Case Study:

Business School Newcastle University

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Newcastle University Business School’s vision is to be a “World Class Business School by being regionally rooted, nationally influential and globally respected.”

Part of the process towards achieving this vision was the move to a state of the art, purpose built, single site Business School. Located at Downing Plaza in the heart of the city centre, the building is a striking steel and glass structure designed by Ian Simpson Architects to unite the Business School’s world-class research, teaching, enterprise and innovation activities under one roof.

The new school is located at the centre of business and commercial development in Newcastle and will provide a stunning gateway to Newcastle’s Science City, an ambitious science education and commercial hub in the city centre. Both the buildings central location and unique flagship design will consolidate the School’s first class reputation and provide opportunities to develop and strengthen relationships between staff and students, as well as facilitating collaborative links between the School and the wider business community.


The University’s ISS-AV department prepared the Audio Visual brief for the Business School. The brief was extensive as the tender specified for Audio Visual equipment for 4 Lecture Theatres, 9 Teaching Rooms and 11 Seminar Rooms, as well as additional spaces totally 36 rooms.

The University was looking for a competitive quotation by a company who could deliver the project within the set timescales. The University took control of the building early 2011 and needed to work with an AV supplier who could deliver the project by the end of the summer.

Requirements included installation, integration and commission a fully functioning Audio Visual solution across a variety of disciplines, from Lecture Theatres to IT Clusters and Lounge Rooms.

A site survey was conducted by Chris Pooley (Project Manager) and Peter Simpson (Account Manager) with staff from the University ISS-AV Services team prior to the tender being submitted. This visit was to ascertain the scale and requirements of the project. At this stage, Universal AV gave advice as to the viability of the project and certain minor amendments were made.

The tender was submitted as a closed tender in accordance with Newcastle University procurement procedure.

Universal AV was awarded the tender and received the official purchase order on 6th May 2011

The Solution and Installation:

The University took possession of the building from the main contractor prior to Universal AV commencing the supply and integration of AV equipment. This presented a problem in that the Universal project team had to liaise with the main contractor via the University to ascertain key information about the building which would influence the project. The delivery of AV equipment to 36 teaching spaces across 8 floors in such a short time frame meant the pre planning, project management and organisation of the project was crucial and had to run smoothly.

The solution provided was exactly as specified by the University enabling Universal to equip 36 teaching spaces at Newcastle University’s Business School with the latest audio visual technology, as befitting the stunning new building. The conformity of the equipment throughout the teaching spaces means that teaching staff are comfortable using the equipment and are able to build up a functionality familiarity minimising the impact on teaching and lesson delivery. IP controlled user interfaces can easily be managed by the end user, but also can be supported by the ISS AV Services team from across campus providing quick support response times which greatly reducing the impact on lesson delivery.

‘Teaching facilities rank highly among students choosing a university programme, so it was very important to us that we set the right tone when we moved to our fabulous new home at St James’. The Business School’s learning spaces needed to be equipped with effective but unobtrusive audio-visual equipment that both staff and students could access easily. We were impressed with the technical advice from Universal, and their project management excellent. They worked with us to deliver the building on time, within budget, ready for the start of the 2011/2012 academic year.”


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