Blaze sparks Assembly overhaul

AUTHOR: Inavate

Egypt’s parliamentary building, the Al Shura complex, is divided into the People’s Assembly and the secondary upper house, otherwise known as the Al Shura Council. This is comprised of 174 members who are directly elected for a six year term.

In August 2008 the Al Shura Council was virtually destroyed in a major blaze and large-scale renovations were required to allow parliamentary affairs to resume. During the reconstruction work, those responsible paid particular attention to ensuring that the building’s structure and historical character, the interior and exterior architectural features, were retained.
The governmental offices commissioned Quality Egyptian Engineering Projects with the planning and installation of the conference technology. A customised CDSVAN system from Brähler was fitted. This system includes microphone functions and features for voting and listening into interpreter channels. If required, the chairperson can control the entire system via a touch screen, which can be used as a control unit as well as a display and information medium at the chairperson’s desk; this screen is connected to the central computer via the network. Two large screens provide the representatives with information; the representatives’ names, the agenda, lists of speakers as well as the results of the latest votes. Speeches and contributions are transmitted live to these displays via a system- (automatic routing to the currently activated microphones) or manually controlled camera system.
Because members of the Al Shura Council stand to speak, long, tailor-made microphones were commissioned. The layout of the delegate units and the microphone suspension had to be adapted to the furnishings and various electronic and acoustic tests were required right up to delivery in order to achieve an optimum result.
There is a separate area for guests and visitors on the gallery, which was also fitted with technology. The team installed customised microphone units to allow queries from this area. In addition, the side hall areas include adapted units, inset into the panelling to enable users to listen in and vote.
The Egyptian partner, Quality Egyptian Engineering Projects Co., was the mastermind behind the design and installation of the entire PA system, video transmission technology and system cable network.
In the adjacent council rooms several CDS200 II discussion systems have been fitted for the committee meetings and in some of the rooms the INFRACOM interpretation system has also been installed. In the individual rooms, transmission of the translated languages is wireless.