Site Name: The Helicon
Site Address: Moorgate, Central London (single site)
Customer contact: Colin Jones
The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is an independent company owned by rail industry stakeholders, including Network Rail and other train operating companies. It is responsible for the British Railway Rule Book, which defines technical standards and operating procedures.
RSSB is a corporate client whose day-to-day activities include hosting meetings, corporate events, presentations and video conferences.
Their London-based office was fitted with legacy AV that no longer met the needs of the business, as it was not flexible enough to support the variety of scenarios the customer needed. It was old and difficult to support when it went wrong, and it took up a lot of space and power in the office (as well as contributing heat to the spaces).
RSSB wanted to make better commercial use of the space by hiring it out, as well as hosting conferences and events for peers in the sector. Previously, this meant hiring in equipment and event staff which was disruptive and costly.
There was also a drive to save energy and implement technology that minimised infrastructure in rooms, so that their credenza cupboards, which previously housed equipment, could be used by events staff.
Several of the rooms at RSSB are divisible (two-room and three-room designs) which were difficult to manage because the complexity of the equipment and age of kit made separating and joining the rooms unreliable.
As well as a first/second fix approach to installation, CDEC provided both on-site and video training materials for end users, technical help guides for IT staff, and provided contracted second line support, including on-site field engineers where needed.
CDEC won the tender for this project based on their innovative approach with the AV over IP system, and their credentials as an ISO-accredited organisation (9001, 14001 and 27001).
The IT-based solution appealed to the customer’s on-site team, who appreciated easy administration via WebGUI and the ability to monitor and manage network traffic, as all signal transmission, control and communication ran over the network.
The first phase of work involved AV integrations in a number of smaller meeting rooms and a large divisible space.
Upon completion CDEC were awarded further work to integrate the rest of the spaces into the AV over IP system, so that divisible spaces could not only be joined, but also all meeting spaces could be linked together in any configuration.
One particular highlight of the installation was that the system is infinitely scalable. By adding further AV over IP transmitters and receivers, new spaces can easily be added with a plug-and-play approach.
In addition, there is minimal infrastructure in the rooms – each display or projector has an AV over IP receiver and HDMI inputs are located under the tables, with cables in an attractive AMX Hydraport. The core of the solution is running on commodity hardware from Cisco and Netgear.
With a project such as this, with a significant amount of legacy equipment and quite a complex setup, we had to overcome a number of challenges.
On the technical side, for example, we were instructed to re-use the existing network cabling which was a mixture of Cat5e and Cat6. This necessitated lifting the floors and ceilings to ensure cabling was in the right place for the equipment.
In addition, the office was consistently busy so work had to be carried out flexibly around the availability of rooms to complete the install. This involved implementing a minimum viable solution and adding more features over time.
Extron control (IPCP Pro 350 x4), TLP 720 touchscreens in every room
Wyrestorm NHD AV over IP to re-use existing CAT6 cable and avoid infrastructure in rooms
Cisco SG350 range of network switches
Atlona HDVS-300 switchers for standard consistent interface across all rooms
Biamp TesiraForte and TCM-1A conferencing microphones
Barco Clickshare CSE range of wireless collaboration devices
AMX Hydraports providing HDMI, Displayport and VGA connections in each space as well as power and device charging via USB