AV is Dead. Long Live AV. Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP “Here lies Scott Walker, designer of slightly above-average AV systems.” A funny thing happens as we hit middle age. We begin to contemplate our own mortality and wonder what our tombstone might someday say. A few years back I came to the stark conclusion the above epitaph just wasn’t going to cut it for me. Yes, life is a lot more than our day jobs –family, friends, community, etc — but we spend a frightening amount of time at work. My AV life had to be more than pointing a projector at a screen and then, worse, seeing the whole mess end up in a landfill where it will long outlive my mortal coil. There had to be something more. For me, sustainability is that thing. Fortunately, sustainability is not a tough reach for me. It’s not about sainthood or even polar bears; it’s a simple idea of leaving a place better than you found it, and if some polar bears benefit along the way, that’s a bonus. Since I was a kid, there has always been this little engineer in me that just hated waste. Waste just felt so… unintelligent. So the high-efficiency, low- or zero-waste side of sustainability resonates with me. And in my green quest I found that I was not alone. There is a portion of the population for whom an uninhabited lighted room can drive us to distraction. Call it a virtuous affliction. So for the past four years I have thrown myself at this question of how to turn our seemingly unsustainable industry into being the very model of sustainability. Many nights I go to sleep thinking about the GreenAV dilemma: If the world is moving at a breakneck pace toward sustainability — and it is — and that same world perceives AV as an energy-consuming “nice to have,” how do we survive this transition to a green economy? Maybe, just maybe, we have all the tools we need. We have a passionate workforce in an innovative industry. We’ve been controlling building systems for years like it is second nature to us. If we’re waiting for permission from the construction industry to be the intelligent building and sustainable technology guys, let’s just grant ourselves that permission and move on. Time’s a wasting. However, in truth, I still wake up every day trying to figure out how to make Waveguide Consulting, the company I co-founded 14 years ago, into the best AV consultancy in the world, green or not. Let’s face it; in 2010, GreenAV doesn’t pay the bills… yet. Yes, we’ve won projects due to our position at the forefront of the GreenAV movement, and, yes, we continue to make our solutions more aligned with the sustainability wave sweeping across the planet, but most days, delivering above average AV solutions is enough of a battle. But there’s another side of sustainability that brings it all home for me: that of a sustainable business/industry. I have three sons age 10, 13, and 17. I start paying for college next year and will continue to do so for the next 12 years or more. I’d like for there to BE an AV industry over the next dozen years, thank you very much, so I don’t have to change careers and industries midlife. It’s quite possible I’m the most selfish guy in the AV industry, i.e., virtuous affliction meets need for capital. Or, perhaps like many of you, I see the writing on the wall: What was hard about AV 10 years ago has become easy. What’s hard today will become child’s play over the next decade. If we become a commodity, most of us are done. We have to go where the work is hard, the challenges are big, and the value is high. For me, all roads lead to sustainability. I hope my job IS radically different in 10 years; I just hope this industry, where I have spent the past 21 years of my life, is the one that gets me there. In the months ahead I will explore how we can make that transition, and I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you. Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED® AP, is president and CEO of Waveguide Consulting, a national AV, IT and acoustical consulting firm. Scott is a past president of InfoComm International, and he currently chairs InfoComm’s AV Sustainability Task Force, which is responsible for developing the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEPSM) rating system. Scott can be reached at email@example.com.
