The recently completed expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) in downtown Philadelphia is, to date, the largest public works project in Pennsylvania history.
First opened in 1993, the convention center was expanded by four full city blocks as part of a 20-year plan to renew Philadelphia’s downtown City Center District.
The facility is now one of the 10 largest convention properties in U.S., spanning 2.3 million square feet - 20 acres of downtown Philadelphia. It offers two large ballrooms and seven exhibit halls.
“One of the important elements of the expansion project was the installation of a professional quality audio system that would deliver evenly distributed, clear and natural sounding music and speech reproduction throughout these large spaces,” explains Larry McIntyre, senior consultant at Acentech, the acoustics, audio/visual, and vibration consulting firm who designed PCC’s new audio system.
The sound system, installed by the Philadelphia offices of AVI-SPL, is used for delivering music and general announcements, as well as emergency voice notifications. This makes system integrity a critical aspect.
“We incorporated Community CLOUD12 Loudspeakers into the system design because of their reputation for outstanding quality and sound reproduction,” McIntyre says. “The fact that they are locally produced was an added benefit.”
Acentech’s audiovisual consultants designed a highly flexible network-based digital audio system utilizing more than 400 Community CLOUD Series 1266, 1266T, and 1299T loudspeakers. Audio distribution throughout the expansion is provided via a CobraNet-based network that also interfaces with the main building’s analog audio system. Biamp AudiaFusion amplification powers the expansion system.
“We designed the sound system with various controllable zones which we kept small so that any zone failure wouldn’t prevent delivery of the emergency voice notification,” reports McIntyre. “Each zone consists of an amplifier output circuit, wiring and an assortment of Community CLOUD Loudspeakers. Each amplifier is also monitored and fully redundant.”
“AVI-SPL is honored to have played such a critical role in the largest public works project in Pennsylvania history,” adds Tom Kelley, AVI-SPL’s General Manager. “Working with valued partners like Community and Biamp Systems, our team implemented a multifaceted audio system that delivers music, general announcements, and emergency notifications, all while maintaining complete system integrity.”
“We’re very pleased with the end result. The system provides the control and monitoring we need with great sound quality,” McIntyre says.