University of Birmingham - Sport & Fitness-
INTRODUCING UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM'S £55M SPORTING FACILITIES
In 2015, GV Multimedia's Coventry branch won a project at the University of Birmingham that involved the integration of digital signage through their brand new facility to replace their existing Munrow Sports Centre.
University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness is a brand new club designed to provide world-class opportunities for everyone in the region, from beginner to elite athlete. Open to both the student body and the public, the new
building is located just outside of Birmingham City Centre and on the edge of their Edgbaston campus. This stage of the University's £55 million project to develop their sporting capabilities involves an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a 200+ station gymnasium, six squash courts, a three-pitch multi-purpose arena and sports hall, a climbing wall, high performance centre and five activity rooms. Also included within the building are the University's sports science and physiotherapy facilities.
ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES ON A TWO-YEAR PROJECT
Being part of a huge project, this impressive facility was subject to delays in construction, which had a knock-on effect with regards to the AV integration. After two years of delays, Sport & Fitness finally opened in May 2017. GV Multimedia's involvement in the project focused on the integration of a building wide flexible signage system.
GV Multimedia's Coventry team found themselves in a dicult position. While ready to install the many screens at a moment's notice, they were restricted in what they were able to do. With the sports centre still being a building site, installation of a host of signage panels would have caused potential fire hazards, meaning that integration at this stage was simply not an option. Every potential hazard had to be considered. The result was that the team had a narrow window in which to deliver the project in time for the building's opening.
DIGITAL SIGNAGE THROUGHOUT A STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY
The project saw on the application of digital signage panels throughout the new suite. Entering the building, visitors were met with a 5x1 screen LG video wall displaying bespoke content via ONELAN net-top boxes. At each side of the building's atrium are touchscreens for wayfinding and information.
The panels in the atrium are used to display content for a host of activities – particularly stat based dashboard apps to measure competition.
LG panels are situated throughout each major space in the centre, displaying video content as well as information on the services available in said areas. The panels can also be used to display information on what's happening within. With access to the panels being provided over their own network, they can also be used to display live scores via a connected device.
Security is obviously of paramount importance and, as such, the screens sit on their own network rather than the standard university one. In the past, the University had been subject to students accessing displays and displaying their own content. To prevent this, the university worked with GV Multimedia to utilise a more secure solution. Security and infrastructure posed one of the biggest challenges with the project, but GV's solution delivered the required level of security and peace of mind.
A TIGHT DEADLINE. NEEDING TO WORK AROUND OTHER INDUSTRIES. NO PROBLEM.
This large scale digital signage installation took two years to complete. While the project posed many challenges, each was met with aplomb. Throughout the entire branch network, GV Multimedia's team members pride themselves on the work they do and will not settle for anything less than perfect. While this could daunt many other integrators, communication and flexibility in their approach meant that the Coventry team's enthusiasm never waned. While corners could have been cut in order to deliver a solution quickly, the team never even entertained this as an option. This meant that the system was in place very shortly before the facility opened its doors to the public. Further system testing at this stage was impossible due to the deadlines, however GV's meticulous approach to the project meant that this was not a worry. Unfortunately the project timeframes did not permit a dry run but as the doors opened GV's work was met with acclaim for all users within the building.
While the integration of a series of signage panels may not seem too daunting a task in and of itself, this project is notable in displaying the flexibility and collaborative nature of the GV team.
UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM ON GV MULTIMEDIA'S PROFESSIONALISM
Andrew Aldridge – Systems Manager for University of Birmingham Sport – worked closely with the Coventry team over the course of this challenging project. He was incredibly positive about the work that the team had carried out saying:
The GV team – particularly Matt (Price) and Tim (Watson) – are a great bunch to work with. They were the most professional of all teams involved with the project. They cared about the results and showed pride in their work.
GV Multimedia are understandably proud of this project. The requirement to deliver a perfect solution within such a prestigious environment is no mean feat, even without a host of other factors in place that could potentially hamper progress. Nevertheless, the team delivered the system with enthusiasm and flexibility, leaving the customer as delighted with their work as they are themselves.