AV systems be delivered for a University actively undertaking full redevelopment across multiple campuses?
University of Reading have committed to large scale refurbishment and upgrades across campuses, including those with long-term strategic significance for the future in an increasingly competitive education market.
One aim of The Estates Strategy 2026 is identifying opportunities to ensure appropriate space provision and release surplus for alternative uses as appropriate. This encourages flexibility in space utilisation, including more shared use of facilities for efficiency, accommodate changing teaching approaches and enhance student experience with greater use of technology.
All Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) members were invited to compete for sole-supplier nomination. We were awarded the contract on account of the following:
› SystemsThinking: how can AV hardware be integrated to work together as a system, such that they provide a solution, and not just an installation? That is our approach with emphasis on systems design, rather than simply installing the best-in-class hardware, which on their own may not deliver the client brief.
› Exposure: given our long standing commitment to systems-design in solving problems involving learning spaces at Universities, we bring an unparalleled understanding of how institutions work, their processes and personnel. This exposure has always helped us minimise delays and overruns.
› Appreciation of challenges: Our experience working with education institutions across UK and within multiple campuses has helped sharpen our understanding of strategic challenges faced by institutions, such as teaching space management, and how AV technology and systems design can solve them.
As with any client, we begin with a thorough understanding of the key challenges of strategic importance, such as operating costs of learning spaces, as well as the long term strategy of the organisation such as estates management, IT infrastructure and student experience.
We began with an audit/workshop meeting where the key challenges were established- costs involved with wide service stocks, wide analog application instead of digital, and the lack of network monitoring capabilities (planned roll out over the next 5 years).
Keeping these in mind, standardisation was proposed as a solution to several challenges on campus. This was proposed for:
› Establishment Costs
› User Interface from one room to another
› Reducing service stock
We also surveyed all rooms on campus individually, including the centrally bookable teaching rooms, and also took an asset register of all rooms, as well as a structural survey of all 300+ rooms
The process isn’t complete without the partnership of the University; audits help us understand the final expectations of the university, and also help us set realistic caps on spending, setting standards and procedures.
› Acoustic and Audio upgrade of the Great Hall
› Faculty rooms
› 100+ network enabling control systems project on campus
› G10 Theatre: Largest lecture theatre on campus, which also serves the purpose of a conference venue and fully functional digital cinema in one space.
› 5m outdoor 2.5mm pitch LED Wall outside Palmer Building
› Site-wide maintenance contract with Henley Business School
› Upcoming large projects include the Van Emden Lecture Theatre and the HumSS Building
Learn more with the University of Reading casebook.