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University of Melbourne Teaching Space Design Guidelines

The provisions below govern the design and construction of all teaching spaces; lecture theatres, seminar rooms, conference rooms, laboratories, computer labs, & owned by the University of Melbourne. Consultants and Architects must adhere to these standards in design of teaching spaces at the University. These standards constitute Chapter 12 of the University's Project Management and Design Standards. These standards are currently under detailed revision.
For further information contact Jon Peacock (Manager, Teaching Spaces Services Group).


1.1 Objectives
1.2 Users of Teaching Spaces
1.3 Teaching Spaces Services

2. Theatres and Teaching Spaces

2.1 Lecture Theatres
2.2 Small Presentation Spaces
2.3 Mini-Lectern Theatres
2.4 Collaborative Learning Spaces
2.5 Laboratories
2.6 Computer Laboratories
2.7 Videoconferencing Spaces (Teleteaching)

3. The Learning Environment

3.1 Ambience
3.2 Works of Art
3.3 Writing Boards
3.4 Projection Combinations
3.5 Lines-of-sight
3.6 Motorised Screens
3.7 Lifts For Video Projectors
3.8 Seating Rake, Aisles and Visibility
3.9 Lectern, Stages and Podia

4. Physical Access and Movement

4.1 Restraints on Room Envelope for Teaching Spaces
4.1.1 Density of Seating in Teaching Spaces
4.2 Access, Egress and Circulation
4.3 Foyers and Public Spaces
4.4 Doors
4.5 Lecture Note Racks
4.6 Public Access
4.7 Facilities For The Disabled
4.8 Floors and Carpets
4.9 Walls
4.10 Ceilings
4.11 Seating
4.12 Front of Theatre Seating
4.13 Equipment Cupboards
4.14 Lectern
4.15 Soft Furnishings
4.16 Design Considerations for Small Presentation Spaces
4.17 Design Considerations for Collaborative Learning Spaces
4.18 Design Considerations for Specialised Laboratories

5. Electrical & Lighting Services

5.1 Energy Management Issues
5.2 Power Supply
5.3 General Power Distribution Outlets
5.5 Provision of Auxiliary Sockets
5.6 Specialist Power Requirements
5.7 Lighting Planning
5.8 Lighting Control
5.9 Specialist Lighting
5.10 Lighting Maintenance Issues
5.11 Lighting for Small Presentation Spaces
5.12 Lighting for Collaborative Learning Spaces
5.13 Lighting for Computer and Specialised Laboratories
5.14 Performance Standards

6. Mechanical Services

6.1 User input to HVAC Controls
6.2 Fresh Air Supply

7. Acoustics

7.1 Reverberation
7.2 Ambient Noise
7.3 Isolation

8. Safety and Security

8.1 Emergency lighting and Exit lighting
8.2 Aisle lighting
8.3 Fire protection services
8.4 "LEC" keys and "TEC" keys
8.5 Storage

9. Sundry Issues

9.1 Clocks
9.2 Telephones
9.3 Graphics and Signage
9.4 Data Sockets


10.1 Basic AV Facilities
10.2 Data Presentation Standard
10.2.1 Security of Equipment
10.2.2 Projector Cages
10.2.3 Selection of Method of Display
10.3 Basic Sound Presentation Standard
10.4 Basic AV Features for Lecture Theatres
10.5 Additional AV Features
10.6 Special AV Features
10.7 AV Facilities for Computer Laboratories
10.8 AV Facilities for Specialised Laboratories

11. Video Teaching and Conferencing

11.1 Additional Design Considerations for Videoconferencing
11.2 Telelecturing Spaces
11.3 Videoconferencing Seminar Rooms
11.4 Videoconferencing Meeting Rooms
11.5 Video-linking Presentation Spaces

12. Computer Laboratories

12.1 Cables and Networking
12.2 Furniture
12.3 Security of Equipment
12.4 Security of Access
12.5 Print Services
12.6 Noticeboards
12.7 Technical Support
12.8 Audio Visual Equipment
12.9 Room Lay-out
12.10 Air-conditioning

13. Controls

13.1 Software Structure
13.2 Menu Structure
13.3 Dual Video Projection
13.4 Page Layout
13.5 Symbols
13.6 Functionality
13.7 Lighting Controls

