Its always an honor to have someone refer you to one of their clients. In this case with Ochiltree’s Community Hub, that’s exactly what happened. A colleague with whom we have grown to become good friends over the years was involved at the earliest stages of this project and introduced Lairds to the charity. A massive thanks to Chris at Rakkaus.
Ochiltree community hub was born from the Charity formed in 2014 to improve and build on a strong community bond with a clear aim. A place to build on their initiatives, health, fitness, education and more.
We initially invited the committee to our Dundonald demonstration facility to wow them with our wonderful technology. Myself and Jo working as a team, I get excited, show them all the gadgets and how they work, Jo calms me down and translates my gibberish into legible English!
The aim was to provide multiple multimedia enabled spaces that are flexible enough to change the purpose of any room with minimal notice and to have a state of the art cinema for the community to enjoy the latest movies and audio with the best clarity possible within the budget.
After an enjoyable, lengthy discussion, the design schematics were provided to the main contractor Ashleigh Building on approval of the Hub committee. Ashleigh Building are a main contractor, established in 2001 based in Prestwick and Dumfries.
We were contracted by Ochiltree Community Hub to work with Ashleigh Building to design and install the infrastructure for a multi zone media enabled building including cinema space. On completion of this stage we were to install the final products, configure for operation and provide continuing support for the facility and its patrons.
No project comes without its challenges. The main hall was a high ceiling gymnasium type hall. As a result of the size of these halls, they are notorious for sound reflection and echo. Plus, as this was to be a multipurpose hall, we had to ensure the security of the equipment. The hall would be divided into two working spaces so effectively, it would be three rooms in all, with the partition wall being one third of the way down the hall.
The challenge that then arose here, was the throw distance for the projector. There is a projection distance limit where the requirements for a projector will result in a significant increase in cost. This was the distance from the screen and the amount of light needed to give a satisfactory image brightness in the room. With some further discussion it was decided to switch the main cinema area round and have the room partitioned with the cinema space in the smaller room. Should capacity be increased the partition doors would be opened.
We initially recommended an in wall surround sound system with protective covers for the space, however the environmental requirements for insulation and protection dictated that we had to use a surface mounted alternative. We selected the Sonance mariner series speakers for this purpose. They are superbly designed and extremely robust. The space was furnished by 7.1 surround sound setup with the rear channels switched to allow for the flexibility of the second room.
The second bigger room was furnished with a pair of Sonance Mariner speakers each side giving a deeper response, these were setup on a switch as the rear channels for the surround sound should the bigger room be used. The sound reflection in the room was then overcome by using paneling round the hall.
All of the equipment and challenges had to be overcome whilst staying within budget.
Over the course of the project there were a few extras thrown in such as additional control for audio zones, PA speaker input zones and more. All of which were available due to the well designed infrastructure.
The ceiling in the café area has a low ceiling portion at the entrance and a high vaulted ceiling over the eating area. As a result, we looked to have in ceiling 4” speakers and Gallo Acoustic pendant speakers in Chrome to give a level audio field.
Lairds technology recommendations included:
The Build began July 2018, Lairds were onsite when the site was watertight a few months later.
As always our challenge was staying in front of the other tradesmen to make sure their jobs progressed on schedule. As a result, during the build flexibility was key. It was a delight to be able to choreograph this with the project managers from Ashleigh. They knew they could contact us at short notice and we had the flexibility of being able to work in different areas of the building at short notice without detriment to other parts of the project. Having the flexibility meant that any technical difficulties or existing cable routes could be adjusted whenever required.
High platforms and Cherry pickers were used. As a result, full H&S procedures and policies were adhered to over the course of the project.
Our infrastructure installation consisted of full Cat6 Gigabit Network. Six networked zones including;
This was then supported by a remote access monitoring system. The video system covered the two meeting rooms, Café digital signage display and the projector in the cinema room. Audio zones included the café area, 2 zones in the main hall and the patio area at the rear of the building.
Furniture by the amazing Rakkaus of Kilmarnock
Wyrestorm 4×4 HDBaseT 4k Video distribution Matrix
Sonance Speakers Mariner & 4” in-ceiling
110” Electric drop down projection screen
IPCCTV Cameras By Dahua
Sony 4K Video displays.
QSC PA System with ipad controlled mixing desk.