The 26-Stage(!) A/V Design Process

Original article appeared here.

Just like everything else in facility design, technology is getting more complicated. This means that it is more important than ever to get things right early. One of the best ways to do that is to have a structured plan in place. Building design follows an organized process and the Audio/Video Design process fits neatly within that structure. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at some audio video design process best practices to make your next project flow more smoothly.

The most important stage of AV design, in my opinion, is programming. There are two reasons. The first reason is that this is where the biggest improvements can be made at the least expense. You can no longer think of a building without considering its audio, video and technology.

This is particularly true for video. While the objective for audio is in many cases to make it as unobtrusive as possible, video is the exact opposite—we are putting screens in primary positions to make that as clearly visible as possible. We’ll come back to this at the end of the article. First, let’s review some best practices for the A/V Design process. These vary slightly from project to project, but our basic workflow is detailed below.

During Schematic Design

  • Modeling of spaces
  • Address room orientations
  • Furniture layouts
  • Image sizes, and sightlines
  • Acoustical requirements
  • Lighting requirements
  • Preliminary structural criteria
  • Preliminary electrical criteria
  • Preliminary HVAC criteria
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Brad Gallagher leads the Base4 Technology team. Brad is an evangelist for creating architecture and technology in harmony, based on specific project goals. He is a strong advocate for eliminating marketing hype and explaining technology in a way that people can clearly understand. For more insight, you should follow me on twitter.