At the onset of 2014, Ray Marsh, Senior Engineering & Operations Manager from Mirvac was called upon to tender a new sound system for Greenwood Plaza, North Sydney CBD’s high profile shopping centre.
The sound system was required to enhance the ambience of the plaza across seven major zones in conjunction to new ceilings and lighting, as part of a major refurbishment project designed to keep up with the expanding business hub. Strategically located in the centre of the state’s second largest CBD, it comes to no surprise that the plaza boasts a high pedestrian traffic of approximately 18 million people p.a. and is the preferred lunch spot for the surrounding office workers.
After careful consideration of the range of sound equipment available, Bosch was chosen to provide the complete audio solution for Greenwood Plaza. “We selected Bosch due to their reputation and industry recommendations”, Mr. Marsh explained.
Following initial introductions Jason Hatswell, Sales Channel Manager of Bosch Communications, investigated Greenwood Plaza through a site visit which enabled him to determine which Bosch products would best satisfy the acoustic requirements, budget range and layout of the plaza.
The final design consisted of Bosch LBC flush-mount ceiling speakers spread across low ceiling areas, combined with LB2 cabinet loudspeakers and LS1 pendant spheres for the towering atrium areas. In addition, three 8 Zone Call Stations for PA announcements were also supplied. The varied centre levels and ceiling heights throughout the plaza posed as a design challenge; however, the mixture of these loudspeakers has the ability to provide quality BGM reproduction as well as intelligible paging capabilities. Despite more than 160 loudspeakers being spread around the plaza in total, the appearance and white-colour finish enables the loudspeakers to be unobtrusive throughout the interior, which maintains the architectural aesthetic.
Situated at the heart of the sound system design is a Bosch PLENA matrix 8 Channel DSP Matrix Mixer, which enables Greenwood Plaza staff members to have complete control over audio configuration in up to eight different zones. Users can mix and select inputs whilst controlling output levels through an iPad or iPhone, thanks to the innovative GUI. “The unique acoustic conditions of the centre with the varying ceiling heights and finishes highlight the flexibility of the PLENA matrix unit for the zoning and audio distribution,” commented Mr. Hatswell.
Three PLENA matrix call stations are spread across two food courts and the management office enabling announcements across the plaza’s multiple zones. Additionally an EV R300 Wireless Mic System is used for marketing and promotional events taking place at the shopping centre.
Sufficient product and layout information was provided by Bosch, enabling Mirvac to produce a coherent tender document which was distributed to recommended installation contractors. Subsequent to reviewing tenders, Clare Communications were awarded the project of installing and commissioning the new Bosch sound system. “The installation throughout the property was challenging due to the many different ceiling configurations and centre levels but was carried out in a professional and workmanship manner without disruption to the centre and its visitors,” stated Mr. Marsh.
According to Donal O’Sullivan from Clare Communications the PLENA matrix solution was ideal for Greeenwood Plaza. “PLENA matrix provided an easy user friendly solution for the Greenwood Plaza Shopping Centre with future capacity for some additional zones. The intelligibility and high SPL of the system in all zones was very impressive and will serve the Centre well for many years to come. The system offered the client many varying control options for the staff and they have since incorporated a BGM system that enhances the system even more.”
The new sound system has assisted in recreating Greenwood Plaza into a more ambient centre, by uniting the different zones thanks to evenly distributed BGM controlled by the PLENA matrix.
The installation was completed recently and everyone involved in the project was impressed with the final results. Mr. Marsh concluded, “We were very happy with the professional quality of the project.