Archive | October, 2011
October 20, 2011

InfoComm Celebrates AV Week

InfoComm Celebrates AV Week

Happy AV Week from InfoComm headquarters! The staff here just wrapped up our AV Week celebration with an all staff party. We hosted three contests for staff to get in the spirit. View the photo gallery.

First, we held our Third Annual InfoBake with prizes being awarded for best taste, most patriotic (GovComm is just around the corner) and best branding/description. We also held a Geek-It-Up contest and InfoComm trivia quiz.

InfoComm is celebrating in other ways too. Throughout AV Week, we have been tweeting InfoComm trivia questions – with five winners so far! On Friday we wrap up AV Week with an e-recycle drive at the Fairfax office.

We are also hosting a Member Roundtable and AV Tech Conference in San Diego this week. We are excited about our industry and we hope you are too! Congratulations on all of your succesful AV Week plans!

October 14, 2011

Wrapping Up in Dubai — See You Next Year!

Wrapping Up in Dubai — See You Next Year!

Exhibitors at the first InfoComm Middle East & Africa (IFMEA) are more than happy with this inaugural event. With 10,604 visitor registrations in the first four days, we expect visitorship to top 12,000 by the end of the 5-day show today.

IFMEA will return with a bigger show next year and will again be co-located with GITEX Technology Week, our wonderful partners. More than 90% of this year’s exhibitors have re-booked their space for the 2012 event, scheduled from 14-16 October. Companies like Extron, Crestron, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Jupiter, Samsung, Venuetech, Wolfvision, Hitachi, NEC, AMX, Arrive System and many others have re-booked their booth space; while Sony and Vtron who missed this year’s show have also reserved a booth for the 2012 event.

October 13, 2011

Greetings for Toronto and Greenbuild 2011

Greetings for Toronto and Greenbuild 2011

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently held its 10th Greenbuild Conference and Expo in Toronto. Greenbuild is a gathering of architects, engineers, developers, contractors and builders interested in “greening” the built environment. This was the first time the conference was held outside the U.S., with more than 23,000 attendees from 108 countries (down from 27,000 attendees at last year’s show in Chicago). The 2012 Greenbuild show will be held in San Francisco.

This year’s Greenbuild theme was “NEXT,” reflecting the fact that the green building market has reached a certain critical mass over the past decade, causing many to ask, “What’s next?”  It was an appropriate topic, seeing as, from much anecdotal evidence, use of the USGBCs own green building rating system, LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), has leveled off.

The conference’s NEXT discussions explored several ideas: living buildings, biomimicry (the study of Nature to learn her design secrets), green schools, ecodistricts (livable, walkable, sustainable neighborhoods), environmental product declarations (EPD), and benchmarking and metrics.

The EPD issue is particularly interesting for manufacturers.  An EPD is a lifecycle assessment (LCA) of a material, product or system. It goes beyond a material safety and data sheet (MSDS) and provides the full picture of the impact, risks and environmental responsibility of a product.  Expect EPDs to catch on in the U.S. as a means to qualify “green” claims, to address the LCA requirements of the draft LEED 2012, and to displace — to a certain extent — the growing market for third-party Eco-labels and “sustainability” accreditation.

Benchmarking and metrics was also an appropriate and timely topic for this USGBC conference, given some of the recent concerns about the real-world performance of LEED-rated buildings.  There was much discussion regarding the draft 2012 LEED credits requiring measurement and verification, including the Reconcile Design and Actual Energy Performance credit that requires measurement and verification to obtain the credit. A measurement & verification (M&V) plan would be required, but the M&V provider would also have to “prepare and submit a final report to the project design team and the building owner that describes the M&V program and its outcomes,” including actual energy use compared to the projected use, defined by the “Optimize Energy Performance” credit.

There were many other interesting sessions, not the least of which was the Second Annual Legal Forum.  I won’t go into much detail, but the topics discussed, from litigation and green construction contracts to the latest insurance products and “greenwashing,” may be indicators of the current status of the green building market.

For more information please contact InfoComm’s Sustainability Officer, Allen Weidman.

October 12, 2011

Greenbuild 2011- Green Roofs, Rainwater Harvesting … and Video Walls?

Greenbuild 2011- Green Roofs, Rainwater Harvesting … and Video Walls?

