Sky-high sound at QANTAS HQ
August 11, 2014
Wood & Grieve Consulting Engineers were recently tasked with specifying audio equipment for the new Qantas headquarters in Sydney. To establish the acoustics of the space and design the sound system layout, a 3D EASE model was built by Wood & Grieve. Subsequent to reviewing many speaker solutions, Bosch was elected as the company to supply the optimal sound solution, including products from Bosch, Dynacord, and Electro-Voice.
Qantas headquarters is an architecturally award-winning campus, accommodating thousands of Qantas staff under its long, interconnecting roof. Along the internal street of the hub, 16 Bosch LS1 Hemi Directional loudspeakers were installed.
The loudspeakers balance directly above the street lights and have a complementary UFO design, adding another visually stunning element to the space. Not only a visual pleaser, the LS1s direct sound downward hemispherically instead of dispersing it around in unwanted directions, which was ideal in the Qantas hub as it is a highly reflective environment.
Olivier Gaussen, National Acoustics Coordinator from Wood & Grieve Engineers explained, “The Qantas hub is a very complex acoustic environment as it includes large amounts of reflective surfaces such as glass and terrazzo floor, and it is located underneath the secondary runway of Sydney Airport.”
Wood & Grieve tamed many of these acoustic quirks within the space by adding various absorption materials in strategic locations. The LS1s also have high speech intelligibility perfect for paging and emergency calls, as well as high sound pressure level with very even coverage which is extremely suitable for enclosed high-ceiling areas similar to the Qantas hub.
The head-end equipment consisted of an Electro-Voice NetMax N8000 DSP for all background music routing, in conjunction with a Dynacord Promatrix 8000 paging system. The equipment works collaboratively to allow staff to page to any of the eight different acoustic zones within the hub, as well as providing pleasing background music.
Furthermore, Wood & Grieve designed a large video screen to be fitted within the hub, and determined that the Dynacord TS400 Vertical Arrays were the most suitable speakers for the application. The TS400s are situated to the left and right of the big screen. The 2.5-way design uses spaced and filtered drivers as array elements which deliver very even and smooth coverage throughout the challenging acoustic space. In the centre of the bottom of the screen, two Electro-Voice SB122 compact 12” subwoofers were installed for added punch. These subs are incredibly small, yet extremely powerful, packing 400-watt continuous power handling (1600-watt peak) into a 15 kg package. The sound system is completely invisible to the public, as designed by the architect.
One of the many components of the Qantas hub is an outside lunch area designed for staff and patrons. Within this space, six Electro-Voice ZX1i weatherized loudspeakers were fitted, which deliver smooth, full range sound performance with exceptional reliability, and extend the BGM and paging capabilities.
Trevan Johns & Associates were the winning systems integrator who did an exceptional job. Despite a particularly short timeline, all equipment was successfully installed prior to the hub’s formal opening.
Bryan Davidson of Bosch was asked to commission the system and do some tuning, which he states, “Was quite a pleasing experience thanks to Wood & Grieve who had all their homework done in making sure that the space had a very low reverberation time, thereby allowing us to achieve a high STI.”
“After the commissioning was completed by the acoustical consultants, the dynamics, clarity and intelligibility from the sound system was astounding,” added Trevan Johns, owner of Trevan Johns & Associates.Mr. Gaussen from Wood & Grieve Engineers concluded, “Qantas Airways stakeholders and executives were all very impressed by the quality and uniformity of the sound across the hub. The design was a real success as reverberation time and speech intelligibility performance requirements were met in a very complex acoustic environment.”
Consultant: Wood & Grieve Engineers www.wge.com.au
Systems Integrator: Trevan Johns & Associateswww.tjacom.com.au