Project Highlight: City of Raleigh Wastewater Treatment Training Centers

CHALLENGE: The City of Raleigh sought to create three new training spaces at three separate wastewater treatment facilities. Two of the spaces were new construction, while the third was a renovation of existing space. The city wanted each of the rooms to be set up similarly, though there were certain differences to take into account in how each room would function. Two of the facilities would need to be able to perform as a single, large room, as two medium-sized rooms, or as multiple small rooms. The third facility would always remain a single, large room. The AV systems had to be adaptable to the different configurations yet provide a consistent control interface. Additionally, the equipment had to be ADA-compliant.

SOLUTION: Thorburn Associates designed a system that could be applied to each of the three buildings with only slight modifications.

For the single-room configuration, and for the facility designed to always function as a single room, one main, portable lectern houses connections to which a presenter can attach a private PC or camera. A wireless touch panel has two docking positions, one on the wall and one in the lectern. This makes it possible for a single person to control the AV for the entire room from multiple positions. A remote controls the speech volume, audio programming and video switching. A ceiling-mounted projector allows input from the lectern connections, or from the DVD/VHS decks located in the equipment rack.

The client indicated that the most common configuration for the two sub-dividable facilities would be the two-room setup. TA designed independent audio systems that allow each room to run a separate presentation. Two sets of wireless and wired microphones are available, and all audio is processed through a digital signal processor in the main rack. The single projection system feeds media to the various screens in the two rooms. The system can also be expanded at a later time to include a second projector, if needed.

Control is through a second wireless touch panel. It allows the user to combine or separate the audio and video for two independent meetings. All the wireless touch panels have a similar interface so that an operator need only learn the one system.

Smaller configurations – one room being divisible into four, and the other into three – utilize portable AV equipment for ease and simplicity. To address the ADA requirements, TA recommended a radio-frequency based, assisted listening system that included a multi-unit charging stand for the assisted listening receivers.