task force], the group was unable to meet its mandate because there was and is no generally accepted definition of a green AV system, and there is no clear way to measure or compare a ‘green AV’ installation against a standard ‘non-green AV’ system.

Striving to Make Progress

InfoComm explained that the original Green AV Task Force has been disbanded after working for roughly a year to help define green AV and lobby its importance to the USGBC and others. The task force played a key role in launching development of InfoComm’s Audiovisual Systems Energy Management Performance Standard (for more, see Green AV: From the Ground Up).

Today, many from the Green AV Task Force are leading the new AV Sustainability Task Force in coming up with a framework for the industry’s rating system. In a hint at what InfoComm considers green AV, the group has been charged with including both energy consumption and sustainable materials when creating sustainability ratings in an effort, InfoComm said, to make the program as comprehensive as possible.

“Our framework seeks to learn from and complement LEED, which focuses on the shell and core of a building, by adding a rating system for the electronic systems that work within that shell and core,” Jaffe added. “The system, now in draft form, invites participation throughout a project—from the AV program phase through occupancy—and from the entire AV value chain. Now, AV manufacturers will have a place where their green products, shipping practices, and facilities can count for something. Consultants, integrators, and software programmers will collaborate to share responsibility in the planning, design, integration, and programming of systems to minimize energy consumption while still promoting AV quality. Purchasers of AV goods and services will have a clear way to specify their sustainability goals and measure the ROI of their sustainable AV investments.”

InfoComm will present a framework of the rating system at a free session Friday, June 11, at 10:30 a.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N252.


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