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Vast New International Conference Centre Wales Equipped With More Than 1,000 RCF Components

Large-scale project under the direction of Stage Electrics includes sound reinforcement functioning independently of the facility's PAVA (public address and voice alarm) systems.
ICC Wales Christmas Party Night 06.12.19 ©Steve Pope Fotowales

The main hall at the new International Convention Centre Wales (ICCW) in South Wales, UK, has been outfitted with more than 1,000 RCF components in a multi-use sound reinforcement approach both for the 4,000-square -meter hall as well as mobile systems for meeting rooms in the vast facility.

The facility, which provides more than 26,000 square meters for hosting meetings, conferences and exhibitions, is a joint venture between the Welsh Government and the Celtic Manor Resort. Stage Electrics, based on a successful working with relationship with Celtic Manor, was awarded the contract as the technology contractor on the project.

The pillar-free main hall space presented several challenges for Stage Electrics, with Simon Cooper leading the company’s engineering team with the benefit of his prior experiences with convention center systems. The scope of work — incorporating A/V, lighting (including public spaces), additional technical equipment and stage engineering consultancy — was set out by Russell Phillips, VP, facilities and development at Celtic Manor.

Sound reinforcement in the main hall functions independently of the facility’s PAVA (public address and voice alarm) systems. Stage Electrics specified 18 TTL 6-A elements, 10 TTL 6-AS active bass modules as well as SUB 8006-AS subwoofers to extend LF extension, all controlled using RCF’s proprietary RD Net.

A further six EVOX 10 and four EVOX 12 column loudspeakers, along with HD 10-A and HD 12-A joined by SUB 8006-AS subs, also serve as the main components in portable roll-in/roll-out systems for use in the venue’s 15 flexible meeting rooms, in addition to Media M 801 for further reproduction purposes, including background.

“We specify RCF because of its reliability, the support we receive — particularly with regard to very large multizone distributed systems — and the price point,” states Dan Aldridge, commercial and projects director for Stage Electrics. “But the products are also sensibly differentiated by price while 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.”

Originally, the voice alarm/evacuation facet of the project 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 exceeded the budget, talks were finalized to meet the needs of the application with an RCF DXT 9000 multi-platform comm system linked to RCF loudspeakers, including PL 70ENs ceiling loudspeakers, horns, BS 5EN pendants and DP 1420EN aluminium sound projectors.

“There were discussions in the office and there was only one company we would feel comfortable in putting forward because we wanted outstanding quality both for evacuation and the background music system,” says Aldridge.

Finally, the client also turned to RCF’s wiring department for PAVA rack building, device wiring, testing and pre-configuration. Acceptance testing activity with Stage Electrics was also managed at the company’s Reggio Emilia headquarters.

The final count consisted of six cabinets housing EN54-16 certified electronics (matrices and amplifiers), EN54-4 certified battery chargers for secondary power feed (including batteries), distributed in the three technical rooms and interconnected on an Ethernet fiber ring-configured network supported by dedicated network switches programmed by RCF.

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Other contractors involved in the project included main building contractors SISK Ltd, electrical contractors PRM, which installed all cabling for the PA, and Centre Stage offering stage engineering services.