SoundVision

How Design Changes Affect Audio Visual Placement

It was a perfectly designed AV System for your meeting space. At the touch of a single button a state-of-the-art laser projector would quietly drop from a disguised ceiling tile via a scissor-lift. It would display content optimally-scaled to meet the viewing requirements of the room’s occupants throughout the collaborative space. The equipment order had been placed and the trades were scheduled. And then, deep into the project; a request was made to change a prominent light fixture and consequently, its location. Its new position places it directly in front of the projector.  It may not sound like a serious issue but repositioning the projector may require a specialized short or long-throw lens be added or a longer scissor-lift be specified. The electrical drop may also need to be relocated along with moving any other affected ceiling features. Audio visual systems are an integral part of room design and changes to a room’s walls, ceiling, flooring, lighting or furnishings may have a ripple effect that could result in costly change orders and extend your project’s timeline.

Collaborative video conferencing-enabled spaces will feature either a flat panel display, videowall or projection system, along with microphones, speakers, AV equipment and room control device(s). These elements are an engineered system, each with precise locations carefully documented. If, for example, a change is made replacing the specified 2-pedestal conference room table with a longer 3-pedestal table, additional in-ceiling speakers or microphones may be required. Placement of these components may likely affect other ceiling features including fire sprinklers, HVAC, occupancy sensors and lighting fixtures. Switching from 2 to 3 pedestals changes the locations of the floor boxes for power and connectivity. While these issues can be resolved through redesign and coordination with other trades, clearly they will impact the project’s timeline and budget.

Change orders happen and for a variety of reasons. Furniture that was specified months earlier may have been discontinued or the designer or client may have requested a change.  Regardless of the circumstances, collaboration among stakeholders at the onset of change is the key to successful project outcomes.