Audio Visual Design Guidelines

AV Design Stages and Sign Offs

585 views August 31, 2018 October 17, 2019 aetm 1

The AV designer and PM must actively participate prior to the consultation, at the consultation stage, and at all the sign-off points contained in the project definition and detailed design processes.

Project Planning and Coordination

Input from the organisation’s own AV design team or from an AV consultant is most useful in the planning stage to properly establish the scope for the project. 

Best practice is to use specialist AV advice at the following stages: 

  • initial and subsequent client consultation meetings to define the project brief
  • sign-off on the project design brief for bidding architectural design teams 
  • sign-off on the AV sections of the preliminary budget estimate 


Briefing and/or Concept Design

It is important to avoid over or under-resourcing the AV fit out by conducting a needs analysis specific to the target users.  This should involve the AV designer or consultant working with the project team and may include interviews with a wider user group to separate “needs” from “wants”.

A properly executed audiovisual return brief, concept design and feedback to the wider project team is invaluable at this stage to correctly identify budget requirements and design strategies for teaching spaces.  Standard quantity surveying methodology often fails to accurately capture requirements for teaching spaces and this can lead to poor budgetary outcomes if the AV component is left until the detailed design stage. 

Best practice is to have involvement by the AV designer or consultant at the following stages:

  • at project kick-off consultation meetings
  • sign off on sketch or concept design
  • feedback sessions regarding physical space constraints (eg. ceiling heights and room aspect ratios)


Detailed Design

Architectural and infrastructure requirements related to teaching spaces will be clearly defined through the AV designer’s input and through the various documentation they will produce.  

At detailed development stage, the designer should sign-off on sightlines and viewing conditions as well as defining needed electrical and data infrastructure in teaching, learning and meeting spaces.

The AV designer or consultant will produce the AV specific tender package documentation (or oversee the in-house design estimation) and must sign-off prior to tender issue.  

The designer or consultant will normally recommend (or approve, depending on the organisation and the contract) the selection of the audiovisual systems integrator who will manage the fit-out. 


Construction phase

During construction, the AV designer or consultant must provide advice and help to resolve any issues that arise concerning AV infrastructure. A site inspection at the early stages of a build could prove invaluable at critical stages of the build:

  • prior to slab pouring
  • prior to sheeting of walls
  • after systems commissioning

When deploying large quantities of rooms, it is recommended to prioritise completion of one instance of the system to ensure defects are picked up before they are multiplied across all similar spaces.

The AV designer must sign off on the functionality of the completed systems and provide their overall sign-off on project completion.


Defect Resolution and Acceptance Testing

After construction, the AV consultant and Integrator need to prove that a functional system has been delivered to meet the project brief. To ensure this, they should use the organisation’s internal test plan (or develop a test plan) to adequately test the system. 

AVIXA have developed detailed acceptance testing standards which can be applied, particularly where no local standards exist. 

Defects of faulty (including DoA) equipment should be addressed as part of the integrators defect liability period (DLP). For best results, acceptance testing should happen both on a technical level (to ensure that upon delivery items are technically correct and functional) and at the end user level (to test the functionality of the design and implementation, delivering on the user requirements).

The organisation should provide internal resources for acceptance testing of the completed systems and generate defects lists to close out with the builder and their subcontractors.


Documentation and Handover

Upon acceptance of the project, finalisation of the elements to make the venue operational should be conducted. Documentation of the venue including as-built drawings, network and asset information of equipment, support and training documentation must be completed for handover. 

Training for the Support staff to enable support of the venue should be completed. Handover of the space to any operational teams should be done with internal acceptance of the new venue, referencing existing or creating new support models.


Project Closure

A formal closure should take the end of each project. Ensure invoices have been paid, product documentation handed over and acceptance is complete. 

For larger projects, it may be useful to conduct a Project Implementation Review (PIR) to assess what aspects of the project works and what improvements could be made for future projects. This is also a useful practice for individual proof-of-concept projects.


Please note: Some of these stages may be combined on smaller projects.

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