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Foster Wheeler USA Corporation

Staying simply connected through cutting edge, yet easy to use, audio visual solutions

The Situation

Global engineering and construction contractor Foster Wheeler USA Corporation was building a new 13-story office building for its Houston office and wanted it outfitted with new audio/visual and control equipment. The approximately $425,000 job entailed equipment and controls for multiple conference rooms on each floor and for a large executive boardroom to be used primarily by the CEO and senior officers of the company.

The Solution

Data Projections coordinated with the contractor and subcontractors to install audio/visual equipment.  The equipment included an electronic ceiling recessed front projection screen, a ceiling mounted projector, audio (four ceiling speakers and an amplifier), a computer connectivity point at the table, and a touch-panel wall controller that allows you to control everything in 29 conference rooms on floors 1-12 of the new building.  This installation occurred while the rooms were being finished out. On the outside of each conference room, an electronic room scheduler, called a Room Wizard, was installed. This allows people to see if the conference room is in use or not and to reserve the room on the spot. The Room Wizard is integrated with Foster Wheeler's Microsoft Outlook and Exchange server.

In the executive boardroom on the 13th floor, Data Projections installed a large plasma at the front of the 30- to 40-foot-long room, a drop-down, ceiling recessed electric projection screen, plus a large, conference room projector on a motorized lift that drops out of the ceiling and shoots onto that projection screen. About half way down the room, another large plasma was added so that people in the back of the room can see presentations. Hidden in the ceiling are several speakers for sound, and there are several microphones in the conference table for audio conferencing and voice lifting. In addition, there is an audio conferencing digital signal processor connected to their phone line and multiple connection points for PCs located on the table and on a wall plate on the side of the room. There's also a DVD/VCR player and cable TV, as well as audio and local video support. And there is a wireless touch panel control that can be operated from anywhere in the room.

Upon completion, Data Projections conducted two levels of training over a two-day period: One that covered basic user education and the other administrator training, where we taught their IT people how to troubleshoot if something goes wrong - things that a basic user would not need to know, but that they would need to know because they are the first line of people called when something goes wrong.

The Results

We've done similar projects, but usually after the building is built.  Companies often don't think of their A/V needs until after construction has been complete.

Strong project management is essential in a job of this magnitude, which is a Data Projections strong suit. Our corporate project managers are experienced in working with general contractors and subcontractors from a construction standpoint. We also have very good designers - people who lay out the drawings for how the equipment needs to work.  Installation and training are other key strengths of ours. We don't just install something and then leave it in the customer's hands - we give them a few days of training so they will feel comfortable and confident operating everything.  In this particular project, the senior officers were happy at the ease of use of the equipment.  It's cutting edge, but still easy for someone to use it.