14. Manuals & Guides

14.1 Equipment Inventory and Operating Manuals
14.2 Quick Reference Guides
14.3 Controls Source Code

15. Reactive Maintenance Support

See also:

Environment Health and Safety Manual - Ergonomic Principles and Guidelines & Standards for the Installation of Voice and Data Networks


These design standards supersede the University of Melbourne Teaching Space Design Guidelines (1995) and complement the other sections of the Project Management & Design Standards which apply with equal force to Teaching Spaces. The critical role of Teaching Spaces for the University and the specialised nature of teaching space design means that particularly exacting standards of design and construction are required for teaching spaces as reflected in these Guidelines.

1.1 Objectives

Teaching spaces are places of social and personal interaction, where learning takes place and where creative thinking is encouraged. The primary objective of the design is to optimise arrangement of all architectural elements and teaching facilities for teaching and learning.

1.2 Users of Teaching Spaces

Each project team will include a representative of a Nominated User Department to provide user input. However, the project team shall take account of the fact that all the University's Teaching Spaces are Common Teaching Spaces and may be used by any department. It is the responsibility of the University’s Teaching Space Consultant to ensure adherence to the standards herein, and to liase with the Nominated User Department. The Teaching Space Consultant shall be a member of the Project Team for all projects including refurbishment or creation of Teaching Spaces.

The design must adhere to the standards herein while meeting specific requirements of the Nominated User Department.

1.3 Teaching Spaces Services (TSS)

Teaching Spaces Services' is located in the Information Services and supersedes the Audio Visual Unit, which is no longer operational. TSS is responsible for maintaining the University's shared teaching spaces, and will inspect new audio-visual installations in such spaces, prior to hand-over to ensure that works are completed satisfactorily and meet the standards herein. If TSS is providing agreed internal consultancy to a department of the University, then this may also involve inspecting new installations in a departmental space (i.e. a non-shared teaching space).  Such agreements and commitments will be stated in writing.  TSS is under no obligation to inspect installations in non-shared teaching spaces.

The Consultant shall include a representative of TSS in meetings with the User Department when issues relevant to audio-visual equipment are discussed, and shall consult the Manager of TSS prior to completion of the design. In most instances, these meetings will be convened by the Manager of TSS.

Any variation from the selection of audio-visual equipment currently being used must be authorised by the Manager of TSS.

TSS is responsible for maintaining the computers and related IT equipment in shared learning spaces. TSS will purchase all computers and peripherals and install and set them up with standard software and operating systems in conformity with current standards, as defined by the Manager of TSS.

The computers will be installed concurrently with the commissioning of the AV equipment. TSS must be notified as soon as possible of the date at which commissioning of the AV equipment is to begin.

Variations in the selection of computers may be made, but subject to the approval of the Manager of TSS, and where appropriate, the University's ITAAG (Information Technology Acquisitions Approval Group).  Full details about ITAAG requirements may be viewed at:

2 Theatres and Teaching Spaces

Each category of Teaching Spaces, as outlined below, has differing design considerations according to their intended use. Spaces in each category may be fitted to a variety of architectural and equipment standards and may incorporate facilities for specialised activities.

The size of Lecture Theatres should be determined by the formula set out in the Commonwealth Building Standards [Appendix 1.C]

2.1 Lecture Theatres

Lecture Theatres are generally single function spaces with fixed seating and writing furniture on a tiered or sloping floor surface with a seating capacity of 56 or more. Each seat should have a clear unobstructed view to the lecturer and all boards and screens located on the presentation wall. These spaces are generally well equipped for visual communication, with PA and all required equipment installed. Equipment and lighting is generally operated via an integrated electronic control system. (See section 13)

The Equipment standard will be at least the basic standard as per 10.1 - 4, but may include additional and special features as per 10.5 or 10.6 according to budget and user requirements.

Interactive Lecture Theatres

About 25% of teaching staff would prefer to lecture to groups of students arranged as far as possible in a “Theatre-in-the-Round” set-up. Such a seating arrangement compromises the display of images. Nevertheless, a proportion of the University's lecture theatres shall be designed to facilitate engagement between the lecturer and the students with some level of compromise to lines-of-sight specified herein for lecture theatres. These theatres will adhere to the Basic Standard of provision of AV and IT equipment (10.1 - 4) while arranging seats in up to a semi-circle with a gently sloping floor and ample room at front-of-house. (See Theatre D, Old Arts)

Dual Projection Lecture Theatres

With the lower cost of video projection and the increasing dominance of this medium in teaching, and increasing number of lecture theatres will now be fitted with two video projectors. These theatres require particularly ample space at front-of-house.

