YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SH***ING ME By Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP For the past eight months with these EcoSystems articles (and for the past several years before that in other publications) I have telling the GreenAV story, warts and all. I have recounted the trials and travails of our industry’s efforts — as well as my own personal efforts over the last five years — to earn some recognition and respect from USGBC for low voltage technologies like AV. And in those stories we always came up short and ultimately empty-handed. For the last five months in this space I have outlined in some detail the structure of the STEP rating system — our answer to LEED — and have argued for its place among the pantheon of sustainability rating systems. And then a very funny thing happened (wait for it, wait for it) … We actually earned a LEED credit for a pure AV solution on one of our projects. I sh** you not. So how did this come about, you might ask? Well, back in my “Powell Doctrine / Storm the Bastille” days, we at Waveguide tried various approaches to earning a LEED credit hoping to set a precedent that others could follow. In one case, we tried to show how an owner had changed his whole approach to AV system design and integration to align with the company’s corporate sustainability goals (never heard a peep). In my second EcoSystems article, I recounted in excruciating detail how we pursued (and eventually did earn, by the way) LEED certification for our own office, albeit without any help from our thoroughly rejected videoconference innovation credit. And then, lo and behold, I’m on a Web conference with the STEP task force folks a few weeks ago (I am not making this up) when up pops on my screen (which also happens to be the screen I am sharing with everyone at the time) an e-mail saying that an AV innovation credit we had submitted on a project more than 18 months ago had come up aces. Now, if I were a screenwriter, this is the place where I would add one of those little screen directions to the actor that says: [At this point the protagonist looks up from his monitor with a bewildered look on his face, mutes his phone so as to have a little “private moment,” then slowly closes his eyes, and lets out a long, slow laugh that originates from somewhere between the solar plexus and the funny bone.] OK, so the first and most important order of business is to tell you guys what we did so perhaps you too can at long last earn a LEED credit for one of your clients. (I know, I know. “But Scott, I thought you quit LEED. You said so right there in Article #2.” Yes, I did, and I still think STEP is the answer, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue sustainability gains wherever we can get them. More on that topic later.) So what did we do? To be quite honest, we did nothing amazing. Laudable and credit-worthy, yes; amazing, no. All we did was manage the AV power of our systems in a proactive manner and calculate the energy savings over a five-year period that result from this approach. For starters, let’s talk about the mechanics of this innovation credit as outlined in our LEED submission. We designed and programmed the systems such that only the AV gear you need for a particular event turns on, and each component only comes on when you need it. If you power up in audio conference mode, only the Biamp DSP unit and Extron ENERGY STAR amp turn on. In AV mode only the source devices you select turn on. Everything else is turned completely off via a power sequencer. This took some extra time in the field, but it wasn’t all that hard to do. Thus, there is virtually no power consumption when the system is off and minimum consumption when the system is on and in use. Then we designed and programmed all the systems to report via Crestron RoomView™ to a central server where the client can choose what time each evening the systems are powered off in case someone accidentally left a system on. That’s it! Basically, it’s what we should all be designing and programming systems to do every day and, in fact, what the soon-to-be-released InfoComm ANSI energy management standard will call for. We didn’t even tie the systems to motion sensors to further reduce power as will be called for in the InfoComm standard. Now, we had the advantage of having about 40 systems in the project so we weren’t talking about one or two monitors here. To make our case to the LEED reviewer, we estimated the typical power usage resulting from these measures and compared the five-year power savings from these three simple steps (only power on what you need, sequence everything completely off when not in use, and network all systems together to allow for remote shutdown on a schedule) verses an “unmanaged” AV system (one where you only turn off the display) to show a savings of more than 300,000 kilowatts over that five-year timeframe. We included 22 pages of spreadsheets showing our calculations for each room type so the reviewer could see our math. I guess the lesson here is don’t spare any bits or bytes in making your case. Bury the reviewer in detail. So at long last, the eagle has landed and yes, Virginia, you can earn a LEED innovation credit from AV. In fact, you can earn it by doing things you are probably already doing (or can easily be doing if you put your mind to it). Now, truth be told, there is at least one fly in the ointment. With the introduction of LEED Version 3, USGBC ended the long-held policy of precedents set on one project being the automatic path to approval for future projects so you may or may not be successful if you exactly mimic our actions on your next LEED project. But, hey, it’s worth a try. So, for the 18 or so of you who have been following this Greek tragedy in some detail over the past few years, you might be wondering how I feel about this vindication given the years of rejection followed by the past year creating STEP in response to that repeated rejection. Would STEP even exist if we had earned this credit on our first try years ago? Probably not, and ultimately I think it is better that we did fail and, thus, create STEP. The capricious nature of LEED and the slow pace of AV’s ascension to critical mass within LEED would have been our undoing sooner or later. And am I happy for my client? Absolutely! In fact, this client hired us after attending my GreenAV talk in 2008 and pushed us to submit this credit even when I thought it was a lost cause. So yes, I am very happy for their participation in this (little) history-making moment. But how do I feel personally? That’s harder to