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What Could Be By Midori Connolly I’m a mommy. Coleman is six and Molly is two, going on three. If you’re a parent, then you probably know what happens towards the latter end of that second year. If you’re not a parent, then you’ve at least gone through the experience yourself (hopefully). Subterfuge aside, I’m referring to the phenomenon commonly known as potty training. In this enlightened age, experts have wisely advised parents to use positive reinforcement and illustrate for a child the ultimate, final reward of being a “big kid.” As we just completed Molly’s two weeks of training, I witnessed in the simplest way how powerful it is to have a positive goal to work for. With a clear vision of a desired outcome and small incentives along the way, we can drastically alter even our most basic biological behavior! I know what you’re thinking: Green AV and potty training… really? But consider this. How many of you live in fear that your planet is going to be uninhabitable in fifty years, that your current business model will not survive the next five years and that your child could be the one in four to suffer from asthma due to decreasing air quality? Does this motivate you to ride your bicycle home from work today or purchase organic produce from the farmer’s market this weekend? Probably not. But does it feel quite familiar, this ugly picture of what could be coming and why we need to change our behaviors? I’m willing to guess the answer is yes. For far too long now, this is how experts and marketing pros have communicated about sustainability. Our initial adrenaline shot had us grasping at floating trends. After trying this green product, or that green business practice, we reached a place of inertia. Ever hear of the phrase, “paralyzed with fear?” Obviously what’s needed now is some of that potty training advice; it’s time to formulate a clear picture of what we’re all working towards. Now is the time for the scientific reports that will help us understand what our good, green behavior will produce. As an example: I live in San Diego County. From the time I was a child, our San Diego River has been a polluted mess that wasn’t suitable for fishing, swimming or anything but carrying waste water through our Valley out to the ocean. I’m sure there are studies that could show me in ten years how many more species will die or how much sicker we could all become from our continued farming practices. But, and here is the key point — be ready for it — where are the studies to show me what a positive outcome could be? What if we had a study that said that if we were to shift 80 percent of all local farming to organic farming methods by 2030 then by 2050 we could once again swim and fish in our city’s largest river? That’s almost as exciting as life without diapers, eh? Hopefully you’re seeing my point. While this inaugural column was a lot less about AV and a lot more about Green, I wanted to take this chance to set the tone for what you can expect from me. We will be looking at the successful sustainability stories of some organizations in our industry, and maybe examining opportunities for change in others. I emphasize that this will be a positive place for the open sharing ideas, for having fun and working together to formulate a that positive picture of what could be… always upward, always progressing. And, I always welcome your feedback, as long… as it’s good. Ha! Just kidding. Midori Connolly is CEO and Chief AVGirl of Pulse Staging & Events, Inc. in Escondido, California. She wrote the first-ever set of Sustainable Staging guidelines after discovering none existed. She is the vice-chair of the AV committee for the U.S. EPA’s Green Meetings Standards and regularly speaks and writes about corporate social responsibility and green practices in live events and meeting planning. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lutron: Dominating GreenAV Lighting Control Did you know that lighting can account for up to 20 percent of a household’s yearly electricity usage, and up to 40 percent a year commercially? Well, according to Lutron, that’s the case! While it’s true that all dimmers save energy, that’s just the beginning of “green” lighting design. Lutron has also developed an extensive collection of eco-friendly light controls, systems and window solutions for any project, big or small, and they give you very simple and effective ways to demonstrating it to a potential client as well as a guaranteed way of proving at least a 15 percent energy cost savings in the first year! How? Well, it all started with the fact that their eco-friendly dimmers limit the maximum light output of an electrical light system at 85 percent – so instead of the all-on mode being 100 percent power, it’s limited to 85 percent. Ingenious. It’s unlikely many people would notice a difference in any home or business and it guarantees a 15 percent savings in electricity – as far as lighting goes. We don’t mean to be tooting the Lutron horn – but, truth is, they are leading the way in lighting control and will likely be contending for InfoComm’s 2011 Green AV Award. You can read all about what Lutron is doing with GreenAV here: http://www.lutron.com/Experience-Light-Control/Lutron/Pages/SaveEnergy.aspx Oh, and by the way, they have a really cool online Energy Savings Calculator you can use (a separate one for ProAV and HomeAV dealers) to calculate the energy you’ll save with each step: http://www.lutron.com/Education-Training/Tools/Pages/EnergySavingCalc.aspx
Crestron’s Go Green Initiative Aims to Help Integrators Program Eco-Friendly Systems Started in 2006, Crestron’s Green initiative is interesting as it morphed into a program that’s educating programmers on how to design and program better eco-friendly systems. They do this with two green-oriented features:
- Eco-Manor: This is a programming tool that is used to educate homeowners, homebuilders and integrators on how to be green. It monitors systems such as electricity, geo-thermal energy, and water, and also displaying current energy usage, energy and water flows, total consumption, money spent and return on investment figures in real-time on a touch panel.
- GreenLight: GreenLight is basically a fancy way of saying that their control systems can provide environmental management and control to conserve energy and lower costs.
Is Christie the “Greenest” AV Manufacturer in the World? Well, InfoComm thinks so — they handed over their inaugural GreenAV Award while specifically recognizing Christie’s commitment to social responsibility, sustainability and the environment. This isn’t just hype. Having heard that Christie was going to receive this award, rAVe traveled up to Canada to see for ourselves exactly what Christie was doing that was so green. Here’s what we learned and what stands out:
- Their factory in Canada has an 82 percent waste diversion rate. That means that 82 percent of what is brought into the factory is recycled when it leaves. Wow! Think about all the stuff you bring in — not just the AV gear, but also your lunches, your morning coffee, the spec sheets you print out, etc. Does it all get recycled? Could you even recycle 82 percent of it?
- They have also established an e-waste recycling program to ensure that all of their electronic waste is diverted from landfill and is recycled and disposed of properly — and even accept batteries and compact fluorescent light bulbs from employees’ homes.
