Extron NAV & AV Switching Systems Help Students Collaborate and Connect at the University of Manchester
We can send a source from any room to any other room in the complex; the NAV system turns the entire MECD complex into one enormous, flexible learning space.
The University of Manchester Engineering Campus Development – MECD in England provides expansive research, learning, and meeting spaces for more than 8,000 engineering and science students. Two new structures, the nine-story Building A and the five-story Building B, link to the existing four-story Oddfellows Hall. The three main room types encompass flexible Meet & Teach rooms, labs and workshops, and specialized learning spaces such as blended-use and divisible rooms.
The University required flexible AV switching systems with robust sound and intuitive control for hundreds of flexible teaching and learning spaces. The Oddfellows Hall required an upgrade to match the technologies in the new buildings. All rooms in the MECD needed to be linked together and the AV systems would also need to integrate with the university's resource management system, Extron's
Pure Audio Visual Ltd. – Pure AV located in Preston, England, worked closely with the university IT/AV team to design the AV systems. Then, they spearheaded integration of the full selection of products from Extron, including professional-grade AV matrix switchers, switchers, DSP audio and control systems, and a
MECD's new engineering campus buildings feature two-tiered lecture theatres, four teaching clusters, over 120 Meet & Teach rooms, an interconnected venue consisting of five large teaching areas, individual labs and workshops, divisible lecture theatres, and a unique blended lecture/dry lab theater. Meet & Teach rooms replaced traditional classrooms. The campus includes five buildings, the James Chadwick Building, the York Street Building, and the three linked buildings. The project added approximately 2,200 learning, meeting, and social spaces over a combined floor area of 861,113 square feet (80,000 square meters).
When deciding on the best space for a particular lesson, instructors can look up rooms by size and AV capabilities on the Room Catalogue website. It includes photographs of each room and any space configuration options, as well as details about the provided and auxiliary AV equipment and connectivity capabilities by room.
Large Meet & Teach rooms include a Panasonic® 10,000-lumen projector and a Sapphire® screen, one or more Kaptivo® Capture Boards, interactive whiteboards, and LG® videowalls. Panasonic displays on walls and carts augment visibility in the medium and large spaces, with the portable displays connected over HDMI. Room sources can incorporate combinations of one or more computers, a document camera, PTZ and network cameras, multiple microphones, and AV connectivity for wired and wireless devices. These and the mid-sized rooms provide an
For AV system control, each room is outfitted with an Extron
NAV Pro AVoIP System Links Campus Rooms and Buildings
To link each MECD room to the rest of the spaces on campus, Pure AV integrated an Extron
The Pure AV design and commissioning teams worked closely with MECD's IT/AV infrastructure team and Extron engineers to evaluate, on-site test, and then demonstrate a full range of network switches. The objective was to mutually agree on which switch worked best with the NAV encoders and decoders. Since the vast majority of network switches tested well with the NAV system, this allowed the media services team to select the switches based on the feature set and cost.
The NAVigator System Manager enabled quick, intuitive configuration and control of the NAV encoders and scaling decoders over the MECD data network. It integrated with GVE, tying together the campus spaces. GVE and the
Advanced supply chain planning in anticipation of Brexit and close adherence to stepped-up health and safety practices allowed Pure AV to work throughout most of the Covid-19 pandemic. Installation and commissioning were performed by zone and from the top level down in each building. This meant the integrator worked in parallel with the general contractor and the related construction trades, at times working shoulder to shoulder. Each zone was completed, commissioned, and signed off in accordance with the contractor's BIM360 process prior to submission to the university administration for client sign-off.
The Extron AV switching, distribution, and control systems, linked by the
“MECD affords an exciting new environment for the delivery of interdisciplinary research, teaching, and impact across engineering,” says Professor Martin Schröder, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Manchester. “We have created an inspiring, highly flexible first-class teaching and research environment that transforms the way in which the University educates engineers and material scientists for the future.”