4ward-design Allows Education Institutions to Excel
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4ward-design Allows Education Institutions to Excel

In education, time is a fundamental factor in achieving exceptional results through seamless execution and inevitably providing students with their fees worth. It occurs all too often that technology fails educators, wasting their prized time as well as that of their students. Technology is ever-cultivating and has transitioned teaching mediums from dreary chalk boards to expedient smart boards. It has also eliminated hours wasted on equipment set-up and repair by simply allowing an educator to walk into a personalised and automated lecture theatre.

Higher Education institutions are opting for and adopting these methods and technologies which ensure impeccable lectures and meetings, environmental sustainability and efficient workforce. 4ward-design is at the forefront, delivering a simplified solution to eliminating these technological hiccups.

Facility Management

Condeco with its range of Meeting Room Booking Systems and Solutions assist Higher Education institutions to increase room usage, realise budgetary savings and even help generate valuable revenue by reducing administrative overheads. They also provide instant reports detailing the room utilisation which is quite useful for administrative purposes. This system not only manages room and space booking but its occupancy and equipment as well with full integration to MS Outlook Calendar. The Condeco solution is used to manage occupancy, to book seats without having to install intimidating and intrinsic software.

Facility managers can now easily monitor numerous rooms, as well as their respective equipment, simultaneously from a central remote location.

“This system provides a thorough report on each piece of equipment – from the details of its last service to issuing warnings in advance – granting the facility manager sufficient time to order the required replacements before it becomes a problem.  In essence we are converting responses from reactive to proactive. This saves the facility manager, lecturer and students a considerable amount of time”, says Derek Oliver, co-founder of 4ward-design.

The system is fully integrated and automated which means that once the educator walks into the room, the lights and AV equipment automatically switch on. The only action required from the lecturer is to select from the touch-screen interface the form of the lecture – whether it is a presentation or a video. Once the lecture is complete and upon the lecturer leaving the room, all equipment switch off, which further ensures efficient energy consumption.

Energy Management

Due to their excessive energy consumption and associated soaring costs, reducing the carbon footprint and saving energy are critical objectives set by educational institutions. This management does not only apply to lighting but calls for the supervision of AV equipment as well.

“Energy control is a vital factor in design. To ascertain that the energy is sufficiently managed, the equipment we install, such as our amplifiers, is green star rated, which not only consume less energy but occupies less space as well. This is a rewarding advantage for educational institutions as additional space means more seats in the lecture theatres,” says Olivier.

Olivier adds, “4ward designs systems that are stable and robust, specifically for people who are not technologically inclined, have demanding schedules or are simply looking to deliver a seamless lecture or presentation without the headache which often accompanies technology.”

“Our unique service offering also entails calculating the correct layout for rooms. In terms of lighting distribution, we establish the correct screen size for the room to ensure the student at the back is able to see the text on screen without bombarding the vision of those sitting in front. Correct audio distribution is also reviewed to guarantee everyone is able to hear equally well including those with hearing aids – we incorporating wireless hearing aid loops for them to tune into.”

Stellenbosch University sets the tone

Paving the way in this technological frontier, 4ward-design is in the process of installing a Condeco Room Management System at Stellenbosch University. The brief was to equip all workspace facilities in the Library and Information Service-department with an online room booking system and integrated digital room signage to enable students and researchers to interact directly with the system to determine workspace availability.

These workspaces are managed in an automated fashion with the specification requiring complete integration with existing university system infrastructures. This system interfaces with the existing database of students as well as the central exchange server that manages shared calendars.  It also aids in the booking and management of various presentations and class rooms with a full campus roll-out planned for the future .

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