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Importance of AV Integration In The Early Stages of Design

Mon 19, March 2018   AV News

More businesses are incorporating AV systems in their buildings. It is one of the contributors to the growth of the global display market which is forecasted to be worth around $169 billion by 2022. As a result, AV design is no longer an afterthought.

Architects and project managers are considering integration in the starting stages of interior and structural design. Early AV integration is resulting in better aesthetics, performance, and cost-savings.

AV Integration Considerations

AV is relatively new in the architectural design plane compared to other disciplines like HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc. AV electronics started to show up in modern buildings in the 70s and 80s. And the technology in this space is changing rapidly.

Initially, the design of audio-visual components wasn’t even part of the architectural consideration. As more and more meeting rooms, schools, airports, stadiums, and hospitals started to use displays and audio systems, building designers began to pay attention to the challenges of AV design.

AV considerations are distinctive from other architectural components. HVAC, electrical equipment or plumbing require attention to space and ductwork design, but they don’t dictate the look and feel of a room. AV has a direct effect on the aesthetics of the architecture. Also, trying to retrofit audio-visual equipment into a room is expensive. So it's important to incorporate AV integration in the early part of the structural design.

Early AV Integration

Of course, early AV integration requires proactive steps. Here are some things to consider:

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For a good AV design, engineers need to take into account the physical, cooling, and power constraints of the audio-visual systems. Generally, construction firms don’t have in-house expertise in this area. Architects should collaborate with AV consultants to get advice and direction. AV consultants can help incorporate necessary design decisions into the overall plan to lower costs of installation, increase the efficiency of the systems, and provide a framework for better aesthetics.

Better Customization from Manufacturers
Businesses often buy prepackaged AV solutions. But depending on the scope of the project, they can request customization. Good manufacturers are willing to design displays and audio systems to meet the needs of their clients. Bringing the manufacturers early into the design phase can help businesses create unique solutions. But it’s harder to implement these ideas after construction. Even if your manufacturer can create curved video-walls or in-wall acoustic sound systems, it's going to be challenging to put them into your structure. So early AV integration can provide more options and flexibility.

Avoiding Expensive Retrofitting
Retrofitting AV equipment often means structural reconstruction and reorientation. It’s a lot more expensive to change a structure than a design. Often retrofitting can result in totally unwanted consequences. Your rooms can start getting into weird shapes. Overall, the whole process can lead to expensive chaos. So it’s just better to put AV design efforts at the beginning of the project.

In Conclusion

Today businesses and consumers want cutting-edge AV systems that make their premises look good. Only proactive design decisions can lead to desired results. So your architects, consultants, manufacturers and interior designers need to work together for better AV integration from the early stages of the project