2.2 Small Presentation Spaces

These have a capacity of less than 56 and the use of combinations of presentation media is restricted. Small presentation spaces may have a level floor but are primarily designed for effective presentation and have controlled lighting. Facility for presentation media is as per 10.1 - 4, except that in some cases computers are not installed. Acoustic design is important and PA may not be required.

Where there is requirement for the switching of different video sources over and above one computer and one VCR, the preferred approach is a video selector panel, if possible, including a "projector off" option. However, these spaces will not have a touch panel and will not integrate environmental and presentation controls.

2.3 Mini-Lectern Theatres

These have a capacity of less than 100 and are designed for effective presentation of video data and use the University's standard "Mini-lectern" and have controlled lighting. The video projector and input devices will generally be controlled using the device's in-built or remote controls.

The Mini-lectern has one computer (either Mac or PC), a VCR and an amplifier. If amplification is required, this is built in to the lectern. Provision for use of a lap-top is made either by means of connecting the lap-top VGA cable into the socket provided for the installed computer, or directly to the projector via a separate socket on the side of the mini-lectern. A lap-top network point is also provided, powered on/off from inside the lectern.

Lighting will generally controlled using a self-standing lighting control system accessed by a wall panel offering a limited number of standard ligting scenes and the option of ramping audience and board lighting.

Drawings of MiniLectern: One, Two, Three, Four

2.4 Collaborative Learning Spaces

These are spaces designed to facilitate Collaborative Learning using a range of models developed by the University (see Section 4.17 for models), which may contain a number of computers and AV devices, or may have no equipment at all. They have a level floor, natural lighting and a capacity of less than 56. The emphasis is on active collaboration by everyone rather than simply on presentation. Equipment requirements are as per 10.1.

2.5 Laboratories

Laboratories are unique Teaching Spaces usually with predominantly fixed benches. Video cameras and screen monitors are often used to convey information from a central bench to several locations around the laboratory. PA may be required in larger laboratories.

2.6 Computer Laboratories

These spaces generally have a built-in networked computer for every person as well as presentation facilities. See 10.7 for AV requirements. Design considerations affecting these spaces are presented together in section 12 below.

2.7 Videoconferencing Spaces (Teleteaching)

These may be any of the above type of spaces, but incorporate the capacity to include others via videoconference, as well as meeting rooms intended for administrative purposes. Design considerations affecting these spaces are presented together in section 11 below.

3 The Learning Environment

Generous access, comfortable seating, clean sight-lines, good lighting, articulate sound, appropriate scale, pleasant spatial forms, colours and textures, etc. are all required.

In cases where existing spaces are being renovated or upgraded it is usually difficult to satisfy all requirements. Decisions on where to compromise must be made on the basis of clear prioritisation to a specified range of suitabilities.

3.1 Ambience

Teaching Spaces should be designed as attractive, amenable spaces, and design solutions should be attractive architecturally.

Colours should be chosen to suit the character of the space. Light colours are generally preferable but care must be taken to avoid glare on whiteboards and projection screens.

There should be minimal fenestration to walls near or at the front of Lecture Theatres so as not to detract from the main focal point i.e. lecturer and boards and screens.

3.2 Works of Art

Design solutions should should, where possible, allow for the later inclusion of works of art, tapestries, etc., both in lecture theatres and seminar rooms.

3.3 Writing Boards

Writing boards are required in all Teaching Spaces, though their use in larger spaces is discouraged, as distant students are unable to read the written information.

White marker boards will be used except where the nominated user department requires blackboards.

Double-hung boards will used in preference to fixed or “roller-boards”, except for very large theatres where writing boards are not prioritised.

Care must be taken to ensure that handles are designed to minimise risk of injury in handling boards. D-pull handles must be avoided.

Where appropriate, tools for moving boards out of arm-reach should be provided.

