A bright Spark technology solution
Southampton Solent University has a strong international reputation, plus facilities at …More
Durham is a leading university. With a traditional college system and a reputation for excellence, it is a classic British institution. But time doesn’t stand still, and these days Durham is a modern, dynamic place with an international community and thrusting academic ambitions. It sets its standards high – and so chose Visavvi to implement a ‘landmark’ collaborative technology installation.
In a building such as this, which hosts large scale teaching and high profile events and with a small AV team supporting teaching spaces across the university, it is vital that we install systems that are flexible and highly reliable – and this has been delivered excellently."
We were challenged to deliver a new generation of interactive collaboration at Durham. Bringing learning spaces to life is a speciality of ours, so we came at the project with clear ambitions. Our intention is always to liberate students and academics from cumbersome interaction so they can focus on their objectives. High levels of seamless, collaborative participation are what we aim for.
The focus for the project was the Calman Learning Centre, the university’s main lecture theatre complex on its Mountjoy science site. As a preferred supplier with the regional university purchasing consortium, we have a longstanding relationship with Durham. We were delighted to win the contract to equip the centre with a complete range of advanced integrated audio visual systems.
Our project delivery was carefully configured to meet the exacting specifications provided by Durham's audio visual team. With the Calman Centre housing the largest teaching spaces on whole of the university campus, the scope of the project was significant. Our focus was on three dedicated lecture theatres, as well as two large teaching rooms with wide windows and panoramic views of beautiful Durham.
We designed lecture theatre solutions featuring the latest in state-of-the-art display, control and collaboration technology, which included:
Each theatre was also provided with:
The AMX touch control panels feature bespoke programmed user interfaces for the AMX room control systems. Complementing the digital display technologies, teacher board systems were removed and replaced with 3.5m wide triple column dry-wipe boards.
Two smaller top floor teaching rooms were equipped with:
This was the first time the university had used audio visual rather than internet protocol technology. The benefit is that content can be sent around the building via the structured cabling network, with encoding and decoding provided by the latest Harman AMX SVSI system. Thanks to our expertise, we were able to blend technology from multiple manufacturers into a seamless, easily-controlled environment. Its power is proven when lecture theatres are oversubscribed. Live presentations, complete with PowerPoint content and audio can be shared by up to 1,100 participants in any of the rooms.
The systems have provided Durham University with a fantastic, flexible solution for events and teaching. Custom programming makes everything really simple to use. Lectures and events can be hosted anywhere and sent to different rooms when there is need for overflow. Technically, the result is a landmark installation and a milestone in Visavvi's long and proud association with the university.
Crispin Bloomfield, IT Business Partner for Education at Durham, was full of praise. “Months of planning and technical work went into the project,” he said. "Visavvi worked with us to overcome some infrastructure challenges that required clever solutions, plus they faced a very tight window to turn this flagship teaching building around. It was flawlessly executed, on time and on budget.”