RCF equips Welsh convention centre
Thursday, 20 February 2020
iccwThe main hall threw up many challenges
UK - When the £84m International Convention Centre Wales (ICCW) opened in September last year, it was not only the first of its kind in Wales, but this joint venture between the Welsh Government and the Celtic Manor Resort has contrived to deliver 26,000sq.m. of total floor space for meetings, conferences and exhibitions (around the size of four international rugby pitches). For visitors driving down the adjacent M4 motorway, the 10m tall red steel dragon provides an unmistakable landmark.
Incorporated within this is a 4,000 sq.m., pillar-free, reconfigurable main hall, and it was this space that threw up many challenges for the technology contractors, Stage Electrics. Their solution was to specify an end-to-end audio workflow from the extensive RCF catalogue, tying nearly 800 loudspeaker products (and over 1,000 RCF components in total) into a multi-use PA in the main hall and mobile systems for the meeting rooms, merged into a fully-compliant PAVA environment.
With the inception of the project dating back to 2016, many technical pitfalls had to be overcome along the way, Simon Cooper led the Stage Electrics engineering team for this project which benefitted from his substantial prior experience in Convention Centre systems.
Stage Electrics were awarded the contract in part by virtue of having worked with Celtic Manor on a number of previous occasions and most significantly by putting forward the most compelling solution to the challenges posed.
Stage Electrics has considerable success installing RCF systems into a wide range of applications for over 15 years, as Dan Aldridge, their commercial & projects director, points out. “We specify RCF because of its reliability, the support we receive - particularly with regard to very large multizone distributed systems - and the price point. But the products are also sensibly differentiated by price whilst delivering exceptional performance and that makes it compelling for clients especially when ‘A-B’ listening and measurement tests are carried out as part of the evaluation, as was the case here.”
Once Mick Butler, RCF’s UK regional sales manager north, had conducted a site demo of the TTL 6-A three-way active line source, its adoption became axiomatic. “That was the litmus test,” he states.
The decision was rubber-stamped by Eric Rymer from venue consultants, Right Solutions, who have worked with RCF at similar International Conference Centres in Belfast and Birmingham, (an area in which Simon Cooper himself also has direct experience). “We then developed the scheme over the next 18 months,” he said.
Originally, the voice alarm / evacuation had been subject to a separate contract, with another brand and electrical contractor in line to carry out the work. Since this approach would have vastly exceeded the budget, Butler was soon introducing Simon Cooper to Francesco Venturi from RCF’s Engineering Support Group in Italy.
Following a meeting in London in September 2017, talks were finalised to sit an RCF DXT 9000 multi-platform comms system, linked to RCF ceiling speakers, aluminium projector speakers, and Media background speakers at the heart of the set-up. He was able to deliver proof of concept that Voice Alarm and Pro Install could be integrated into a completely scalable and versatile range of configurations.
(Jim Evans)

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