Motorised boards shall not be used as these are more prone to failure.

Large boards should be constructed of material as light as is consistent with requisite rigidity, and care should be taken in the commissioning to ensure that the boards move freely.

Trimming of counter-balancing shall not entail the adding of extra weights to the board.

Proportions of no wider than 6 to 1 should be used in order to avoid jamming.

Boards shall be suspended from a point above the centre-of-gravity of the board

Except in very large theatres, where possible, a writing-board shall remain accessible while other media are in use.

Rigidity may be improved by continuing the columns from floor to ceiling and fixing to the ceiling.

In small spaces where the whiteboard is the principle medium, the board is used intensively and modern marker pens are difficult to erase. Consequently, refillable paper-towel dispensers shall be provided for staff.

3.4 Projection Combinations

Lecture theatres must be designed for use with dual projection, displaying two images side-by-side. Although it is sometimes difficult to allow for effective use of media with different brightness intensity side-by-side, in general, presenters should be able to use dual combinations of any of the available projection systems.

3.5 Lines-of-sight

Optical calculations should be performed by the audio visual consultant for each project, however the following simple rules can be applied:

Rule 1. Furthest Viewer *. No student should be positioned further than six screen height multiples from the projection screen.

Rule 2 Closest Viewer. No student should be positioned closer than two screen height multiples to the projection screen.

Rule 3 Horizontal Viewing Angle. Students should be positioned within an arc of 45 degrees off the centre line of projection.

Rule 4. Screen Position. The base of the screen should be at least 1350mm clear of the floor at the front of the lecture theatre.

Rule 5. Vertical Viewing Angle. Students should be limited to 15 degrees maximum head tilt excursion above horizontal, to reference the centre of the projection screen.

* Whilst the Horizontal Viewing Angle and Closest Viewer rules can be stretched a little, the Furthest Viewer rule must not be stretched at all.

3.6 Motorised Screens

The projection installation should work effectively in any configuration without the requirement to tilt projection screens when moving from one configuration to another. In the last instance, if no other solution is possible, with the agreement of the Manager at TSS, motors fitted for screen movement must be quiet and robust and must effect movement of the screen from one to another position in 25 seconds or less.

The preferred option is to project onto the wall above or behind the writing board area. In most cases the writing boards must be lowered to expose the screen area.

Where possible writing boards should be able to be used in combination with OHPs or video data, and 35mm slides in combination with video. However, it shall not be required that either OHP be used in combination with video or 35mm slides.

Projection screens: Simple Rules for Theatre Planning

3.7 Lifts For Video Projectors

Where possible, video projectors shall not be mounted higher than 4.5m from floor level. If projectors cannot be mounted within 4.5m of the floor and on a fixed bracket, then a mechanical lift shall be fitted. Where a maintenance lift requires access to the projector in-situ to secure cables, catches etc., then a safe, secure bracket shall be provided against which a ladder may be rested.

Where possible consultants shall avoid Audio-visual set-ups which require a video projector lift to move projectors from one audio-visual configuration to another.

As noted in section 10.2 below, all LCD video projectors must be protected by a steel cage. These are available from TSS.

3.8 Seating Rake, Aisles and Visibility

The Lecture Theatre floor should be raked to provide a clear view of the display areas and the presenter from every seat. The rake is preferably provided by tiering of the theatre floor. Each tier or step should be a minimum of 150mm. Rakes steeper than 1 in 6 should be avoided.

More aggressive tiering can be provided, however it usually creates projection and screen viewing problems ­ it should be contemplated only in very small theatres or where existing conditions must be retained. In steeply raked theatres the front rows of seats may need to be tilted back slightly to compensate for excessive screen heights and vertical viewing angles.

Sloped floors are preferred and often successful in smaller theatres where adequate ceiling height is provided for the projection screens. Slopes should not be greater than 1 in 14.

Centre aisles shall be avoided.

3.9 Lectern, Stages and Podia

The standard lectern design (see 4.14) will be used in each theatre project, unless directed otherwise.

The installation of stages and podia is discouraged. Flat floors are preferred at the front of Lecture Theatres.

