The GreenAV Do Over: 1/1/12 By Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP I love movies, all kinds of movies. Big dramas, war epics, science fiction. You name it. And somewhere in my top 50, amidst all the Casablancas and Saving Private Ryans and Shawshank Redemptions, is a movie that, on the surface, is just a buddy film, but when you peel back the layers of meaning threaded deep into the buddies’ cattle drive across the American West, you will see this film is actually a philosophical study about our modern condition. I’m speaking, of course, about “City Slickers.” The jokes and gags are great, but the film resonates for me because of the crises and eventual epiphanies each of the characters experience along the way: Billy Crystal’s “Mitch” realizing that, as a radio ad executive, he basically sells air (I mean, how different is that from AV consulting really?); or Jack Palance’s “Curly” telling Mitch that the secret to life is finding your “one thing” (I totally get that). However, each character’s arc (and the real message of the film, in my opinion) is summed up in Mitch’s speech to Daniel Stern’s “Phil” about do overs. Phil has lost everything — his wife, his job, his self-respect — and he doesn’t know what’s going to happen to him once they complete the cattle drive. Mitch counsels that it’s just like when they were kids and somebody loses a ball out of bounds, and everyone yells, “Do over!” Phil gets a do over. He can start clean and make choices that only look forward. Like most people, I love holidays, and New Year’s Day is one of my favorites. It’s partly because I got married on New Year’s Eve nearly 23 years ago, but it’s also because that the turning of the calendar from December 31 to January 1 signals an annual do over for me. Not happy with the fitness regimen? Do over. Not thrilled about my work accomplishments? Do over. Not jazzed with my relationships with family members or old friends? Do over. So what’s my big do over for this coming year? Well, I’d like to challenge all of us to have a green AV do over. Together. Let me explain. In the general population, there was a ton of buzz about green from 2006 to early 2009. Back then, the media was replete with stories about how to green your house, how to shop more sustainably, and what carbon credits were all about. It was in this zeitgeist that the green AV movement was born. However, as I wrote back in October, the recession, the debt/stimulus/austerity debate, the Arab Spring and countless other news stories have pushed green off the front pages and back pages as well. Yet, global warming — or as Tom Friedman more accurately calls it “global weirding” — marches on unabated. According to data collected by the Natural Resources Defense Council, nearly 3,000 monthly weather records were broken in U.S. communities this past year, and extreme weather events — from the heat wave and fires in Texas to the floods in Thailand and across the Northeast and Midwest U.S. — have resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in damages, directly affecting the lives of tens of millions of people. Sustainability is neither passé, nor unnecessary. It’s time to up our game, and here’s what I suggest: Make a green AV New Year’s resolution list. Sit down sometime over the holidays and create a list of three sustainability initiatives you can do at home, at your office and for your clients in 2012. Under the old adage from the medical world, “physician, heal thyself,” I am a fan of starting at home. Find three things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint on the home front. Begin with simple things like caulking leaky doors and windows or swapping out incandescent light bulbs for higher-efficiency LED or fluorescent ones. I like the idea of measuring the power consumption of every device in your house and taking steps through automation (motion sensing light switches) or a habit-forming reward structure (tie your kids’ allowance to their energy consumption) to reduce your household carbon footprint. Next, do the same around your workplace. There are hundreds of innovative ideas out there. I like the idea from 2010 InfoComm GreenAV Award winner Christie Digital who, over a weekend, basically removed trash cans from all workstations and offices to make people stop and think before they printed documents and created waste. Their in-office, non-recyclable trash plummeted when people realized they had to get up out of their chairs to throw anything away. Or, how about the idea from another 2010 InfoComm GreenAV Award winner, AVW-Telav, which takes all the half-used batteries from its rental-staging shows and gives them away to employees for their personal use. Then, when the batteries are completely depleted, employees can bring them back to the office where the batteries will be recycled. Lastly, for those of us in the design, integration, software programming or manufacturing side, we need to deliver greener solutions to our clients. Start simple and work your way up. One of my resolutions for 2012 is to have at least 10 STEP projects underway in 2012. We’ve got three going already, so seven more is very possible. Our goal here at Waveguide is to get really good at delivering STEP-certified projects as quickly as possible. We as an industry need at least 100 STEP projects going on next year and a thousand the year after. We need to get a hockey-stick adoption curve going on STEP so we can get the attention of RFP writers everywhere who have LEED in all of their boilerplates. Those RFPs need to say LEED and STEP no later than 2014. So, how about it? Is there a green AV do over in your 2012 drive? If so, send me an email about your successes over the coming months, and I’ll write a follow-up article highlighting the best ideas and brightest stars of the green AV universe. 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 (STEP) rating system. Scott can be reached at email@example.com Leave a Comment Share Article
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How to Write a Sustainability Policy for Audiovisual Staging Companies By Midori Connolly Now that we know the ASTM/APEX Standards for an Environmentally Sustainable Meeting will be released in the next month or so, the very first thing you should do is create an environmental policy for your organization. This is generally the first place to start for green success, for both internal and external purposes. While it may seem daunting, creating a policy is really not that complicated. Your best bet would be to follow the categories that govern the new standards to ensure you’re a step ahead of the process. Here is how to create your policy, one step at a time.
