How to Maximize Productivity in New Office Spaces

A sophisticated AV system, video conferencing platform and sound masking completed Indigo Minerals’ brand new office in the historic Chase Tower in Houston.

CI Staff
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Indigo Minerals, a privately-held oil and gas exploration company, needed brand new audiovisual solutions for their meeting rooms in downtown Houston.

The firm was in the process of moving offices in the historic Chase Tower from one floor to another, which ultimately required a large array of communications and AV integration systems: the ability to make phone and video calls, hold presentations and host collaborations over digital copies of their existing maps—which at the time they were accessing in hard copy alone. Additionally, Indigo required sound masking to be built into all office areas.

Synergy CT collaborated with Indigo’s IT and executive teams, and award-winning Houston architects Ziegler Cooper in cooperation with New York based interior designers Cullman & Kravis and Charlotte Worthy Architects, to design multiple meeting spaces for Indigo. The goal was to fulfill their desired technical functions, yet create comfortable spaces that were also visually striking.

These spaces included a large executive conference room, a medium-sized conference room for Indigo’s accounting department and a smaller huddle space for general use. Synergy CT offered industry expertise in audiovisual installation, high quality and user-friendly technology, and exceptional customer service as a solution to Indigo’s needs.

Synergy crafted a user-friendly system which proved both functional and elegant. The larger boardroom includes an easy-to-use control system/audiovisual matrix switcher, two large touch-sensitive LCD displays, a projection screen and projector, a cloud-based video conferencing infrastructure capable of mobile connection and full room automation capabilities at the touch of a button.

Photos: Inside the Revamped Corporate Office Space

Synergy built these same features—video/audio conferencing, wireless sharing, touch annotation, and full-room automation—into the medium-sized conference space. In the smaller huddle space, Synergy installed an easy-to-use audiovisual system ideal for a designated meeting space for individual teams, with in-table connectivity for instant access and automation of the room’s features.

The “brains” of audiovisual system in Indigo’s executive conference room is the Crestron DMPS-300, which not only controls all the devices in the room—everything from the projector/projection screen and LCD displays to the lighting and window shades—but also acts as the matrix switcher for all audio and video routing.

The DMPS-300 is programmed by Synergy to perform these tasks without any complexity for the user. An iPad which is connected to the table allows the user to control the entire audiovisual system via transmission to the DMPS-300 by selecting either an individual device or pre-configured automation setting directly from the iPad.

A Panasonic PT-EZ580 provides a powerful 5000 lumens of projection power, reflected by a one hundred and twenty-three inch ceiling recessed projection screen from Stewart. Additionally, Synergy installed two Sharp touch-capable Aquos Boards which allowed for Indigo to have interactive digital collaboration over maps, as per request, via a software platform from ArcGIS.

The 24-seat table of the executive boardroom is fitted with Crestron FlipTopTM cable cubbies which are wired with retractable HDMI/VGA cabling for laptops, which can then display on the projection screen. Additionally, Synergy provided Barco Clickshare for a wireless sharing option, which can accommodate laptops, iPads, Android, and other mobile devices.

For video conferencing capabilities, Synergy provided a cloud-based infrastructure powered by Starleaf which allows users to have video calls from their dedicated rooms or even remotely, from the field or on the road via laptop or tablet devices.

The medium-sized conference room also touts two Sharp Aquos Boards, Crestron room automation, Crestron Connect ItTM table insert, Clickshare and StarLeaf video conferencing.

In the huddle space, Synergy installed a wall-mounted 60-inch LCD panel with Connect-ItTM features from Crestron, allowing in-table connectivity through retractable HDMI/VGA cabling. The system engages as soon as a user connects their laptop to the system via video cable, and when the user disconnects their device the system disengages. This easy-to-use structure is ideal for an ad hoc meeting place with minimal complexity.

The executive boardroom and conference room were fitted with Clock Audio table microphones, complete with touch-sensitive LED lights to indicate mute and on/off. These microphones, programmed by Synergy with DSP technology from Biamp, are ideal for teleconferencing and video conferencing. Synergy also installed twelve 6.5-inch speakers flush into the ceiling.

In order to maximize privacy and productivity, Synergy installed a QT100 sound masking system from Cambridge Sound, and integrated 32 ceiling-mounted masking emitters scattered within Indigo’s open spaces and hallways.

Ziegler Cooper, Charlotte Worthy, and Cullman & Kravis designed finishes with beautiful imported Italian granite, specialty glass surfaces and other unique designs. As these architectural features can present acoustical challenges, there was great need to mask unwanted sound reverberating throughout the space.

Synergy worked closely with Indigo to design a graphical user interface that allowed Indigo to have an enjoyable experience while utilizing the full range of features in these rooms. Synergy designed the interactive control panel in collaboration with Indigo so that the user experience would be intuitive and the system easy to operate.

The interface was designed around a question-based flow so that all features can be accessed easily with minimal user interaction. By collaborating with Indigo directly and tailoring the automation of the end-user experience, Synergy managed to maximize Indigo’s productivity and minimize user frustration.