In Part 1 of our AVL Design series, we listed and summarized the key players in AVL design. Then in Part 2, we shared about the key tools that those key players may interact with and use. For Part 3, we will move forward to discuss the important phases of the design process. Let’s begin with the most important element to the success of each phases — communication.
Communication is Crucial
For any project, big or small, communication is key. For AVL design, communication includes emails, phone calls, meetings, digital or cloud storage for all project files and a way to update the whole team involved in a timely manner.
Some communication tools used could be project management programs with collaboration features, ability to manage documentation, budget, contracts, and project updates. Cloud storage is popular for large files such as drawing sets, photos, audio and video files, and other documentation. Cloud storage programs allow the ability to share these resources securely to the individuals you want and need involved.
Design Meetings Need Structure
It’s important with any meeting to have a set agenda and even a hard stop time. This helps keep the meeting on task. Make sure there is one person in charge of the meeting to send out invitations, distribute documentation and manage the timing and flow of the meeting. Whether you have a design team of four people or fourteen, meetings can get out of control quickly if not managed properly.
During the design phase, the owner can include as many of the involved members of the project as they wish. Depending on the scope, others may need to be brought in for consultation. This is the time to hash out any concepts, determine specifics, evaluate samples of products, talk to specialists and become as well informed of the elements of your project as possible.
These design meetings will end up driving the final product so don’t be afraid to disagree or discuss multiple options now, rather than during the construction phase when it’s likely too late.
Coordination Meetings are Ongoing
During the construction process, and possibly starting prior to construction, it’s important to have coordination meetings with the contractors involved to discuss schedule updates, coordinate timing and use of the space and any other active logistics involved in the project. These will be ongoing meetings until the project is complete.
Scheduling Should be Regularly Discussed
The pre-construction schedule may be driven by the owner or project manager and have input from the architect and eventually the general contractor as the design comes to completion. Once construction is under way the general contractor should drive the schedule. Any changes should be regularly discussed with the owner and project manager.
The Closeout Process Leads to Commissioning
Once the project is almost completed, there is a closeout process where the consultants and owner walk through the aspects of the project and make note of any discrepancies, questions and issues. These are then taken to the contractors to address accordingly. Once these closeout items have been taken care of, typically as-built drawings are produced along with any other completion documentation and given to the owner. The AVL systems are then commissioned as part of the closeout process to get everything functioning as designed and specified.
Offer Training for the Staff
Training will be scheduled as needed depending on the size and scope of work and can be as little as a couple of hours upon completion of the install. Or training could take several weeks and visits with specialists to work with the organization’s staff or volunteers.
In our next and final post for this series, we will finish with a compare/contrast post on design-build vs. design-bid-build. There is a big difference!
By Erik Beyer
Guest Blogger for Tony the Av Guy & AV Bend