By Michelle Oswald, VP Marketing Communications
At InfoComm 2010, the new, flashy buzz was about Cisco and 3D. At the same time, in the world of not necessarily new, and perhaps not as flashy, but certainly as relevant, was the ever popular subject of “Green AV”.
For the past several years, InfoComm has dedicated some part of its programming to covering the subject of “Green AV” – and every year the question of what that means – exactly – has not been well defined. Certainly, we would all like to reduce our carbon output, save energy and be able to offer something truly unique and valuable to our clients, but defining Green AV, and larger still, where the AV world fits into the world of Green Building in general, is almost like creating a whole new language, then trying to teach everyone to speak it. It’s a process that takes time, perseverance and definitely, patience.
On Friday, June 11, a new rating system – STEP (Sustainable Technology Environments Performance) – was unveiled at InfoComm that truly takes a big step in the right direction. The new framework was developed by a consortium of subject matter experts representing AV manufacturers, consultants and integrators that have been working collaboratively with InfoComm International on establishing standards for what it means to be practicing “Green AV”.
Anyone familiar with the USGBC’s rating system for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) will appreciate the new STEP system. While STEP employs some of the same rating system concepts as LEED, such as broad subject categories and points valuation for specific achievements, the rating system itself is all about the AV integration process. The new STEP system categories include: Program Phase, Architectural and Infrastructure Design, System Design, Systems Integration, and Operations. Points are earned based on factors such as equipment recycling, use of reclaimed/existing equipment, utilizing teleconferencing (video, audio or web) for at least 50% of project team meetings, and delivering project drawings/specifications electronically vs. paper, for example. Like LEED, which is a voluntary, consensus based, market driven approach to building, STEP will also be a voluntary program between InfoComm members and their clients.
The STEP program will be formally launched in early 2011. As AVI-SPL has already launched several sustainability initiatives, we are watching this program with great interest and are excited about the potential for truly defining “Green AV” and what it can mean to our customers, by providing the ability to provide unique, top quality communications solutions that provide energy savings and waste reduction, and fit into our customers’ own sustainability efforts.
To learn more about AVI-SPL’s sustainability initiatives, visit our Green AV page. »
To learn more about AVI-SPL’s recycling programs, click here. »
Michelle Oswald Michelle Oswald is the Vice President of Marketing Communications at AVI-SPL and has been working in the AV industry for 10 years. She is preparing to take the LEED Green Associate exam in the next few weeks. She has been leading the key sustainability initiatives at AVI-SPL, including AV equipment recycling, waste reduction and utilization of greener sales and marketing tools.