How Architects can benefit from cooperating with AV integrators?2021 | february
Both architects and AV integrators have one main goal in their work – client’s satisfaction. In order to achieve this goal, cooperation of all parties in the project and coordination of activities is necessary. During one of the industry conferences, an architect Danny Forster spoke about this matter. He gained his experience whilst working on projects such as Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in World Trade Center Area in New York, modular hotel Manhattan AC Hotel by Marriott in New York and Ethnography Museum in Budapest.
According to Forster, many designers do not know the AV integrator’s exact area of expertise. Until the architects understand what AV companies do, they will not see their true value as a technology partner and they might not be likely to invite them to collaboration in the early stages of design process.
The role that the technology plays in buildings these days is very different to what it was in previous years. This shift requires a new understanding and reconstruction of the relationship between architects and AV integrators, as AV system implementation is no longer about installing a few single devices and hiding cables esthetically. Technologies of today are more and more complicated, and integrated with each other. They need to fulfill many requirements to help organisations adjust to even more demanding environment. Organisations invest in integrated AV solutions which change the way of working, improve communication, and help them stand out in the market.
With such a change in technology and current client’s approach to AV systems, all space design activities must involve the AV integrator in a very early stage of the process. Architect’s conversations with the technology partner can’t be delayed to last minute.
Forster mentioned a number of arguments confirming the necessity for architect-AV integrator cooperation. For example, the type of artificial lighting and access to natural daylight will impact not only the quality of the image displayed in the room, but also on the way how presenting individuals look on the camera during the videoconference. An amount of glass in the room changes the acoustics of the space, which impacts the quality of sound during the call. The size of the space determines the dimensions of the screen, which also means the weight of the device – this then impacts on the required strength of the walls it will be mounted on. In such cases the AV integrator should issue a number of guidelines for architects and cooperating professionals.
Designing interior space is not only about what is visible. The design of audiovisual systems includes wiring and devices necessary for appropriate operation of the infrastructure, which are hidden in the server rooms and suspended ceilings or mounted on the floor. This is why it is important that there is coordination of the architectural, electrical and tele-technical areas, as well as air-conditioning and ventilation. Furthermore, audiovisual systems now are closely connected with IT infrastructure as well.
The conclusion of Forster’s statement, backed by our long-standing experience in the industry, is that the design guidelines issued by the AV integrator help to avoid problems in the installation stage and implementation. They also ensure an efficient operation of the installed systems, which finally translates into client’s satisfaction. By collaborating with each other, architects and AV integrators can create functional modern office spaces. Forster also emphasises that architects are not AV specialists and they will gladly consider advice from engineers more experienced in this area. However, he points out, that he likes working with integrators who aim not at their own auto-promotion or sales, but focus on help, support and consultation, in order to design the most effective space.
This is exactly how A+V thinks of cooperation and we are inviting architects to collaborate with us on the joint projects.