Windhoek corporate facility embarks on major AV technology investment

Windhoek corporate facility embarks on major AV technology investment
AV integrator Stage Audio Works (SAW) Namibia delivered system specification, design integration and support for the new Windhoek offices of financial services company Capricorn Group.

The 3,258 sq m Capricorn Corner houses a data centre, training facility and offices. Audio is handled by an Audac system, while Samsung displays, Apple TVs and Atlona PTZ cameras were installed. Poly Studio all-in-one soundbar and auto track cameras were also deployed along with Crestron control products.

Johan Swanepoel, a chairperson of the Capricorn Group , said: “The board was very mindful of the positive impact the project would have in securing jobs and stimulating the economy. When others were disinvesting, postponing investment, and cutting capital expenditure, Capricorn Group took the bold decision to invest, and the board approved the development of Capricorn Corner. The investment in Capricorn Corner helped secure 250 jobs over 16 months and inject N$110 million into our economy.”

SAW Namibia’s primary brief was to streamline and improve the Capricorn Group’s video and audio conferencing experience across its nine meeting rooms. One key aspect of this was the inclusion of native Microsoft Teams conference systems in each of the rooms, to ensure high quality streaming with a familiar interface. The new building also included four classrooms, which required interactive displays to improve the group’s training capability. Additionally, the project’s scope covered the provision of a multi-purpose venue which required the dynamic routing of audio and video sources to cater for various occasions. The overall goal of the installation was to improve both the flexibility and operability of the bank’s unified communications (UC), to promote better collaboration. It also had to satisfy the architects aesthetic vision of the building, seamlessly blending with the design where possible.

Capricorn Corner’s audio solution is principally comprised of Audac equipment, with the focal point of the installation being the multi-purpose conference venue, where SAW Namibia implemented ten Audac ALTI4 pendant loudspeakers. Additionally, the integrator installed seven Audac QuickFit ceiling loudspeakers throughout the venue itself, and a further ten in the adjacent balcony, supported by two final surface mount loudspeakers. The Audac CIRA824s neatly fit into the structure of the building. The system is powered by an Audac CAP448 quad channel amplifier. For the smaller interactive classrooms, a soundbar was enough to fill the room.

SAW Namibia also equipped Capricorn Corner with numerous screens to fulfil a variety of applications depending on the location. The specification included several Samsung models, ranging from 65-in screens, present in every meeting room, complete with flexible mounting brackets, to two 82-in ultra-HD screens installed in the multi-purpose venue. The three larger meeting rooms are also equipped with Apple TVs that offer 4K functionality. The dimensions were carefully selected to fit the composition and size of each room. In the multi-purpose conference venue, an Atlona PTZ Camera was implemented to stream professional grade video, with USB functionality making it simple to connect devices. In the smaller interactive classrooms, 75-in Samsung Flip3 interactive screens were used for the displays. For video capture here, a Poly Studio all-in-one soundbar and auto track camera solution was installed, delivering 4K HD quality with a 120-degree field of view.

Crestron technology was also deployed and Joppie Maritz, managing director of SAW Namibia, said: “The Crestron Flex range was the perfect solution for this installation, encompassing the full Microsoft Teams Room UC experience in a neat package, complete with an integrated AEC-enabled speakerphone to provide crystal clear conferencing and collaboration. When you factor in the Flex’s ability to connect and present from any mobile device (BYOD), it really does satisfy all of the clients need.”

Where possible, mechanisms were automated to streamline the process and reduce the potential for human error. This is particularly evident with the integration of PoE, touchscreen room scheduling devices and occupancy sensors, also from Crestron. Furthermore, the inclusion of Crestron’s Air-Media technology allows for wired or wireless presentation in the multi-purpose conference venue.