Give Your Opinion on AV Energy Management!

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InfoCommlogo-0110Since late 2009, the InfoComm International AV Systems Energy Management Task Group has been quietly working behind the scenes to create the first green standard for the AV industry. This standard should be ANSI-accredited and we’re at an important part of the process where we need the entire AV industry to provide input during the public review period. You can comment through Friday, June 4, 2012 and this is a great opportunity to influence the future direction of our industry and be green all at the same time! The draft standard and how to submit comments can be found here.

The reason the InfoComm AV Systems Energy Management Performance Standard is so important is because the future of Green AV is about sustainability. They have been taken to mean the same thing, but, sustainability is more about how something (a building, system, component) performs, initially and overtime. Not what’s historically been meant by Green, being how something is made and its supply chain. These concepts must work in unison to create anything that will have a lifecycle that is truly energy efficient and provides a Return on Investment (ROI). At the farthest reaches of sustainability, buildings and individual components will actually produce energy versus drawing it — the step beyond Net Neutral. More like Net Positive.

This standard is a first in many ways more than being the first green standard. It’s the first AV standard to address an overall system versus components, and one of the first in any industry to include Training/Education and the creation of an Energy Management Plan (EMP) as a requirement for conformance.

Our Task Force was very conscious about the need to strategically align with the direction building construction and other industry standard developing bodies are moving towards and it references such standards as ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES 189.1 Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings and ISO 50001:2011 energy management standards, among others. You need only look at our esteemed InfoComm STEP Green Rating System Task Force Moderator, Scott Walker’s, herculean efforts receiving the first and ONLY USGBC LEED point for AV in a LEED-certified project to see why this matters. It’s encouraging to see architects starting to recognize the complexity and value AV brings to design and construction, and, our Task Force recognized the need to create a standard that works with how building construction professionals think to be easily adopted into their world.

Some notable requirements of the standard AV systems must meet to comply are:

  • Provide and switch between four system states (Disconnect, OFF, Standby, ON),
  • Have a power factor of no less than .85,
  • Provide a visual user interface for the administration and monitoring of the systems power consumption,
  • Create and implement an Energy Management Plan (EMP) with an assigned Energy Management Manager (EMM) responsible for ongoing recordkeeping, auditing, and monitoring of the AV Systems Performance,
  • Provide a method of automation for sensing usage and adjusting the system to the lowest power consuming state as appropriate,
  • Perform an initial baseline measurement of the AV System that will be re-measured every 3 years or at any time the system is modified resulting in more than a 25% change in power consumption.
  • Record continuous measurement of power consumption and generate user reports,
  • Create a set of schematic drawings specifically for the power consuming components in any AV system,
  • And, provide Training/Education to both the owner and end-users on the energy management portion of the AV system for effective operations.

The Training/Education requirement is one of the most important pieces of the standard, in my opinion. Designing the most highly sophisticated AV system, in any respect, will not succeed unless end-users are fully trained on how to the use the system to its optimal specifications and more importantly, why and how they will make a difference to the performance they can expect from the AV system. And, when end-users can see how their actions make a difference, they are even more likely to feel a vested interested and respond to the differences they make in reducing the power consumption, saving money, and extending the life of their investment in an AV system.

As an owner/client, I am always looking for ways to provide the courts with the most efficient and highest quality AV Systems solutions. Standards, in general, are a key area where I can achieve this in our capital design and construction projects. In writing our 2011 edition of the California Trial Court Facilities Design Standards, I required that future courthouse construction projects follow allInfoComm International Standards.

This is incredibly important in that it ensures there is consistency throughout the design of courthouses statewide and it gives AV consultants and designers leverage with architects and construction building professionals whose priorities of designing elegant, sophisticated spaces sometimes conflict with such things as the technical requirements of properly designed sound reinforcement and speaker placement. Once adopted, the AV Systems Energy Management Performance Standard will also be added to all future courthouses.

AV industry, this is an important chance for us to further demonstrate our commitment to building AV systems that meet the growing needs for a future that is more aware of our choices and the impact they have on our environment. As a member of the Task Group, it’s been an honor and a privilege to work with my colleagues on developing this draft standard.

Now, we need you to provide us with your feedback and opinions to make it complete!!