answer. I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to sort through that, and I guess I’d put it this way (to get a little philosophical about it): Growing up in South Carolina I was never far from the ocean. As a teenager, my friends and I were at the beach every chance we got. None of us owned surfboards so our sport of choice was body surfing, and our absolute most favorite time to test our skills was when the high tide of a summer storm was charging in. The strong current just threw us around like ragdolls; we could hardly stand up from the aftermath of one wave when another came to take our feet away. And in those moments the sheer power of nature would make my friends and me laugh so hard our sides would hurt. I guess in some ways I’m still that 17-year-old kid getting tossed about in the torrents and surf, looking for that one wave, the big one, the one that’s going that can take me all the way to the shore like some returning hero from a daring and dangerous odyssey. But in the end I’m just as happy to be humbled by the forces of something beyond my control no matter how hard I try to master it. So for all you sustainers out there, as I’ve been saying for years, come on in, the water’s great. 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 Leave a Comment Share Article
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GreenAV Video Column: Interview with a Green AV Innovator By Midori Connolly Hello Green AV buddies! Do you remember waaay back when I started this column and I said one goal would be to feature those people or organizations doing what they can to make a positive environmental impact on our industry? Well, I have the pleasure of bringing to you one of my famous (in my own mind) AVGirl video interviews with Mary Meeker, of Meeker Designs and Electronic Interactive Project, or EIP. EIP is “a repository and lifecycle solution addressing the complex issue of document organization providing a systematic approach to document organization”. It is cloud-based document storage and organization created for the construction/AV industry. Mary’s product is one of those beautiful culminations of technology, sustainability, cost savings and innovation. Her concept came from a combination of wanting to change the world and also seeing where there was room for process improvement. Please watch this short video that explains where Mary’s idea came from and how it can make a positive impact on every project, both financially and environmentally. Then, I invite you to think about where and how you can make this type of impact. Do you see where you could be a Green AV leader? What is your “EIP” and how can you make it happen to change our industry and our world for the better?
|Midori Connolly is CEO andChief 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 Leave a Comment Share Article|
Diligence Rewarded at Lean PEPCOM EcoFocus By Ken Werner Sr. Editor and Analyst, Insight Media You can generally count on PEPCOM’s press-only product shows to offer a good assemblage of exhibitors and generous amounts of good food and drink. The food and drink were indeed plentiful last week at PEPCOM’s EcoFocus event, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street in New York. But the number of ecologically oriented exhibitors was modest, and there were only a few companies offering display-centric products. But if a display junky looked hard enough, he could find some items of interest. Toshiba was showing a just-introduced USB-powered monitor (see first photo). A single USB cable delivers both power and video to the “Toshiba Mobile Monitor,” which weighs 2.8 pounds and has an MSRP of $199.99. The 14-inch monitor has 1366×768 pixels, a luminance of 220 nits, and a contrast ratio of 400:1. It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7, is ENERGY STAR 5.0 compliant, and DisplayLink certified. DisplayLink is the company that licenses the IP for USB display adaptors. (I use an outboard DisplayLink adaptor to power my second desktop monitor, and it just works.) Small (about 7-inch) supplemental USB monitors were available two or three years ago, and, at last year’s SID show, 3M and Samsung showed larger (18-inch) prototypes that made heavy use of 3M optical films to increase luminous efficiency sharply. Nonetheless, these monitors required the power from two USB ports to operate. But Toshiba’s 14-inch version is a product now, and it needs the power from only one USB port to deliver a more-than-acceptable image. The monitor comes in a leather-like black vinyl portfolio that folds back to serve as an adjustable stand. The monitor, in its portfolio is 0.6 inches thick, and Toshiba was suggesting it will slip into most laptop PC cases along with your PC. Toshiba was also promoting its not-yet-available tablet PC, “designed to deliver a next generation Android experience.” The “Toshiba Tablet” features a 10.1-inch display with multi-touch and 1280-by-800 pixels, a built-in accelerometer, replaceable Li-ion battery, nVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, stereo speakers, two cameras (2.0MP front-facing and 5.0MP rear facing), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS and built-in compass, USB and HDMI ports, SD card slot, docking connector, and Android Honeycomb (with Adobe Flash support). It’s 0.5 inches thick and weighs 1.5 pounds. Toshiba apparently worked hard to address every complaint ever made about the iPad (except for the weight). The Toshiba Tablet’s specs are impressive. We’ll see if the market finds them exciting when the device goes on sale during the first half of this year. Finally, thinkeco had an interesting controllable power outlet intended to save the power consumed by electronic devices and appliances when they are in stand-by or nominally “OFF.” The company’s “modlets” plug into standard wall outlets and communicate with a PC via a plug-in USB ZigBee transceiver. What is clever about the system is that it collects power consumption data from each outlet to determine when the device plugged into it is not being used, and suggests a schedule for actually turning off each outlet. The company suggests that surprisingly large power savings are possible. At EcoFocus, a little diligence did, in the end, pay off. Ken Werner is a senior editor and analyst at Insight Media. Reach him at email@example.com Leave a Comment Share Article