- Make a statement of why you’re creating your environmental policy. Relate as much as possible to your organizational culture and mission statement.
- List any mandatory legal compliance your organization will comply with.
- Highlight any voluntary standards or procedures or achievements (e.g., take-back programs, e-waste recycling, transportation reduction, etc.).
- Divide your environmental objectives into categories that align with the ASTM/APEX categories. Remember, those are: Procurement, Energy, Air Quality, Water, Communications, Staff Management and Environmental Policy, Community Partners and Waste Management.
- The objectives for each category should be realistic and measurable. For example, is your goal to recycle 50 percent of all scenic materials? Will you be hiring 25 percent of labor within 50 miles of the event?
- Clarify employee training and communication of the policy and practices to stakeholders. Will it be in training manuals or available on the website? Will education be offered to other industry members or clients?
- Include any future goals and plans for how and when you will update the policy.
Focus on Lighting: A Look Into Lamp Technology and Lighting Legislation By Steven J. Thorburn, PE, CTS-D, CTS-I Thorburn Associates The federal government is pushing toward more energy efficient solutions with regard to lighting and lamp selections, or what is more commonly referred to as “going green.” This will result in changes over the next couple of years with regard to the lamps that will be available for purchase. Several governments around the world, including the United States, have passed legislation that will phase out the incandescent light bulb for general lighting. The goal is to encourage the use and technology development of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives such as halogen, compact fluorescents (CFLs) and the ever popular Light Emitting Diode (LED) which offer increased efficiency, decreased heat emissions and are significantly more economical than traditional incandescent lamps. (Technically speaking, a halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp, but it is more efficient than traditional incandescent as the result of the halogen technology and is usually considered separate from incandescent lamps.) This means “lights out” for Edison’s 131 year old lamp that still lights homes worldwide while wasting 90 percent of its energy as heat rather than light. While you won’t be required to throw out your old bulbs, you may be surprised when you are trying to find the same replacement lamps in stores. The first phase of the process will bring an end to the production of the 100 watt A lamp in January 2012, the 75 watt in 2013, and the 60 and 40 watt counterparts by January 2014. This will also affect the availability of the T12 fluorescent tube which will be phased out by 2012. The second phase will come into effect by 2020 and will require general purpose lamps to produce at least 45 lumens per watt, similar to the energy consumption experienced with CFLs. Subsequently, several states have adopted more stringent legislation which requires lamps to produce a minimum of twenty-five lumens per watt by 2013 and sixty lumens per watt by 2018. Steve enjoys helping others understand the principals of acoustics and audiovisual technology almost as much as he enjoys sipping a good single malt scotch. He’s been InfoComm’s Educator of the Year, is a two-time InfoComm Facility Design Award Winner, author, teacher and has AV design experience on more than 2000 projects including Universal Studios Toon Lagoon, Hershey Park and Six Flags Great America. Find his company Thorburn Associates online at http://www.TA-Inc.com Leave a Comment Share Article
New Display Technology Could Use “Quantum Dots”
A small upstart from the UK is working on what it hopes is a bigger hit in display technology than the current generation of LED-backlit LCDs. Called Quantum Dots (QD), the technology is from a nanotechnology firm called Nanoco. It’s basically small 3D semiconductor dots which, together with millions of others, make a giant canvas-like display technology.Nanoco Technologies is unique in that it is the only large manufacturer using large quantities of Quantum Dots, a semiconductor materials discovered in the 1980s. Their patented molecular seeding process does not use a regulated heavy metal, making it possibly the only completely “green” display technology. In addition to display technology, the QDs are being manufactured for use in lighting, solar cells and biological imaging. The future of cadmium free display technology? QDs are both photo active (photoluminescent) and electro active (electroluminescent) and because of their unique physical characteristics, they can be readily incorporated into OLED displays. For more technical details on the technology, go here: http://www.nanocotechnologies.com/index.aspx Leave a Comment Share Article
