Bridging the Gap Between AV Pros and Architects
The more each side learns about the other, the more likely they are to collaborate on cutting-edge building designs that incorporate the latest technology.
Credit: Joe Scavo
Audiovisual systems help bring buildings to life. A blend of art and science, AV systems are used to communicate with colleagues, entertain audiences, market products, inform and build community, offer security, and create ambience. And everyone who enters a room brings his or her communications needs and expectations for AV. Therefore, it's important to recognize the audio, visual, and interactive requirements of a space early in the design process to enhance both the aesthetics and the end-user experience.
For architects, this may require choosing or adjusting room dimensions, ceiling heights, or lighting levels to provide good sight lines and acoustics for every seat in the room. It may include audio controls, videoconferencing capabilities, or climate-controlled storage to accommodate equipment.
With so much to learn and consider, InfoComm International created an outreach program addressed to the architectural community. The goal has been to help explain the intersection of the architectural, building, and audiovisual disciplines and provide information on how architects can hire qualified AV companies and involve those companies earlier in the design process.
As part of the program, InfoComm offers prerecorded webinars, white papers on trends in AV design, in-person "Lunch & Tours" in which architects can visit facilities that feature the best in design and AV, and more. Many of these resources can be found online at ctsforav.com. The site also includes a directory that architects can use to find audiovisual companies with Certified Technology Specialists (CTS) on staff. The CTS credential is the only audiovisual certification that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
In addition, InfoComm is dedicated to educating the AV community about how to work with architects. We've produced papers, webinars, and classes on issues relating to building information modeling, integrated project delivery, and more.
At InfoComm 2011 in Orlando, Fla., June 11–17, we will offer classes on topics that are important to both architects and AV professionals. In fact, the following classes are also worth American Institute of Architects Learning Units (LUs):
- Acoustics in Architecture (2 LUs)
- Lighting for Videoconferencing Spaces; New Standard (1.5 LUs)
- Implementing Building Information Modeling (2 LUs)
- Conference Room Design Tutorial (1.5 LUs)
- Integrating with the Architectural Package (2 LUs)
- Aesthetics and Performance Strategies (2 LUs)
- Presence in Digital Communications (1.5 LUs)
- Network-Centric Medical Simulation Environments (1.5 LUs)
It's our hope that by developing an AV workforce that's more knowledgeable about architects' needs and how their business is changing, we'll build more productive partnerships.
Randal A. Lemke is the executive director and CEO of InfoComm International.