The AV designer must actively participate, both prior to, and at the consultation and “sign off” points in the project definition and detailed design processes.
Note: Some of these stages may be combined on smaller projects.
1. Project Planning and Coordination
Input from the Institution’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
2. Briefing /Concept Design
It is important to avoid over or under-resourcing the AV fit out by conducting a discipline specific “Needs Analysis”. This should involve the AV Designer or Consultant working with the project team and may include interviews with the wider user group to separate “needs” from “wants”.
A properly executed Audio Visual Return Brief & Concept Design is invaluable at SD 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 AV is left until Detailed Design stage.
Best practice involvement by the AV Designer or consultant is at the following stages:
- At project kick-off consultation meeting(s)
- Sign off on Sketch or Concept Design
3. Detailed Design
Architecture 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 DD 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 institution and the contract) the selection of the Audio Visual Systems Integrator who will manage the fit-out.
4. Construction phase
During construction, the AV Designer or Consultant must provide advice and help to resolve any issues that arise concerning AV infrastructure. They must also sign off on acceptance testing of the completed system and provide their overall sign off on project completion.
5. Defect Resolution and Acceptance Testing
After construction, the AV Consultant or Integrator should develop a test plan (or use an internal test plan) to adequately test the system as functional and meeting the brief. Defects of faulty/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 delivery is technically correct and functional) and on a End User level (to test the functionality of the design\implementation delivering on the User Requirements).
6. Documentation & Handover
On acceptance of the project, finalisation of the elements to make the venue operational should be conducted. Documentation of the Venue including As-Built drawings, IP address & serial information of equipment, Support and Training documentation should be completed. Any User training and Signage to guide in the use of the space should also be completed. 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 some internal acceptance of the new venue.
7. Project Closure
Finalisation of the project should occur. Ensure all invoices have been paid, product documentation 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.