Blue Line Innovations and Smartenit Debut Real-Time Power Meter Monitor You can’t mess with or modify the power meters on the outside of your home, but you can monitor them in real-time with this new product from Blue Line Innovations and Smartenit (formerly known as SimpleHomeNet). Smartenit’s ZBPCM provides the bridge between the Blue Line Innovations PowerCost Monitor electric meter sensor, and wireless HA/SE ZigBee and INSTEON home area networks. This unique combination allows true energy management by providing not only energy monitoring, but also control of devices based on energy information. The Blue Line Innovations PowerCost Monitor puts the power to save electricity into the consumer’s hands by turning almost any electric meter, old or new, into a broadcasting Smart Meter offering whole house energy information. The Smartenit ZBPCM device allows this whole house energy information to become part of a home control network using the proven ZigBee and INSTEON wireless protocols. This solution feeds instantaneous demand (Kw) and consumption (Kw/hour) for the whole house control systems via ZigBee and INSTEON protocols. Based on this information, the consumer can customize parameters to allow for automated responses that will save energy. Smartenit also manufactures ZigBee plugs and load controllers that report energy usage to give the consumer an even deeper layer of energy management capability. This data from the meter or smart plugs is then displayed over dashboards for the customer’s viewing. Therefore, you now have the information you need in real-time, so you can then set very specific parameters as to when energy adjustments are to be automatically executed via a control system, truly smartening the environment. For more information on Blue Line, click here: http://www.bluelineinnovations.com/ For more information on Smartenit/SimpleHomeNet, click here: http://www.simplehomenet.com/OEMSolutions.asp?page_id=SmartenIT Leave a Comment Share Article
CES Determined to Make CES 2012 Totally Green The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today announced the adoption of several new sustainability practices at the 2012 CES, the world’s largest technology tradeshow, to be held in Las Vegas Jan. 10-13. New this year, attendee badge holders are made from repurposed vinyl show banners from last year’s show, and CEA will collect those badge holders at the end of the 2012 CES to recycle them again. Furthermore, CES general services contractor Global Experience Specialists (GES) will produce signs using a reusable, recyclable kraft paper honeycomb material. CEA will also seek to collect even more magnetic, vinyl and cardboard show signs for repurposing through a partnership with Repurpose America, a local nonprofit focusing on tradeshow recycling. Last Year, Repurpose America collected roughly 18,000 pounds of magnetic signs from the 2011 CES, nearly 15,000 square feet of vinyl banners and more than 150 foam boards. In addition, CEA worked with contractors to recycle 289.6 tons of the solid waste generated at CES and increased the event’s recycle rate from 68 percent to 77 percent, several points higher than the average recycle rate of trade shows held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Along with the greening of the International CES, CEA also supports local green non-profits. Last year, CEA gave $75,000 to Green Chips, a local Las Vegas charity supporting solar power installations. That money was used to install solar panels at a Las Vegas non-profit facility, resulting in substantial savings that allowed the organization to devote more money to serve those in need. CEA plans to make another donation benefiting Las Vegas and the environment at the 2012 International CES. The International CES also allows attendees to reduce their carbon footprint by gathering in one location. With each attendee reporting an average of 12 business meetings per CES, CES participants collectively avoid more than 960 million miles in business trips that they otherwise would have to take. As a result of attending CES and consolidating trips, the estimated net savings in travel is more than 549 million miles. For more information on sustainable materials used at the 2012 International CES and other information on the greening of CES, please go to: http://www.CESweb.org/green Leave a Comment Share Article
