Brief client and company background

NBS is the leading global provider of construction information and knowledge management services for industry professionals and building product manufacturers.

NBS is at the forefront of the global movement towards Building Information Modelling (BIM), and their products and services are relied upon by over 93% of the AJ Top 100 practices. NBS offer market-leading specification products which include NBS Create, NBS Building and the government-backed NBS BIM Toolkit. They also deliver product information services on behalf of construction product manufacturers to specifiers.

Based at the prestigious, Grade II listed Old Post Office on Newcastle’s St Nicholas Street, NBS underwent an ambitious £5.8m upgrade to the building and its facilities.

In addition to its own offices, the development now includes the creation of a gallery space, a gym and other facilities to host industry and public events, such as a lecture theatre, roof garden and social areas including a large open plan café.

Brief Introduction

Universal AV Services Ltd were recommended to the client by Armstrong Rhead Ltd who were the appointed engineering consultants. Initially engaged as AV consultants, Universal AV’s brief was to provide NBS with a proposal of how best they could fill the spaces they required, using the latest AV technology to achieve maximum effect. Whilst NBS wanted functional, easy to use equipment, they were adamant of having the “wow” factor to appeal to their digital clientele. After a walk around the original building and a detailed discussion with the client, a proposal document was produced.

Based on the initial proposal document, an AV specification was produced and released by NBS and Universal AV were invited to tender. In June 2016 Universal AV were chosen as the preferred AV integrator

Services Provided:

Planning and Installation

Universal AV chose Panasonic LFD’s to provide a suitable display for the office space. A mixture of 32”, 42”, 48” and 55” screens were used in various spaces which ranged from informal meeting spaces, pods, training rooms and executive offices.

The gallery space was a critical element of the AV design and was to be used by the client for a variety of events from corporate events, product launches, staff information delivery and public events. To fill the space, Universal AV elected to use four wall mounted Panasonic PT-DZ780 full HD projectors. These were mounted two to a wall to project to the opposite wall, producing a digital wall paper in the space. An Extron control and distribution system was employed to provide the client with the utmost flexibility in terms of delivery specific content to each projector.

A lecture theatre was also provided which was to be used to deliver traditional style lectures, but also to be used for training and conferences. A 7.1 digital audio surround system was also provided in the space, so the client can use it for a true cinema experience. A Panasonic PT-DZ780 was used alongside an Extron control and distribution system. A Dalen EXPLORER Mono Lectern was supplied to house all of the equipment and was branded with the NBS logo. An Ampetronic induction loop was also installed to comply with DDA regulations.

The board room was a real focal point for the client. Again, Universal AV chose the Panasonic PT-DZ780 projector. The ET-DLE030 fixed focus ultra-short throw lens was employed to produce a 3 m wide image from a 1 m throw distance, and Universal AV commissioned a bespoke projector bracket. Extron equipment again provided for the control and distribution system.

Throughout all spaces, Universal AV specified and supplied the WePresent wireless presentation gateway, to allow NBS employees and their clients to connect wirelessly to the presentation equipment.

Engineers were on site from June onwards, with completion in December 2016. Due to the age of the building, the renovation works progressed slowly, and Universal AV had to be flexible and adapt as the build progressed.

The greatest challenge was to coordinate the AV installation with the renovation building works. Work scheduled was often cancelled last minute due to unforeseen issues with the building works, and Universal AV had to reschedule work to accommodate the client.

Experience from the project

NBS now have a facility which is impressive, functional, flexible and easy to operate. Universal AV have supplied AV equipment which employs full digital, high definition technology throughout the building. They have areas which are open access where staff can have impromptu meetings with technology on hand to facilitate. They have dedicated workspaces and office spaces, with AV technology to support and enhance meetings and obtain a truly collaborative experience. The gallery is a great “wow” factor providing NBS with a venue to educate and entertain their client’s and staff.

NBS commented..

““We selected Universal AV to recommend, supply and install appropriate audio-visual equipment for our extensively refurbished head office in Newcastle. The Universal AV team were extremely flexible and worked round other contractors to install the chosen equipment to a high standard. It was important that the audio-visual equipment both supported the way that the NBS teams work and created a strong visual impact to emphasise the digital vision of NBS; I’m delighted to say that...”

Dr Mark Warnock Head of Business Systems


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