Markit is a leading global financial information services company with 16 offices around the world. A decision was made to relocate the Markit UK Headquarters and in 2010 they sourced new premises in Ropemaker Street, London. Commercial fit-out specialists, Overbury, were appointed to refurbish the 4th and 5th office floors of Ropemaker Place, who then charged Smartcomm with the task of installing new Audio Visual systems throughout.
High-Tech Office Finery!
Catherine Jones | smartcomm
The installation consisted of formal and informal meeting spaces, three video conferencing rooms, an enhanced video conferencing room, team room, auditorium and boardroom — all within a 12 week timeframe!
A major part of Smartcomm's specification for the project was Crestron’s MPC-M10, part of the 2-Series Control System. Its simple but versatile functionality enables integration with different systems, making it the perfect choice for a project with multiple areas.
The audio, video, and environmental elements in each room are controllable and accessible via the Crestron MPC-M10, giving the added facility of Crestron RoomView. RoomView is fantastic Remote Room Management software that enables you to maintain and track AV usage for each system. By having the ability to remotely switch off any unused air conditioning, lighting and VC or projector system, you can prolong the life of your equipment, avoid screen burn and save energy, which helps the environment as well as saving on energy costs.
Throughout the 4th and 5th floors there are 29 meeting rooms. Smartcomm designed and installed functional and efficient systems in every room, including LCD screens ranging from 32” to 46”. Each system includes connectivity for a visiting laptop, resident PC, IPTV and wireless content sharing which enables the client to display up to four laptop feeds on the screen at any one time.
Flawless Audio playback is presented through Polycom flush mounted ceiling speakers. Microsoft HD Webcams are also integrated into each room, completing the Video conferencing facilities.
Enhanced Video Conferencing Room
A dual 46” screen High Definition Video-Conferencing system takes pride of place in this room and includes connectivity for a visiting laptop, resident PC and wireless content sharing which enables the client to share files during a conference. Each seating position has a control plate installed with an integrated microphone, allowing the person to mute the microphone and select a designated camera position preset on the VC system.
An enhanced Video Conferencing room requires enhanced equipment. The main control for this room is handled by a Crestron wireless touch panel, designed to allow for several people in the room at once. It provides a simple transportable VC control system for various users, as well as confidence monitoring and lighting control.
The auditorium is a 12 metre wide central atrium that encompasses both the 4th and 5th floors. This open space is the epicentre of Markit HQ, and contains a large built-in staircase that doubles as a seating area.
The client required a screen that was to be displayed in full view of the seating area, but did not interfere with the surrounding walkways. The purpose of the screen was to enable Directors to address the UK office, but also hold the ability to broadcast to all 16 Markit offices around the world.
Smartcomm’s solution to this is a stunning 103” Panasonic plasma display screen suspended 4.5 metres in the air, encased in an attractive wooden frame. To back up this impressive 103” screen, two 40” LCD screens are also mounted in the corners of the room, with the ability to display the same source or work independently at any one time, so a diagram or image may be displayed whilst the speaker remains on screen. The speaker is broadcast using a state-of-the-art Panasonic AW-HE100 High Definition camera, subtly installed in the ceiling.
The auditorium is fitted with a number of audio zones giving the ability to route the audio inputs out to different speaker zones, allowing versatility. Induction loops have also been installed for enhancement of audio for those that are hard-of-hearing.
The Team room was designed to be an informal space for internal meetings and discussions. To compliment the contemporary design of the room, Smartcomm fitted a Smartboard interactive whiteboard projection screen for use of the resident PC and guest laptops, accompanied by floor-to-ceiling whiteboards for written notes and ideas. The equipment, input, audio levels and mood lighting are controlled by the touch of a wall-mounted Crestron control panel button, completing the modern feel of the space.
The boardroom plays host to a table for 28 people, which required multiple audio and video facilities. To address this requirement, Smartcomm installed a control plate at each seating position with integrated microphones, allowing the person to mute the microphone and select a designated camera position preset on the VC system. There are also 5 motorised pods with integrated 19” LCD monitors repeating the display from the main screen. Flush mounted ceiling speakers have been fitted throughout.
Lighting has also been installed, complete with Scene Settings for video conferencing purposes. This allows a preset for the lights to dim and blinds to close when the VC equipment is engaged.
Smartcomm’s main feature for the Boardroom is the 103” Panasonic widescreen plasma display, integrating connectivity at several points for laptops as well as a resident PC. Other connections to the system include dual camera video conferencing and IPTV.
One desire of the client was for a wall to hold a screen that was reminiscent of an Apple iPad - Never one to turn down a challenge, Smartcomm proceeded to install the plasma screen into a bespoke joinery with piano black gloss surround and curved corners. Two Polycom Eagle Eye High Definition cameras either side of the screen were installed in such a way that they reflected the speaker and renowned “Apple function button”. The end result was an impressive representation of a landscape Apple iPad, that can be clearly seen from surrounding offices.
In January 2011 Markit opened the new offices to their employees and have received much commendation.
System Designer: Mark Allen
Cost of project: £640,000
Project Duration: 3 Months
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