Putting AV collaboration at the heart of its new HQ, leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical company Bayer called on the talents of MiX Consultancy and Focus 21 to develop cutting edge AV systems throughout its new Green Park HQ.

The project delivers collaborative spaces, meeting rooms and presentation suites at the heart of its four floors.

In total the building boasts more than 60 communal, presentation and meeting spaces, each equipped through a Central Crestron control system which is fully integrated onto the Bayer network. The installation was designed by MiX Consultancy and installed by Focus 21 linking the business with its headquarters in Germany.

Each floor has a number of different room types ranging from Skype for Business, presentation, informal, Smart LRS, video conferencing, signage and multi-functional rooms using products from Absen, Apple, Biamp, Cisco, Creston, Exterity, NEC, Innovox, Peerless, Smart and  Shure. The whole AV facility is managed by Crestron Fusion RV, for IT and FM managers to provide remote management capabilities for AV assets and building system.

Glynn Seymour, IT project lead for Bayer explains: “The convergence of IT and AV is not a new trend but something of increasing significance for new builds and refurbishment. The Bayer UK headquarters move was part of a wider culture change to a more agile way of working and our new home had to reflect and support this, whilst adhering to corporate standards in many areas.

“We were challenged to create a variety of meeting spaces that were versatile but retained ease of use and bolstered the image of Bayer as an innovation driven Life Science organisation.”

Glynn adds: “In MiX we obtained a trusted partner, with expertise in areas we couldn’t cover in-house to propose and support solutions to our use cases. They guided us through the unfamiliar waters of a construction project and ensured we were aware of the implications of decisions and actions throughout the project’s lifecycle. The support and guidance provided was invaluable in this ‘once in a lifetime’ move, and we look forward to collaborating further as our needs dictate.

“Through the tender process we selected Focus 21 as the implementation partner, primarily due to the exceptional attention to details of our specific requirements in their presentation. They went above and beyond in the delivery of the project even when faced with tight timelines and enforced changes. We are now engaged in a long term support relationship, and look forward to the new business demands with confidence.”

Designing around how people interact with technology delivered the right result

The building features the redeployment of a 4m Absen LED screen from Bayer’s previous office in Newbury which was carefully taken down and reinstalled into the lobby on a custom swinging Axeos bracket to enable rear service. This is controlled by a Sedna Player with Apple Mini Mac, displaying corporate content as the perfect impact for guests arriving to the building.

James Woods, AV consultant at MiX Consultancy explains: “In compiling the requirements through a series of workshops with Bayer’s key stake holders, MiX determined a set of guiding principles to ensure design continuity across the proposed scheme which was achieved throughout the building. A key component of the strategy was to provide standardisation through consistency and simplicity by minimising customisation but also delivering innovation to the business. This in turn promoted user confidence, reliability and value.”

The Baylab Inspirational Space has been equipped with an NEC projector, Draper 109in screen for innovation presentations and SMART Kapp IQ Pro screens for interactive presentation facilities in this lab environment, with multiple inputs controlled by a Creston panel enabling both wired and wireless presenting.

The main meeting and townhall space was designed to be divisible into a number of rooms or opened into one space, fitted with Shure audio reinforcement for audio conferencing and in room amplification including two Microflex Advance Ceiling Array AV Conferencing Microphones and an 8-channel Microflex Wireless AV Conferencing microphone system.

Two of these spaces feature a Bi-Amp Devio CR-1T collaboration tool with a microphone which tracks and intelligently mixes conversation from around the table, which are also deployed in the Skype For Business presentation rooms on each floor.

Projects Director Justin Paveley of Focus 21 explains: “This project features over 400 endpoints integrated onto the client’s network ranging from video end points, VOIP interfaces, IPTV receivers, touch panels, central controllers and wireless presenting receivers. Bayer wanted to collaborate effectively and efficiently with colleagues and partners all over the globe. The building features all types of collaboration and communication spaces as well as presentation systems for company and client meetings, all installed over a very intense program. The type of content being shared in these facilities puts the quality of image at the forefront of the specification process.”

The company can now communicate across its different sites seamlessly

The building also includes a restaurant equipped with Cisco video conferencing and data presenting facilities, for working lunches to statement presentations and town hall events. This houses an array of 46in NEC displays and a Christie DWU851 DLP projector to bring the space to life with a range of customisable content, from world news feeds to flagship sporting occasions. This is controlled by a Creston DM Matrix 32 x 32 and an Audio Dante network to facilitate a flexible use of the space and to link to a 3-way divisible multi-functional space on the ground floor.