My first trip to Greenbuild and Greenbuild’s first time in YYZ (thanks to the iconic band, Rush, for popularizing that airport code to make it far easier than the arduous task of typing Toronto). Not only was it Greenbuild’s first time in Toronto, it was the first time it was held outside of the U.S. It’s just a matter of time before we see the same show in Mumbai.

I’ll admit it – I have been a slow adopter of sustainable ideas and practices, mostly due to my fear of being greenwashed and my undying need to question EVERYTHING. However, through the many brilliant subject matter experts that I have encountered over the last few years in my task  forces, I truly believe our industry can play a HUGE role in achieving a sustainable building alongside the construction industry. Luckily, Greenbuild gets it and InfoComm member APG Displays, who exhibited at Greenbuild this year, can show off their products proudly (a video wall that uses as much energy as a hair dryer and a flexible LED curtain that uses as much energy as a coffee pot) knowing that they can directly contribute to an owner achieving a LEED® certified building if their energy efficient audiovisual displays are specified in a project.

Wait …  not so fast. Unfortunately, this is not true and our manufacturers and consultants are all too aware. BUT THAT’S OK! The USGBC and their believers and followers acknowledge that LEED® is not all encompassing and there are innumerable ways to practice sustainability that are not covered in their rating system. That’s why InfoComm developed the Sustainable Technology Environments Program™ (STEP) Foundation and the development of the STEP rating giving companies, like APG Display, the chance to truly play a part in the sustainability of a building.

PHEW. I could walk around the show floor at Greenbuild relaxed, knowing that our industry will no longer be alienated from this sustainability imperative. It truly was an enlightening experience to see all the amazing ways a commercial building, a school, or a residence (among other buildings) could function more sustainably, for example, through eliminating the heat island effect and improving the environment for the occupants by “greening” a roof. Literally, putting a park or a garden on the roof of the building. Brilliant! I love it. Reharvesting rainwater to keep that roof green? Even better! I think it’s “simple” concepts like this that will one day become common place, along with a SINGLE, building-wide control system that ensures that not only is the fourth floor of a building totally black, AV systems totally powered off and air conditioning completely deactivated when not in use, but that the precious, reharvested rainwater isn’t being used during Hurricane Irene or a visit from one of her other Caribbean/Atlantic cyclonic friends.

While I’m going for my LEED Green Associate certification, don’t worry, I’m not jumping ship. I thoroughly enjoyed taking LEED 101 and LEED 201 and I’m impressed with the quality of the educators that USGBC has to spread their message, which I still think is a good one despite my friends in our industry not being a part of it. I love the InfoComm industry and I believe I need to truly understand how we fit into sustainability (or according to LEED, how we do not fit) so I can continue to march alongside you through STEP, Building Information Modeling (BIM), AV/IT integration and future emerging technologies and business trends that haven’t even been defined yet.

My experience at Greenbuild made it clear: the world’s desire to achieve sustainable and more efficiently run buildings, resulting in lower operating costs, is still alive and well despite the economic climate. It was also clear to me that through the amazing thought leadership and breadth of knowledge our members possess and share with us staff people, InfoComm is well on its way to becoming the leader in sustainability.

Rachel Peterson
Manager of Best Practices
InfoComm International

October 11, 2011

Freedom and Learning from George Mason University!

Freedom and Learning from George Mason University!

We kicked off AV Week today at GMU, I know a week early, but hey they had a day-off for Columbus Day. We learned their slogan is “Freedom and Learning.”

There were about 30 technology managers from AV/IT departments all around the state of Virginia. Matthew Silverman of GMU invited InfoComm to present about our standards and best practices. Rachel Peterson, Manager of Best Practices, InfoComm International, gave a great presentation followed by some excellent discussion.  We also had a tour of their Innovation Hall that has a variety of AV/IT implementations – very nice! The group spent the day sharing ideas about classroom technology – quite the innovative group.

View our photo gallery.

October 10, 2011

InfoComm Middle East and Africa Opens in Dubai

The InfoComm Middle East & Africa show opened Sunday, October 2, 2011 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.  The show is co-located with GITEX, the largest IT trade event in the region. As with all of our shows outside of the US, we try to provide a consistent product nuanced by local customs and practices.

After the grand opening ceremony His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai toured the entire show floor along with his entourage and press corps. It was my pleasure to welcome him to our show as he graciously visited several of our exhibitors.

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