No Rest for the Weary By Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP So, at this point you’re probably thinking to yourself, “First, we all had to run around and learn what LEED was all about. And then, when that wasn’t going anywhere, we’ve had to try to get our head around STEP. Then, last month you tell us we can earn LEED innovation credits from AV. Can’t we just stop and do nothing for a while?” Well, actually, no. As nice as it would be to just get all zen and point some projectors at some white surfaces for the next few years while the industry and economy settle things out, we have bigger fish to fry lest we find ourselves at the bottom of some deep-fat fryer. As I talk to my friends in integration, consulting and programming around the country about the state of AV, at some point the conversation turns to dwindling profit margins. And while most of the blame can be laid at the feet of The Great Recession, there is also a feeling that some of the magic AV pixie dust has left the jar and might not come back. So where do we go to find the magic again? My answer is that we’ll find it in the really boring stuff that we probably considered beneath our level of cool these many years. I’m talking about thermostats and fans, shades and lights, occupancy sensors and scheduling software: in short, integrated building technologies or IBT. I recall a conversation I had with Fred Bargetzi, Crestron’s VP of Technology, back in the 2002-2003 timeframe about building automation. Fred was trying to convince me that the future of our industry was in automating not just AV systems but entire buildings and campuses. Over my head at the time was a giant thought bubble that said, “BORING.” I had visions of “smart” escalators in shopping malls that only run when some old lady walks up to them. The very thought of fretting about air dampers and fan-coil units would put me to sleep. At the time I was still in my mid-adolescent AV phase, and I just couldn’t see it. Sometimes I can be so slow. Of course that was before the great awakening, not just mine, but the world’s as well. Energy isn’t free (as anyone who has filled up their car with gas in the past few weeks can attest), fossil fuels are indeed finite and the demand for energy is growing as the world’s middle class grows and wants cars and TVs and computers like everyone else. There is much challenge and profit to be made for those who can, not only minimize long-term energy costs for buildings, but also possibly reduce first costs, through the integration and optimization of disparate building technologies. The STEP task force I had the privilege of chairing over the past year recognized the importance of IBT to sustainability in general and to the future of our industry specifically by awarding nearly 30 percent of the points in STEP to IBT-related tasks. But how do we turn on the IBT spigot and suddenly become experts in sensors and load-shedding and daylight harvesting? Well, we have to get busy learning a lot more about how buildings work and how they can work better and smarter. The information is all around us every day. We just have to want to look at it. Thankfully, you’re not going to have to walk the IBT path alone. InfoComm’s Board of Directors recently approved the formation of an IBT task force and has charged this group with identifying the opportunity for the AV industry to play a central role in this integrated, smart-building future. The task force, which is populated not only with thought leaders from the AV industry but also with forward-looking individuals from major architecture, engineering, and general contracting firms, will identify the current barriers that are preventing smart buildings from being built and will outline a scope of work for an IBT project manager. And manufacturers that we AV types know quite well like Crestron, AMX, and others are taking up the IBT mantle to develop the hardware and software tools we’ll need to help us integrate systems across a building, a campus, or an entire enterprise. However, for us to succeed in this new paradigm, we can’t be seen as the AV guys anymore. AV needs to be something we are good at, but it shouldn’t define who and what we are to the world. No one is going to entrust the “AV guy” with the keys to the building-automation kingdom. If we take a step back and look at what we really do, our value proposition is in enabling the dissemination of information, whether from human to human, human to machine, or machine to machine, through the integration of communications technologies. That’s it. There’s a term for this called “information and communications technology” or ICT. Look it up on Wikipedia. We as an industry, much as we love AV, need to leave those safe shores behind and own ICT. If we do and if we pivot from looking only inward at our systems to outward at the entire built environment, we might actually reinvent this industry and give it a viable and profitable home for decades to come. [Of course, THE #1 challenge for those of us who want to migrate from AV to ICT will be trying to figure out how to get “AV” out of our company names and “ICT” in. Hmm, Strictguide? While there are probably a few integrators out there who would argue that this would be a more apt name for my company, it just doesn’t roll of the tongue, does it?] 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Leave a Comment Share Article
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Pre-Infocomm Green AV Shopping List By Midori Connolly As the annual extravaganza we call InfoComm approaches, around our office a little shopping list of must-see’s has begun to form. I’d like to address this shopping list and the discussions many of you will be having with your manufacturers and reps and give you some guidelines for you to bring to your booth conversations. So what should you be asking? Here are a few talking points: A. Manufacturers’ policies and practices
- Do they even have a policy on environmental sustainability? Is the word green a part of their vocabulary? Does it cover internal and external practices, ranging from office procedures to waste management?
