SoundVision

Why Technology Should be Included in the Construction Plan

Strategic planning and implementation of AV & IT will help your business realize the best possible outcomes. 

In today’s hyper-competitive market, AV & IT technologies and infrastructure play an increasingly important role in our day-to-day operations. Businesses depend on technologies to collaborate and communicate with both their customers and internal teams. Technologies integrate our various disparate systems to work as one and connect us to the ever-important Internet of Things (IoT). They gather data, and then help us disseminate and act upon it, making our technologies even more effective. They are integral to our daily workflow and operations and key to our business strategy and success.  So why are they so often overlooked in the design and planning phase of a project?

The purpose of your AV/IT systems is to create a collaborative environment enabling effective, productive meetings for fast, informed decision-making. To maximize its potential, it must be easy-to-use and provide the right mix of technologies along with simple connectivity to those technologies. It will likely include a collaborative platform with wireless connectivity, an interactive display or projection system, an intuitive touchscreen for room scheduling and meeting control, access to power and to the internet. Depending on technology considerations made at the onset of the room’s design, the outcome of this space can be remarkably different.

Aesthetic Integration & Ergonomic Design 

Successful design outcomes begin with the user, focusing on their comfort and accessibility to the room’s features. Users should be able to sit at a conference table, conveniently plug in to a power source, connect to the room’s collaborative devices, easily start a meeting and comfortably view the shared content. Without proper planning however, users may have power cords strewn across pathways to access outlets (a tripping hazard!), fumble to connect to the room’s technologies and struggle to view displayed content due to improper screen size or placement. By determining proper placement in the design phase, infrastructure, power, display or projector and screen and touch panels can be properly located and aesthetically incorporated into the space. This phase also presents an ideal opportunity to review technology strategies and plan connectivity for future growth.

Not only will planning at this phase produce the most comfortable and visually appealingly results, promoting adoption of the technologies, but will provide the best options available while saving potentially costly retrofits and change orders. For example, based on the room’s size and desired projection area, the projector would need to be positioned 12 feet from the screen. If that calculation is not factored in at the onset of the project and a custom, coffered ceiling is designed that dictates the projector be relocated a few feet in either direction, either the size of the viewing area will be compromised, or a specialized lens may be required to accommodate the change, potentially adding cost to the project. Either result is not optimal for the client.

Technology and Interior Design Pros in Partnership

Working in partnership with design professionals for equipment placement, integrated motorized shades, lighting and room control allows for sleek, custom design possibilities. Rather than a fixed installation, for example, the projector may be elegantly incorporated into the ceiling design, extending from a cleverly hidden, automated lift. The screen may also descend from a concealed pocket in the soffit and A/V components may be stowed in a custom built-in credenza or, if conduit has been provided, located outside of the room.  Similarly, power and device connectivity can be offered via built-in table pop-ups, if floor boxes have been made available at the table base. Another critical factor in a project’s success is its installation timeline. A pro will manage the project throughout its lifecycle, coordinating wiring and technology integration with adjacent trades and communicating and resolving any issues that may arise.

Proper planning and coordination with design and technology integration professionals from the project’s inception helps keep the budget and schedule on track while delivering the best possible technology and aesthetic outcomes. Ready to start planning your next project and formulate your technology strategies for 2018 and years to come? Call today and let’s get started!