The design was perfect. An AV System thoughtfully designed and engineered for your meeting space. A touch of a single button would command a laser projector to stealthily drop from a disguised ceiling tile on a scissor-lift. It would display content to the room’s occupants throughout the collaborative space at the optimal scale. The equipment had all been ordered and the trades had all been scheduled. And then, deep into the project; a request was made to change from a single light fixture over the center of the table to 3 pendant lights running its length. The pendants are an elegant addition, but the placement of one puts it directly in the path of the projector. It may not seem like a serious issue but repositioning the projector may require a specialized long or short-throw lens be added or a longer scissor-lift be specified. Along with moving any other affected ceiling features, the electrical drop may also need to be relocated. AV Systems are an integral part of room design and changes to walls, ceiling, flooring, lighting or furnishings will have a domino effect that could result in costly change orders and extend your project’s timeline.
Collaborative spaces with video conferencing will feature a flat panel display, videowall or projection system, along with speakers, microphones, AV equipment and room control device(s). These elements are all part of an engineered system, each with precise locations carefully documented within the architectural plans. If, for example, a change is made replacing a standard, 2-pedestal conference room table with a longer 3-pedestal version, additional in-ceiling speakers or microphones may be needed for adequate coverage. Placement of these components may likely affect other ceiling features including fire sprinklers, HVAC, occupancy sensors and lighting fixtures. Switching to 3 pedestals also changes the locations of the floor boxes for power and connectivity. While these issues can be expertly resolved through redesign and coordination with other trades, they will nonetheless impact the project’s timeline and budget.
Change orders happen and for a wide variety of reasons. Furnishings that were specified months earlier may have been discontinued or the designer may have requested a change on the client’s behalf. Regardless of the circumstances, collaboration among stakeholders at the onset of change is the key to successful project outcomes.