Swansea University Bay Campus-
In the summer of 2015, Swansea University doubled in size thanks to the construction of a brand new campus located in Swansea Bay.
With state of the art facilties as well as student accommodation, restaurants, a Great Hall and more, Bay Campus has radically tranformed Swansea University.
GV Multimedia was commissioned to integrate a campus-wide AV system that covered a variety of teaching spaces. With the requirement for collaboaration and uniformity over 120+ spaces, GV Multimedia stationed a team at the university to take on this challenging project.
A large scale, new build project, Swansea Bay Campus posed a very daunting challenge in respects of not only size but also the variety of different room styles and system designs across the 120+ spaces. Out of the seven buildings, five were to be occupied by the College of Engineering which meant that many of the spaces were bespoke designs that were crafted around the academics’ individual needs. The real challenge was to create a common user experience that carried across these specialist teaching labs and into the centrally bookable seminar rooms and lecture theatres as well as the communal spaces including boardrooms, meeting spaces, collaboration hubs, bars, restaurants and grand atriums.
Crestron solutions came to the rescue under these circumstances as their integration enabled the composition of a wide variety of system designs whilst retaining a common core product range and cosmetic look throughout. DM matrix/presentation switchers and 3 Series processors provided the system infrastructure and varying degrees of flexibility were obtained by the implementation of a range of user interfaces from button panels to the latest release touch panel technology. This approach made for east bespoke adjustments and high confidence in future system expansion.
Overall, the project was split between centrally bookable and more specific sole user spaces. There were four categories of lecture theatres which made up for approximately 50-60% of the spaces. The 30 small theatres’ (25-30 persons) design consisted of a single data projector, projection surface and front of house speakers controlled from a single pod AV lectern using a simple MPC-M5 control panel. AV switching and routing was done via a DMPS3-150 which provided inputs of PC, Doc Cam, Aux HDMI and VGA. 12 Medium Theatres Type 1 and Type 2 (covering spaces of 30 – 150 students) incorporated a second, third and in some cases 4th projector, Digital Media Matrix Switcher and 7” touch screen allowing of multi-source display. Enhanced audio allowed for front of house and speech re-enforcement as required whilst video camera’s provided support for lecture capture systems. The final category consisted of a large flagship theatre which featured 3 projectors and surround system. In addition to the above seminar spaces, the project included 9 PC labs each kitted out with a main large format display and multiple repeater monitors.
Outside of the centrally bookable spaces, the emphasis switched to the use of multiple large format displays and a move away from more conventional front to back teaching styles. These spaces were to house the school of engineering whereby flexible teaching and highly detailed content were key factors in the system designs. The teaching laboratories were fitted with multiple (up to 10) displays offering options for one source to all, room splits or any source to any display allowing for a variety of different setups specific to the various exercises being undertaken. Many of the screens were fitted with local input plates to allow the spaces to double up for collaborative learning or group work. The bigger labs included audio systems to provide speech re-enforcement and content audio.
The final element of works consisted of approx. 20 meeting spaces of various size featuring a large format display with between one and four table top outlets for laptop connections.
Some of the executive spaces featured videoconferencing and a wireless touch panel whilst the smaller spaces featured sync detection enabling display control and source switching to be automated.
Since completion of the above, further projects have been undertaken or are underway that provide Audio Visual facilities to some of the communal spaces around the campus including student union bars, restaurants and atrium spaces. The latest venture is a twin 4k video wall installation enabling signage, presentation and event usage. Many of the systems are based on multiple large format displays, central matrix switching of the video content and multiple control panels.
Garry Morgan, Facilities Co-ordinator, Swansea University said, “It was a close run contest between GV Multimedia and two other companies with little or no difference in the type/price of equipment and install costs between them, however we opted for GV due to the fact that they had included predominantly Crestron controls and switching with built-in future proofing for 4K. This was not included in the other bids and was without doubt a contributing factor in them winning the contract.”
As well as a futureproof system, the result offers a uniform, high quality system throughout the entire campus and a standardised look and feel across all spaces in terms of system presentation and user experience. This allows staff to work within all teaching spaces with confidence due to the familiarity of all the user interfaces.
The DM format has proven to be one of the most reliable and robust HDBaseT formats that we have used and the Ethernet over DM has proved very useful as a retrofit solution in situations that require plenty of IP control.
Every teaching space now sits on the Crestron fusion system allowing for remote diagnostics, feedback and monitoring for University technicians and ongoing GVMM support staff.