NEC Launches Green & ADA Compliant LED-Based LCDs NEC has finally “officially” launched its LED-based LCDs in the form of two models – a 46” (X461S) and a 55” (X551S) edge-lit monitor. Designed for 24/7 operation, they are both integrated with Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), which is the first industry-wide standardization in option slots to simplify digital signage. The OPS option slot allows for easier installation, use and maintenance of digital signage. Using a native 1920×1080 LCD, both monitors offer up a 4000:1 contrast ratio, use less than two watts of power in stand-by mode, can be positioned in landscape or portrait mode, have 10-bit HDMI ports, include closed-captioning decoding and have integrated 5-watt speakers integrated. But one of the most unique features is the carbon-footprint tracking, which calculates the conservation of green gas emissions. The X461S and X551S will be available in May and June 2011 at a minimum advertised price of $2,399 and $3,799, respectively, and can be found here (click on “NEW” on the left side of the screen): http://www.necdisplay.com/category/large-screen-displays Leave a Comment Share Article
CABA Opens Up Smart Grid Webinar CABA’s (Continental Automated Buildings Association) popular 45-minute webinar “Smart Grid Impact on Intelligent Buildings 2011” reviews the collaborative research study that was to identify, define and size the principle business opportunities presented by the growth of smart grids, in relation to intelligent buildings. The research will provide a market size forecast and roadmap for smart grid and intelligent buildings, contributing to business process transformation deemed necessary to capitalize on investments in smart technology. If you’re interested in watching it, go here. Leave a Comment Share Article
Casio Adds Hybrid Laser/LED Projectors to Lineup Casio America announced recently the introduction of a new family of lamp-free eco-friendly data projectors. Equipped with Casio’s new LASER & LED Hybrid Light Source, the family of 12 new DLP-based projectors include light outputs of up to 3,500 lumens, interactive whiteboarding capabilities, short and long throw lenses, and 3D capabilities. All have HDMI and VGA inputs. This is an impressive introduction to the market as these projectors all have light sources that last about 20,000 hours and ALL of them use less than one watt in standby, making them actually green. Want all the specs? Go here: http://casioprojector.com/ Leave a Comment Share Article
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Launches Recycling Leadership Initiative Dubbed eCycling, the CEA has launched the first-ever industry-wide electronics recycling initiative to recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016, which would be a more than threefold increase over 2010. The eCycling Leadership Initiative seeks to improve consumer awareness of the more than 5,000 collection sites currently sponsored by industry; increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly; increase the number of collection opportunities available; and provide transparent metrics on eCycling efforts. One billion pounds of electronics, if not properly recycled, would fill about 88.9 million cubic feet, equivalent to an entire 71,000-seat NFL stadium. The eCycling Leadership Initiative is a collaboration among consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, non-governmental organizations and governments at all levels, coordinated by CEA. The initiative launched recently at an event in Washington, D.C., with executives from Best Buy Co. Inc., Panasonic Corporation of North America, Sony Electronics Inc. and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., among others, addressing their recycling efforts and the goals of the initiative. Want to learn more – or participate? Go here: http://apps.ce.org/ecycler/index.html Leave a Comment Share Article
InfoComm Appoints Allen Weidman to Lead Sustainability Efforts InfoComm International, the leading industry association representing the commercial audiovisual and communications industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of Allen Weidman to the new position of Sustainability Officer. Weidman brings more than 30 years of association experience to InfoComm, having worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Consumer Products Safety Commission and a number of other federal and state regulatory agencies. He has developed, integrated and managed industry coalitions on federal and international environmental issues. He has most recently served as a Senior Account Executive for Kellen Company, an association management firm. Here’s his LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/allenweidman As part of his responsibilities, Weidman will oversee the association’s new STEP program, a new rating system designed to assess the impact of technologies in buildings. He will also represent the association in coalitions relating to integrated building technology and create webinars and other resources for InfoComm members. Leave a Comment Share Article
Christie Named One Of Canada’s Greenest Employers, Again For the second consecutive year, Christie Digital has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc. Each employer was evaluated by: the unique environmental initiatives and programs it has developed; the extent to which it has been successful in reducing the organization’s own environmental footprint; the degree to which its employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.
- The environmental initiatives Christie has undertaken include:
- Achieving a greater than 82 percent waste diversion rate at the Canadian manufacturing facility through effective management of recycle streams including electronic waste and organics (food waste)
- Employing an innovative heat recovery system to recycle heat from its manufacturing processes to heat the facility in the fall, winter and spring
- Introducing a new environmental metric showing C02 emissions/standard cost of goods produced as an indicator of the overall efficiency of the company. The metric shows a significant improvement in overall operational and environmental efficiency
- Solar film on all south facing windows to reduce solar gain in the summer months and reflect heat back inside the plant in the winter
- A program where employees can purchase local organic food
- Carpooling and employee environmental awareness programs
- Successfully registering two manufacturing plants to the internationally recognized environmental standard, ISO 14001
- Products that are among the highest lumen per watt output efficiency for 3â€chip DLP® projectors
- Continuing to introduce energy-efficient products and expand on environmentally friendly, solid state LED illumination technology
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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