Lubricants UK Technology Centre ltd

Lubricants UK Technology Centre ltd

The recent refurbishment of Lubricant UK’s Technology and Conference Centre is a perfect example of how to integrate cutting-edge audio visual technology and energy saving lighting control with a fresh, new corporate interior. The Centre features Crestron lighting control and audio visual equipment installed and programmed by Design Integration Ltd of Abingdon.  

The Technology Centre is located at Pangbourne in Berkshire and is home to the chemists and liquid engineers dedicated to the development of specialist lubricants for use in motorsport and high performance applications. These engineers, under strict field conditions, laboratory test each product with the resulting test data being used to understand how lubricants perform in real world applications and apply this to the development of present and future products. The conference centre plays a key strategic role on the site being used for regular high level technology training sessions and top level industry symposia.

In November 2009 a proposed upgrade for the audio visual facilities at the conference centre was put out to tender. This upgrade would be a part of a much larger project to completely refurbish the conference centre and its reception area. Design Integration, an existing service provider to Lubricants UK won the contract to carry out all audio visual and lighting system design for the conference centre refit. 

“As an existing service provider to Lubricants UK we were delighted to be entrusted with the audio visual and lighting control design for such a prestigious project ,” says Derek Wright, MD of Design Integration. “Our experience of working with them proved invaluable in coming up with proposals for a cutting edge audio visual solutions in keeping with the main objective of bringing the conference facilities right-up-to-date. As an Approved Crestron Partner of many years standing we knew some of the latest equipment would be prefect for the project. An added bonus was to get involved in the design of the lighting scheme, giving us the opportunity to seamlessly integrate the audio visual control with environmental considerations such as fixture dimming, PIR intelligent control, blind operation and integration with external systems such as the fire alarm using Crestron’s new lighting range.”

The layout of the 3400ft² building has been given a complete overhaul by interior design and fit out specialists, Space & Solutions of New Milton, Hampshire. The client brief allowed the practice to evaluate the layout of the building and propose a completely fresh design solution for both the conference centre and reception area. There is a completely revised layout for the reception area which now features a display plinth for cars or motorbikes, and a new visitor waiting area with breakout space with added audio visual to complement. The renewal has also extended through to the conference centre which now features a contemporary new look and cutting-edge Crestron lighting and audio visual equipment.

The conference centre is a fully flexible space. The room can be used as one large seminar space or split into up to four smaller rooms for simultaneous use. Audio for the conference centre was a key consideration. Due to the divisible nature of the space (the centre is flexible in that with placement of removable partition doors it can support four rooms, three rooms or a single large space) an audio system was designed which would need to be hugely flexible yet easy to configure. In addition to speakers in the main room ceiling speakers were deployed throughout the entire centre to accommodate voice reinforcement from up to 5 wireless microphones. Sensors within the centre allow the Crestron control system to monitor the partition status and in turn activate or isolate zones of speakers as required. The result is a high quality yet flexible audio system for a wide range of uses and room layouts.

The dividing screens can be quickly retracted and the audio visual and lighting reconfigured automatically to suit the layout. The room benefits from a large amount of natural daylight and has motorised blinds which are also integrated into the system for seamless operation. For Design Integration pulling these elements together into a cohesive, intuitive to use system was an exciting opportunity as project manager Chris Foxwell relates:

“Although not a particularly complex project we wanted to fully meet and exceed the client’s expectations for functionality of the lighting and a-v systems. To achieve this we had to build in plenty of commissioning time into our project timeline. The conference centre and reception have over seventy circuits of lighting – all of which needed to be managed in the most energy efficient manner possible. To this end we integrated PIR sensors, motorised blinds and fire alarms into the system. The great thing about the finished solution is that anyone could come in and operate the system without prior knowledge. Building in that kind of usability takes time but the Crestron software and hardware did make the job easier.”

The complete system features a range of Crestron lighting and a-v equipment. The backbone of the lighting control is the DIN-8SW8 wall mount enclosure. An installer friendly solution the wiring connections are all made using screw terminals positioned along the top and bottom, with clearly accessibility from the front for installation and servicing. All setup controls and indicators are positioned on the centre front panel. 

As Chris Foxwell says: “Lighting control is intimidating to many traditional a-v installers, but it doesn’t need to be. Crestron offer high capacity modules and cabinets so fewer products are required. It is also a single platform solution that uses the same programming language to control all types of lighting, HVAC, security, audio, video and shades which makes it more efficient than connecting several disparate systems.“

The main conference room touchpanel is the Crestron TPS-17G-QM-L which provides a 17” widescreen display for the extensive control functions of a large system such as this. In addition it provides full video preview at the lectern for presenters. The functionality has been developed by Design Integration’s programmers so that it is easy for normal users to operate the system, combined with a comprehensive administrator function in the background. This function is limited to key users to allow them to have full control over every aspect of the system.  A stylish state-of-the-art solution, complete with integrated video and audio, the panel supports a host of control applications for multimedia presentation, videoconferencing, lighting, climate control, and much more, providing a wide-open canvas for the creation of custom control screens perfectly tailored to the needs of the end-user.