- They are internationally recognized as an ISO 14001 manufacturer – that means they: –can identify and control the environmental impact of ALL company activities, products and services –continually improve environmental performance (in fact, they told rAVe they are shooting for a 90 percent waste diversion rate) –have implemented a systematic approach to achieving environmental objectives and everyone in the company is aware of what they need to do to participate. –You can read the entire ISO 14001 standard here: http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/management_standards/iso_9000_iso_14000/iso_14000_essentials.htm
- They have designed products that among the best at generating the highest lumen per watt average for every product.
- Production workers have moved to a standard four-day workweek, working the same hours but able to skip one full day of commuting to work, as well as enjoying longer weekends. Hmm, want to work there???
- They actually reduced the electrical consumption of their facility by almost 14 percent in just the first year of their GreenAV initiative.
- They have regularly scheduled employee-training sessions to explain how everyone can participate in making Christie even “greener.”
- Won Canada’s 2010 Greenest Employer Award
Extron Sets the Bar for AV Manufacturers to Attain in GreenAV Everyone’s probably familiar with UL and their certification of power supplies in electronics gear in the USA. No dealer would buy or integrate non-UL certified AV gear, would they? Why would they want the liability of not installing a UL-approved supply? Well, Extron went one further. Earlier this summer, they became the first domestic company to successfully undergo UL Environment’s independent testing for U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR performance and earn the UL Environment Energy Efficiency Certification (EEC) Mark for external power supplies and professional audio amplifiers. The mark will appear on two models from the Extron PS Series Desktop Power Supplies and packaging, which have been proven to meet energy efficiency criteria under the ENERGY STAR Single Voltage External AC-AC and AC-DC Power Supplies specification, Version 2.0. The mark will also appear on Extron XTRA Series Power Amplifiers, which meet the new qualifications under ENERGY STAR Audio/Video Specification 2.0 program requirements. The EEC Mark will appear on both the product and product packaging, and features a leaf encapsulating the familiar “UL” initials with the words “Energy Verified” in black text. Here’s a rAVe NOW Video where we interviewed Extron’s Dave Pincek at the recent InfoComm show and he explains why UL EEC is so important and why Extron is committed to it. You can read about the new UL Environment standard here: http://www.ulenvironment.com/ulenvironment/eng/pages/ You can read all about Extron’s Green Initiatives here: http://www.extron.com/company/green.aspx
NEC Adds Green Meter With its mobile DLP projectors NEC NP64 and NP43, NEC Display Solutions launches the successors to its NP62 and NP41. Both models feature an autofocus function and simple operation with long lamp life and a brightness of 3000 and 2300 ANSI lumens, respectively, with a contrast ratio of 1,600:1. Both the NP64 and NP43 are native XGA resolution (1024×768). But that’s not why we’re covering them… Lots of projectors have automatic power-on, signal detection, automatic focus and auto keystone correction and even a so-called Eco-mode that lowers the operating cost by extending lamp life up to 3500 hours and reducing power consumption; and both of these new models from NEC have all those features. This one, however, is a true GreenAV product since NEC has integrated a “carbon savings meter” to support GreenAV corporate initiatives by encouraging users to operate the projectors in Eco-mode and calculates the carbon dioxide savings on the fly. Very creative. You can see all the specs on the $899 NP43 and the $1099 NP64 here: http://www.necdisplay.com/Products/Series/?series=2a3a3e97-a6cf-4627-aa3e-31992d8b6839
Well, that’s it for this edition of rAVe GreenAV Edition! Thank you for spending time with us as we muse the industry’s happenings. To continue getting my newsletter, or to sign up a friend, click the link below. To send feedback, don’t reply to this newsletter – instead, write to Publisher Gary Kayye at email@example.com or Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at firstname.lastname@example.org A little about Gary Kayye, CTS, founder of rAVe and Kayye Consulting. Gary Kayye, an audiovisual veteran and columnist, began the widely-read KNews, a premier industry newsletter, in the late 1990s, and created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which later became InfoComm IQ. Kayye Consulting is a company that is committed to furthering the interests and success of dealers, manufacturers, and other companies within the professional audiovisual industry. rAVe Pro Edition launched in February 2003. rAVe Home Edition, co-sponsored by CEDIA, launched in February 2004. rAVe Rental [and Staging] launched in November 2007. rAVe Ed [Education] began publication in May 2008. rAVe DS [Digital Signage] launched in January 2009. This publication, rAVe GreenAV, was launched in August 2010. Subscribe to our newsletters! https://www.ravepubs.com To read more about my background, our staff, and what we do, go to https://www.ravepubs.com
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