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Is Green AV All We Think It To Be?

Notes and thoughts from Josh Srago on AVShopTalk’s Green AV show.
Last night I participated in the second live episode of AVShopTalk hosted by Nate Schneider and Jason Griffing. My fellow guests to try and hash out some of the confusion and discussion around Green AV were Anthony Zotti and Leonard Suskin.
The session kicked off with a discussion on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and their importance when it comes to specifications. Anthony Zotti got the conversation going by discussing the lack of “consumer awareness” or the fact that there “aren’t a lot of people who understand how nasty some of the stuff in our electronics are,” when it comes to inclusion of hazardous substances in the devices people are putting in their homes. I followed that by stating that RoHS is “not really a big concern for me because I expect the manufacturers have taken the responsibility and due diligence to meet those responsibilities.” Jason Griffing neatly wrapped it up by stating that it’s something he “assume[s]the manufacturers are taking care of.”
Speaking from the consultant perspective, Leonard Suskin voiced the strong opinion quite early by stating “the RoHS, LEED, and Energy Star…really have a very minimal impact in among themselves.” He would go on to discuss the fact that AV equipment and design are not going to generate a great deal of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points in order to achieve the building energy efficiency certification.
Mr. Zotti brought up a very interesting point on multiple occasions about the AV side of construction is often ignored in this energy certification, even though it will be the AV control system that operates the shades, controls the lighting and HVAC systems, while still providing control of the integrated technology in the room. To his point, if we are the industry providing the central brain for these solutions, why are we not a bigger part of the conversation? Is it because we are simple the end point on the system that operates the system?
As the conversation of LEED credits developed, the key sticking points revolved around the return on investment and how to actually measure that for the client. I gave an example of a commercial installation where I once calculated billable kilowatt hours of running the amplifiers in both standby and full operation to show how one was more efficient than another. I reinforced Mr. Zotti’s point that with equipment like displays and projectors it can be a little more difficult to predict the life of a product. Both he and Mr. Griffing made key points that the residential use of product is not as predictable as it might be in the commercial space, which will affect the lifespan of the products.
The show went on to discuss ways that we might be looking to bring Green AV into the design aspect of the world, specifically addressing Revit architectural software and the BIM (Building Information Management) capabilities.
By the end the quintet had brought an interesting perspective as both commercial and residential AV worlds were represented and how Green AV is seen by both sides of the industry.
If you’re new to the Green AV world and want to get a perspective as to how it might apply to your world in the near future, make sure watch.

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