At the heart of every great audio, video, or lighting system for the church is not the equipment itself--but rather the design behind the system. If the technology put into place is not properly specified to work within your place of worship, the needs of your ministry including the worship style, or for the skill-set of those that will be operating the system(s) on a weekly basis then your ministry teams will be fighting the technology more than they are helping to deliver the message. An AVL contractor/integrator is more concerned with selling you a package of equipment for which they are dealers for based upon the budget you have to spend. HOWAVL is an independent, non-biased, third-party design engineering firm. Unlike AV Integration Contractors who often will "quote" a job to be the lowest price to win a bid (and WILL cut corners to do so!), we are only concerned with providing you the knowledge, answers, and a comprehensive plan of what is actually required to get there. This is especially important for the bidding process (more on this below). We work with your building architects, general contractors, electricians, HVAC contractors, etc. to specify proper electrical loads, structural loads, conduit specifications, and other construction needs required to support a successful AVL installation.
What IS the objective? We start with the initial conversation by asking questions, to learn understand the goals and needs of your ministry, what are the expectations, what is the desired end result, what will be required to achieve the objective, what are your initial budgets, etc These initial discussions help to provide a general overview of the current challenges faced by your ministry not just with the technology, but the process.
Whether upgrading an existing facility or building new, the on-site survey is a critical part of the design process. This is where our engineering team takes numerous pictures and measurements of the existing building or jobsite in question. We take a full inventory of all current AVL products in use, house lighting, and other technology related equipment in place. We observe the electrical loads, conduits, HVAC and other building infrastructure.
From the data acquired through the site survey we input that information into a state of the art computer-aided drafting program (known as CAD) to start drawing the initial 3D model of your facility. As they say THIS is where the magic begins! Once the model is complete, we are able to export this information to several design programs for House Lighting, Stage Lighting, Loudspeaker Coverage, Acoustics Analysis, etc. And that takes us to the next step.... THE DESIGN PHASE!
Now that the design has been completed, all documentation and final engineered plans will be completed and made ready to deliver to your team(s) with a full system report, all drawings, images, and finalized equipment lists for either a self-install, a pre-selected integration contractor, or through the multiple vendor bidding process. The final documentation is, in layman's terms, an "instruction manual" to follow. The most common process is the bidding process, where three or more integrators are asked to provide their bid for a full integration. We can't overstate it..... THIS IS WHY HAVING AN INDEPENDENT DESIGN IS CRITICAL! Because your ministry has opted to hire HOWAVL for an independent design, all perspective bidders will be required to bid on the exact list of specifications to deliver a product and solution that is expected. Should HOWAVL be retained as the technical contact, we will serve as the liaison to answer all bidding-related questions to assist your ministry in making the most qualified, winning bid selection. Once a bidder has been awarded, we can also serve as the Project Manager to inspect the work onsite and provide final sign-offs, holding the AV contractor accountable to perform the highest quality of work.
Having already discussed initial budgets and planning, it's the end of the design process that establishes a more realistic budget of costs. After learning the goals and needs for your ministry, taking an inventory of what systems and processes are in place, gathering measurements and factual data on-site, and building the initial 3D to export to several other design programs...we are now ready to start building a design based on factual data. Using the most advanced design tools available, we take ALL of the guess work out of the equation. There will be countless images, drawings, and details provided showing what equipment will be provided, how much of it, and why. A working spreadsheet with running, estimated costs will be provided throughout the process to help establish and adhere to a realistic target. This will become a major part of the documentation phase (see below). Through the initial design phase there will be A LOT of two-way conversations discussing the options including multiple solutions and details both large and small. As these details are addressed, slowly we collaborate together to finalize a final design and move on to documentation and final detailed drawings.