Founded more than a century ago, City, University of London, is set in the heart of London and has a roll of some 20,000 students who study at five specialist Schools: including Law, Business, Arts and Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering.
Designated a world-leading research facility by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, City has been ranked 2nd in the UK for graduate salaries and represents a vibrant international community attracting students, academics and professional staff from across the world.
City’s Designing Active Learning Initiative (DALI) project, is creating technology-enhanced learning spaces that enable higher level or active learning. As part of this initiative, the University is refurbishing all learning spaces to provide cutting-edge AV equipment in a substantial undertaking that will match new technologies with teaching methods, room types and capacity.
proAV is currently midway through a five-year Sole Supplier contract to deliver AV solutions across teaching rooms at City that carry DALI status. In line with its assignment to upgrade these assigned spaces, proAV is delivering extensive AV technology throughout seminar spaces, meeting rooms, lecture theatres and teaching labs.
Central to the continuing success of the City, DALI initiative, proAV and other specialist contractors are committed to upgrading the teaching rooms outside of term times when the University’s buildings are empty.
Whilst the time constraints during the summer months are challenging enough for the project team, the winter semester only allows a three to four-week window to deliver and commission the entire requisite AV solution.
Lower ground floor rooms within the Drysdale Building also presented difficulties as they are set below the water table. With previous flooding issues to consider, proAV designed the cabling within these rooms to run downwards to the floors rather than through them to mitigate any potential outage risk in the event of water ingress.
proAV is typically tasked with delivering two major projects, comprising multiple teaching spaces over each academic year, with less complex AV schemes commissioned during the Christmas holiday period.
The Summer 2018 project to bring the Cass Business School and Northampton Square campus up to DALI specification represented a particularly complex scheme. It involved four horseshoe-shaped lecture theatres (Cass) and a multitude of further small, medium and large lecture theatres, seminar spaces and PC labs – a total of 29 rooms. The Winter 2018/2019 project utilises similar AV solutions that suit the small lecture theatres and seminar and meeting room arrangements in the Drysdale Building.
Proposed AV systems that ensure each teaching space is commensurate with DALI’s provision for AV-enhanced learning have been subject to proAV’s design input and have subsequently evolved into a relatively standardised specification that delivers the flexibility and ease of use sought by the University.
Key technologies include Extron HDMI matrices and ProDSP digital matrix processors, Echo360 lecture capture capability, Wolfvision’s leading VZ-series visualisers, NEC projection and display systems, Crestron management and control, TeamMate custom lectern arrangements and Teacherboards and Squiggle Glass large format writing walls.
The commission of each City project under the DALI initiative has resulted in a wealth of exciting benefits that engender engaging, interactive teaching, a superlative learning experience and a welcome return on investment opportunities for the client.
The student experience has also been dramatically enriched; the latest display and presentation technologies encourage productivity and inspire a more insightful and value-added learning experience.
proAV’s close collaboration with the University throughout our sole-supplier appointment has ensured every project completed under the DALI scheme has been commissioned according to the University’s strict timelines and within its specified budget. Further projects are planned for the University’s DALI spaces over the next two years.