As the UK’s fifth-oldest university, the University of Aberdeen combines a 600+ year history with a thoroughly 21st century approach to teaching the arts, social sciences, medicine and physical sciences.
The University has been exclusively using Ampetronic designs and equipment for its induction loop systems for several years, with over 100 currently installed, as its AV manager David Walton explains:
“In the past, we got whichever company won the tender to do an AV installation to supply and install the induction loop,” he says. “But we ran into problems because people weren’t as skilled as installing them as they thought and we started to have problems with spill from adjacent rooms, and so on.
“One of our suppliers suggested that we ask Ampetronic to visit us. They gave an excellent presentation and, between the University Estates and AV departments, we decided from then on that we would only use Ampetronic designs and equipment. Since then, our loop systems have all worked very well.”
Recently the university’s Fraser Noble Building has undergone major refurbishment, which has included the complete overhaul of five teaching laboratories. As with all such projects at the university, the opportunity was taken to install the latest induction loop technology. Ampetronic designed a phased array for each space, featuring a total of one A300 phased array kits, two A500 phased array kits and two A1000G phased array kits
Installed by Arbroath-based Streamtec, the installations faced multiple challenges, including the metal content of the building, the close proximity of four of the rooms and also how the rooms are used.
“Being used for both teaching and lab work, they’re quite informal spaces, not with rows of seats as in standard lecture theatres,” says David. “Tables and chairs are in groups and the rooms are used in a number of different configurations, so the loop system needs to be very flexible to cover all possible uses.”
To achieve this, the loop designs had to be fairly complex, the installation being made more challenging by the fact that they had to be laid beneath a resin floor. To achieve this, Streamtec had to work very closely with the flooring company, ensuring that the loop arrays weren’t damaged before and during the laying of the resin. This was aided by a simple but ingenious alarm system connected to the loop terminals, devised by Streamtec’s engineers, which sounds if the loop is disturbed or damaged.
With feeds from wireless microphones and AV systems in each room, the induction loop systems have helped to bring the teaching facilities in the Fraser Noble building right up to date.
“We’re really pleased with both Ampetronic’s systems and the work that Streamtec did,” says David. “As well as in teaching spaces, we’ve fitted Ampetronic induction loops in a number of reception areas.
“There are further induction loop installations planned over the next two to three years at the Foresterhill campus, as buildings are refurbished. And you can be sure they’ll all be Ampetronic.”