Lines of communication

AUTHOR: Inavate

UAE Integration firm Aesthetix has carried out an AV installation allowing the Amana Buildings Contracting Company to maintain good communications between its main office and the outlying company offices as well as a new BGM and paging solution for the main office.

Since it’s foundation in 1993, the Amana Buildings Contracting Company has grown rapidly as a construction, design and engineering services for the agriculture, automotive, food processing, logistics, manufacturing, medical, oil and gas and retail industries. As a result, Amana Buildings operates through 12 subsidiaries in each Emirate of the U.A.E., Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Sri Lanka with a workforce of some 7,500 employees. In 2006, they had completed over 1,500 fully constructed buildings in the region and were the preferred subcontractor for international EPC contractors in the construction of numerous facilities for their oil and gas business. The Dubai-based human resources and IT departments recently relocated to a new purpose built facility in the Dubai Investment Park near Jebel Ali and as such drafted in the expertise of Aesthetix to keep them connected to the Gulf Tower Dubai main office in addition to all the other company offices via an effective conferencing and AV installation.

Following a successful bid, Aesthetix nominated project manager Jason C.K. to lead the day-to-day operations on site, with assistance from engineers Arijit Banerjee and Shaji Thomas. A six zone BGM system was implemented on all four floors of the building utilising an Australian Monitor AMIS solution. “We vary what systems are to be installed according to the client’s budget, but we recommend Australian Monitor quite a lot as it is simple to install, cost effective and most importantly perhaps, it is reliable,” offered Mr Jason C.K. At the very heart of the system is an AMIS Digipage multi-zone paging and source selection system for paging and source routing applications. It provides 6 programme inputs and one dedicated local mic/line input to each of the six identified zone outputs. Three of these zones exist on the ground floor (front desk, cafeteria and lift), whilst one zone per each of the three floors has been allocated, leaving two spare on the unit. LED indication for program/local input selection, zone output level, paging enable/disable and network busy provides extensive status indication to AV manager Shaji Thomas, who made the leap from Aesthetix to Amana Buildings following the final commissioning of the job. Remote control panels have been installed in each zone, allowing source selection and volume control at the touch of a button. A DPM8 microphone situated in the control room allows Mr. Thomas to make announcements as and when necessary.

A total of 74 white Quick Fit 6 10W RMS ceiling mounted speakers ensure that the BGM and announcements are clearly and evenly dispersed throughout the Amana Building. Three AMIS480P amplifiers supply power to the 100-volt line speaker network, delivering 80W to each of the amplifier’s four channels. Eight balanced dual mic/line inputs are integrated into the design for which bass, mid and treble controls exist on the front panel and integrated bell, pre announcement, evacuation and alert tones can be accessed via the rear panel. The BGM sources can be switched between an Onkyo six disc DXC 390 CD player, an Onkyo T4211 AM/FM tuner or a Denon DRW695 dual cassette deck.

The auditorium located on the ground floor required Aesthetix’s greatest attention and is where the conferencing takes place between the various offices. The split level chamber provides the delegates with visuals projected onto a 150-inch diagonal motorised Draper Baronet screen from a Christie LX34 LCD projector, which is lowered into position using a Draper micro projector lift. The Christie LX34 features 3,500 ANSI lumens and true XGA resolution, whilst progressive scan video reproduction improves the playback of moving images by using a 2:3 pull-down for improved resolution. Any of the other offices can see their colleagues in the Amana Building via the front wall mounted Samsung SA-UF80ST Visualiser. The image produced by the Visualiser can be displayed on TV-monitors or projected onto a large screen using a video projector at the other end of the video link. In addition, two ceiling mounted Kodicom KDS2211 intelligent dome cameras can record the conference for later playback.

Inserted into the auditorium’s ceiling are a total of eight Crown pressure zone microphones (PZM-10) providing an inconspicuous audio link, in conjunction with a Clearone PSR1212 microphone matrix mixer and Cresnet RS232 control module. Operating on phantom power, the microphone’s integrated humbucking transformer and steel case, prevent hum pickup near the ceiling lights. Playback from the other office is provided by four black wall mounted EVID 4.2T 30W speakers in the auditorium, powered from a single AMIS 120P amplifier. The lectern is served by a Shure MX412 gooseneck microphone, whilst a Shure PGX wireless system can be used for seminars and Q and A sessions, provided by both a tie clip and a hand held SM58.

All the control functions of the entire AV system can be managed from a Crestron AV2 portable touch panel. An Extron MPS 112 media presentation switcher, MVX 44 VGA computer-video and stereo audio signal router and RGB 164xi computer-video interface have been rack mounted into the adjacent control room for the switching needs of the system. In addition, a Yamaha MG16 16-channel console offers mixing functionality should it be required and a Denon DRW695 dual cassette player can be selected as a BGM source, whilst an LG DVD/VCR player can supply content to the projector. A Promethean Activboard interactive whiteboard has been wall mounted behind the lectern providing the main speaker with more options on which to make the presentation. A ground floor training facility with 18 seats with PCs comes equipped with a smart board linked to an NEC LT380 projector displaying the lecturer’s presentation onto a Draper 84-inch diagonal screen. A third floor human resources meeting room allows the team to have internal meetings and is equipped with another smart board, an NEC LT380 projector, Draper Baronet 120-inch diagonal screen, dual 42-inch Samsung plasma screens and an LG DVD/VCR player controlled by a Crestron touch panel. The room can be linked to other offices via a Tandberg camera and VC codec.