Extron Announces PS Series Desktop Power Supply Trade-In Program Extron has launched a creative (energy conscious) PS Series Desktop Power Supply Trade-In Program that allows Extron customers in the U.S. to return 15 unused 12-volt, 1-amp power supplies for a new PS 124 Multiple Output 12 Volt DC Power Supply. The PS 124 features eight 12-volt DC outputs, providing a total of 4 amps across all outputs with no per-port current limitations. It is designed to take the place of several individual Extron PS Series desktop power supplies, freeing up equipment rack space. The PS 124 is UL 2043 rated when used with the optional Flexible Conduit Adapter Kit for installation into a ceiling space. Two PS Series desktop power supplies, Part #28-071-27LF and Part #28-071-57LF with an Engineering Revision number E21461 or higher, are eligible for trade-in. Extron customers will receive one PS 124 for every 15 eligible power supplies returned. All details are here: http://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=pstradein Leave a Comment Share Article
BenQ to License Out New Green Lamp Technology In addition to using the company’s new so-called SmartEco lamp technology in its own new projectors, BenQ hopes to license it to others. BenQ says the new SmartEco technology combines energy efficiency for longer lamp life with optimized image contrast, greatly enhancing imaging performance while reducing projector operating and maintenance costs. According to BenQ, SmartEco technology saves energy and increases lamp life by dynamically adjusting the lamp power to different brightness settings based on the projected content. SmartEco lets the projector compensate for this process with an internal software solution that maintains the ideal color spectrum and also provides an improved contrast ratio. When the projected content contains dark elements, SmartEco dims the lamp accordingly for those scenes without any loss of visible brightness for the viewer (according to BenQ). This provides many benefits to users, including prolonging lamp life by up to 70 percent and reducing energy consumption by up to 50 percent. BenQ also provides online tools to help users calculate their yearly energy savings by projector model. By visiting the company’s “SmartEco Savings Calculator” page and entering information on their current consumption levels, users can find out how much energy and money they can save with SmartEco technology. Leave a Comment Share Article
Marantz Debuts Killer New AV Preamp Integrated with Apple AirPlay Dubbed the AV7005, Marantz’s newest preamp is a six-HDMI (1.4a) input, two-HDMI output, 7.1-channel processing, Dolby integrated preamp that’s less than $1,600. Perfect for home theater, as well as boardroom and classroom installs, the pre-amp processes all analog (four component, five composite and seven analog audio inputs) sources and converts it all to HDMI (up to 1080p), so all signal switching and processing is handled via the internal video switcher. And, to ensure commercial AV applications will work, the two HDMI outputs are one with ARC and one without ARC. This is so you can connect the ARC output if you’re using an LCD flat screen as the display and using its built-in audio, or use the non-ARC output when connecting it to surround-sound speakers. And, of course, you can also turn off the video processing (for straight pass-through if you want to use an external scaler). Integrated with RS232, IR or IP control, the AV7005 is also integrated with Apple’s new AirPlay system that allows for wireless streaming of video and audio from iOS devices (such as the iPhone and iPad) as well as the ability to wirelessly present anything from an iPad 2 to the preamp, and thus to the projector. Front panel inputs include USB, HDMI, digital optical, video and analog L/R. Audio processing includes a signal-to-noise ratio specification of 105dB (IHF-A weighted, Direct Mode) for analog, 102dB for digital and a frequency response of 10Hz – 100kHz (+1/-3dB, Direct Mode). In normal operation, it uses 60 watts of power, in standby mode, only 0.2 watts of power and in CEC mode, 0.4 watts of power. It weighs 22 pounds. Complete specs are here: http://us.marantz.com/us/products/pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=AVSeparates&ProductId=AV7005 Leave a Comment Share Article
Acer Launches Gaming Display That Converts 2D to 3D The new Acer HR274H is a 27-inch 3D monitor featuring a system that converts any 2D content to 3D. Using a native 1920×1080, LED-backlit LCD and integrated with one HDMI input, the HR274H monitor easily connects to any 3D-enabled PC, Blu-ray player, game console, cable set top box or camera. One differentiator is that Acer’s monitor converts any 2D content to 3D in real-time with no extra software required, thus allowing regular movies and traditional photos and videos to be displayed in 3D using polarized (non-powered) glasses. Acer also claims it has a 1 million:1 contrast ratio and is Energy Star certified, as well as packaged in 100 percent recycled materials. The 27-inch Acer HR274H 3D LCD lists for $599 and you can see details here: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/monitor-3d Leave a Comment Share Article
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at email@example.com 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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