AV Design & Installation

Health Department Training Room.

Contact Group has just wrapped up a major Audio-Visual project in the north of the state, the $1.6 million Department of Health offices, at 39 Frankland Street Launceston.

The three-storey office block was completely gutted and has undergone a significant transformation over the past 12 months, with Contact engaged to carry out the design and installation of the Audio-Visual equipment, as well as the installation of the electrical, communications, lighting control, security, and fire protection system.

State AV Manager Andrew Otley said Contact was invited to tender for this project off the back of the company’s ongoing work with the DoH video conferencing team and the strong relationship that has been built over the past few years.

“It was an interesting project because the AV team was invited to collaborate with the architect and got involved in the early meetings with the key stakeholders to help advise on AV scope,” he said.

Conference room with large LCD screens.

Andrew said this approach worked really well for both the client and Contact Group, with clever designs and high-end technology expertly installed by Contact technicians.

“When we can get involved in the design at the initial planning stage of the project, it always has a large financial benefit to the project budget,” he said.

The AV component alone was worth $500 thousand, one third of the overall contract value, with the project encompassing small huddle spaces with self-contained video conferencing technology, a medium conference space, as well as larger training rooms to allow the offices to be used as a training facility.

Andrew said everything benefitted from the clever design initiatives put forward by Contact Group, in the very early stages of the project.

“For example, normally a USB connection from a computer to a video conferencing unit can only be quite small because the USB signal can only go a few meters. We were able to extend the HDMI and video conference signals out to the AV rack so they could be processed and routed to where they were needed.”

Health Department Offices

He said this means the client can connect their laptops to wall plates or a floor box and regardless of where it’s connected it’s possible to route it back to the same VC unit.

“There were a lot of smarts behind how it all worked, it was quite interesting,” he said.

Andrew said the most exciting part of the project however, was the simulation lab and two large conference rooms with very high end VC gear, multiple LCD screens, laser projection and an operable wall.

“We set them up as individual rooms in their own right, but when the operable wall is removed, we have the capacity to convert the system to a single room via a touchscreen panel, so that’s quite exciting and definitely took some intricate designing,” he said.

Andrew Otley | State AV Manager

The simulation lab was something of a first for the techs involved, and Andrew said it was really great to work with that kind of cutting-edge technology.

Simulation Lab.

The simulation room contains a training mannequin and VC equipment, microphones and speakers, enabling the teacher in the next room to watch proceedings and communicate with the student.

“The trainer can dial up a scenario on the mannequin, like a cardiac arrest, and the teacher has the ability to not only watch the procedure but record it, so there’s quite a lot of technology in and around the lab and the viewing room,” he said.

Andrew said it was 360-degree effort from the entire AV team but wanted to give a special shout out to Mark who was the main designer and programmer and James, who oversaw the onsite operations, digital sound processing and equalization as well as lengthy training sessions with the client, as well as producing thorough manuals and guides for how to use the new systems.

“I’d also like to make special mention of the project manager, Josh Alexander, who has an excellent understanding of AV and who managed the project really well,” he said.

Between four and eight Contact staff have been working at the site each day for the past few months, and Josh said the job had been challenging at times, with several major projects in northern Tasmania peaking at the same time.

Kitchen and lunch room.

“All in all, it was a massive team effort and something for the team involved and Contact as a whole, to be really proud of!!”

Josh said he needed to give a special shout out to Jamie who went over and above (as per usual) to deliver this project to a level that is second to none.

He also wanted to thank Andy, Andrew, Mark and James who came in when needed and put in long hours and never gave up trying to get this job handed over on time.

Northern Manager, David Irving, said he’s already received feedback that the works’ quality is some of the best in the industry and that the Contact Group team were an absolute pleasure to deal with.

Well done to everyone involved!