- Do they have environmental information on their products? This might include energy efficiency features, recycled content, improvements in energy consumption, reduction of toxic materials, etc.
- Do they have ISO 14001 certification or some other type of environmental management system?
- Do they offer a take-back program for their products?
- Will the products support you or your client’s environmental performance goals?
- Do they offer some type of cost savings to you or your client (this IS sustainability too!)?
- Will the product fill the needs of a project that demands energy efficiency or other compliance?
- Can the products help you secure new projects or clients based on environmental features? For example, will a manufacturer’s new take-back program help you reconnect with a new client who needs updated product?
- Does the product meet government regulations such as CalEPA requirements? Will it help meet awards such as LEED or the ASTM/APEX Sustainable Meetings guidelines?
Eragy Energy Monitoring System for Control4 Systems Ships Eragy’s latest energy monitoring application enables homeowners and businesses to monitor their energy consumption and better understand how they can reduce their energy bills. Eragy’s solution is designed to work with a number of 3rd party energy monitors including the TED5000 and eGauge and gives users several options for whole house/building and individual circuit monitoring. In addition, users can monitor their current and historical energy usage via Eragy’s web site, which is in constant communication with the client’s Control4 controller. Research has shown that real-time monitoring of energy usage can help reduce electric bills by up to 20 percent. The amount your clients save will depend on their particular house and the changes they make. Want more details? Go to: http://www.eragy.com/products/for-custom-integrators/ Leave a Comment Share Article
Christie Intros New 3D LED Mirage WU-L Projector Last week, Christie extended its acclaimed Mirage Series projector line with the launch of the Christie Mirage WU-L, a solid-state LED light engine offers years of worry-free operation – in fact, six years of it. The Christie Mirage WU-L delivers high resolution (1920×1200 at 120Hz) as well as a unique-to-Christie “continuous system calibration,” in a small footprint unit capable of advanced 2D-3D visualizations. Targeted to the professional market, the Christie Mirage WU-L is designed for everything from entertainment, to museums and education, scientific research, manufacturing, and oil and gas exploration facilities. The one-chip DLP with RGB LED is the first Mirage Series projector to use solid-state LED illumination, providing precise, lifelike, vibrant colors and consistent performance over an estimated 60,000 hours (approximately 6.5 years) life cycle. For complete specs, go here: http://www.christiedigital.com/en-us/3d/products-and-solutions/projectors/Pages/christie-mirage-wu-l-1-chip-dlp-projector.aspx Leave a Comment Share Article
NEC Launches Green and 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, both are 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. But one of the most interesting 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
Green Building Market to Expand 13 Percent Annually U.S. demand for green-building materials (products which can contribute to LEED credits) is projected to expand 13 percent annually through 2015, generating sales of more than $70 billion. Over this period, growth in green building material demand will outpace the growth of building construction expenditures as green materials continue to account for an increasing share of materials used. While the rising use of green materials will support gains, the most important driver for demand will be the expected rebound in the construction market from low 2010 levels. Read more: http://www.reportlinker.com/p0488009/Green-Building-Materials-Market.html#ixzz1NOTbVKRB Leave a Comment Share Article
CEDIA Members Contribute to the “Greenest Home in Chicago” CEDIA member companies contributed to the latest exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the Smart Home. The Smart Home is a fully functioning, eco-friendly home on the museum’s grounds. This year’s exhibit simultaneously integrates new technology with stylish décor, which includes refurbished and revived pieces from government and education buildings. The fusion of new and old displays how to make the most of existing materials while searching for the highest efficiency in new technology. Here are all the details: http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/smart-home/ Leave a Comment Share Article
Da-Lite’s Landfill Diversion Facility We all already know Da-Lite’s dedicated to being “green” via its industry-leading SCREEN GREEN program, but Da-Lite’s manufacturing facility in Warsaw, IN recently achieved zero-landfill status. This achievement puts Da-Lite Screen Company within an elite class of manufacturers in the United States. So far this year, Da-Lite has recycled over 30 tons of industrial material and has sent over 90 tons of material to a Waste to Energy facility in Central Indiana. That’s well over 120 tons of waste that has been diverted from landfills since 2010. A typical household puts more trash in the ground than Da-Lite’s entire production facility. The distinction of having a 100 percent landfill diversion facility adds to an already long list of green and sustainable practices that are occurring at Da-Lite. Additionally, Da-Lite’s manufacturing facility is ISO 14001:2004 certified and the company is also a member of the Indiana Environmental Stewardship Program and the United States Green Building Council. Learn more about SCREEN GREEN here: http://www.da-lite.com/screengreen/ 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 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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