What is an AV (Audiovisual) Design Consultant?
An ‘AV Design Consultant’, or just ‘AV Consultant’, is involved in the planning and execution of technology and construction projects with project stake holders such as architects, interior designers, end users, and technology managers. Many times the AV Design Consultant’s work will happen years before the project is installed.
What are some examples of AV technology systems?
Video conferencing, audiovisual presentation systems, touchpanel control systems, theme park audio/video systems, public address (P.A.) systems, smartboard presentation, audio production or live music systems, background music systems, council chamber AV systems, movie theaters and screening rooms, edit bays and recording studios, flat panel video display systems, and LED outdoor signage systems.
What types of services does an AV Design Consultant provide?
The AV Design Consultant provides guidance with project processes including design, budgeting, bidding, and implementation. AV Design Consultants typically work with their clients to define project scope, functionality, budgets and cost estimates, and RFP/bid specifications. Additional services may include facility infrastructure design, architectural coordination support, AV systems design, AV systems engineering, and software programming.
What are the typical qualifications that AV Consultants hold?
AV Design Consultants usually hold a higher education degree in engineering, acoustics, media, or architecture. An AV Design Consultant may earn further AV training offered by organizations such as Infocomm’s CTS-D (Certified Technology Specialist –Designer) certification. An AV Design Consultant should be familiar with industry design standards and best practices, technology trends, and have the ability to translate between the technical world of AV and everyday end users.
What is the difference between an AV Design Consultant and an AV Sales Consultant?
An AV Design Consultant should be compensated for time and services and should not sell equipment, nor be confused with the term “Sales Consultant”. A “Sales Consultant” will provide sales guidance and eventually sell AV equipment and perhaps installation services. An AV Design Consultant should not have a stake or profit in the AV equipment purchase.
What is an AV Integrator?
An AV Integrator, or sometimes called ‘AV Contractor (AVC)’, is the company responsible for purchasing and installing the AV equipment. This may include the installation of client/owner furnished equipment, pulling facility cabling, commission/testing of equipment, and software programming. (Sometimes software programming is provided as a service from the AV Design Consultant.) The AV Integrator typically has a staff of salespeople, procurement department, design engineers, installation technicians, and a service department.
What is the difference between an AV Design Consultant providing AV RFP Performance Bid Specifications and providing AV Systems Engineered RFP Bid Specifications?
AV Systems design can be of several varieties. Many AV Design Consultants will provide ‘performance-based’ RFP/bid specifications that give general functional and big picture impressions of the AV project to potential AV Integration bidders. Typically, this approach requires the AV Integrator to bid the project as a ‘design-build’ project based upon the AV Consultants RFP/bid specifications. RFP/bid specifications typically contain the project scope and locations, functionality, execution and system performance requirements, and acceptance procedures.
Another variety of AV systems design includes “AV Systems Engineering”. AV Systems Engineering is the detailed design engineering between AV components, including single-line diagrams (schematics), rack layouts, cabling schedules, detailed equipment list, and sometimes equipment software programming.
What if the AV Integrator offers to provide the AV RFP/bid specifications for free?
AV Integrators have a financial stake in the selection and implementation of the AV systems described in an AV RFP/bid specification. Therefore, there is an inherent conflict of interest when one AV Integrator creates an RFP/bid specification for distribution to themselves and other bidders for a competitive low-bid process. Furthermore, this type of arrangement is not legal in most Federal and State procurement departments. Typically, any public RFP/bid specifications must be developed by parties that do not have a financial interest in the award of the project. This is where the AV Design Consultant may help an organization independently create a true RFP/bid specifications package.
Are AV Design Consultants involved financially with AV Equipment Manufacturers?
Not typically. AV Design Consultants do often develop confidence with specific manufacturer’s products based on repeated experience and relationships and manufacturer training. Any financial relationships between consultants and manufacturers should be disclosed to clients prior to the start of projects.
Are AV Design Consultants involved financially with AV Integrators?
A good AV Design Consultant should have relationships with many AV Integration companies to facility project bidding and also for resourcing collaborative product and integration knowledge. During a client/project, and especially if there is a bid process, an AV Design Consultant should not be financially involved with the AV Integrator.
Some AV Design Consultants perform paid contract work for AV Integrators as specialist designers or engineers. This relationship should always be disclosed to the end user or client.
What education and certifications does TK Design Solutions, Inc. have?
Employees of TK Design Solutions are members of Infocomm and hold CTS and CTS-D certifications, as well as additional technology certifications by the equipment manufacturers Extron, Crestron, AMX, Christie, and JBL/Harman/BSS and THX.
TK Design Solutions, Inc. also contracts or employs personnel with credentials or licenses in architecture and professional engineering.
Where can I find out more information about AV Consultants and AV Standards?
Below is a link to an Infocomm publication regarding AV Consultants:
Additional information on AV standards and best practices can be found at www.infocomm.org.