Floor Plan: Specific Example of a Small Theatre
Section View: Specific Example of a Small Theatre
Floor Plan: Specific Example of a Large Theatre
Section View: Specific Example of a Large Theatre

4 Physical Access and Movement

4.1 Restraints on Room Envelope for Teaching Spaces

The following constraints shall be applied over and above any restraints set by building regulations or other considerations, in the construction of new Teaching Spaces:

Ceiling height shall be at least 3200mm (measured from the floor level at the front of the theatre to the lowest point on the ceiling), and if the length of the room exceeds 9m, the minimum ceiling height shall be increased by one-sixth of the additional length;

No teaching space shall exceed 22m in length from the front of the theatre to the rear row of seats;

There shall be a minimum of 7m flat floor at the front of any teaching space;

Sloping floors are generally preferred to steps in large Lecture Theatres. Sloping floors shall not be steeper than 1 in 14 and steps not steeper than 1 in 6;

“Wide” orientation is preferred to “long”, with a ratio of 4 wide to 3 deep being ideal, but in no case shall the room be longer than 4 / 3 times the width;

No general teaching space shall be smaller than 30 square metres, though offices, meeting rooms, interview rooms etc., shall not be constrained by this limit;

The wall at the front of the theatre should be the full width of the space and unobstructed, but in all cases, the width of unobstructed flat wall shall be at least 3000mm and at least half the length of the theatre from the front wall to the rear row of seats;

The front-of-house wall shall in all cases be unobstructed by air-conditioning or other ducting, entrances and exits, electrical switches, cupboards, except as implemented as part of the audio-visual design.

4.2.1 Seating Density

The following guidelines set optimum levels for number of students per square metre of floor spaces for the various types of teaching space.

Type of Space Sq m. per student
Lecture Theatres 1.0
Open Plan (No tables) 1.5
Seminar Rooms, tight schoolroom set-up 1.5
"Café­Style", Round tables: 1m diameter tables for 4, 1.2m diameter tables for 5 or 1.4m diameter tables for 6. 1.5 - 1.8
Collaborative Learning "Café­Style", No AV, larger tables 1.7
Collaborative Learning "Boardroom Model" 1.8
Collaborative Learning "Café­Style", with AV, larger tables 1.8
Seminar Rooms, schoolroom with more table space 2.0
Collaborative Learning "Cabaret-Style" with room to move and larger tables 2.0
Collaborative Learning "Cecil Scutt Model" 2.0
Computer Lab - Student Access 3.2 - 3.5
Computer Lab - Teaching 3.5 - 4.0

4.2 Access, Egress and Circulation

Lecture theatres shall permit comfortable access and egress. Designers should be mindful of other considerations which affect the physical access and movement such as foyer or lobby spaces.

A sufficient number of doors are to be provided for a maximum clearance time of 2.5 minutes for quick and efficient changeover between lectures.

There shall be at least three doors for Lecture Theatres, including at least one rear door, and the preferred position for other doors are in the side walls at the front of house, and not on the front-of-house wall.

4.3 Foyers and Public Spaces

In the design of large, modern Lecture Theatres, consideration should be given to the provision of adjacent free space with facilities for display, serviced with adequate toilet and washroom facilities. In unusual circumstances the design brief might require catering facilities. Where kitchenette facilities are not proposed, dedicated 15A GPO sockets should be considered for the connection of urns, etc.

Secure storage spaces are always an important provision as an adjunct to public amenity areas.

The University undertakes refurbishment/refitting works to many existing Lecture Theatres, both large and small. In most of these cases, space for the public amenities as described above is either limited or unavailable.

Plan of a Theatre
Section View Through a Theatre

4.4 Doors

Include glazed vision "slots" in entry doors as a means of determining if the theatre or teaching space is in use. The "slots" should be approximately 40mm wide by 75mm deep.

An A4-size perspex slot for the timetable, and a small pin board for messages should be placed on the outside of the door or on an adjacent wall.

Designers must comply with the requirements of the Building Code Of Australia including such matters as aisle widths, distance to aisles and exits, seating row spacing and disabled persons access.

4.5 Lecture Note Racks

Racks or other furniture to facilitate the distribution of printed material to students should be fitted adjacent to doors, where this is consistent with providing free unobstructed access and egress.

4.6 Public Access

Whilst the primary use of University Teaching Spaces is delivery of the academic program, consideration should be given to use by the wider community, especially in the case of larger projects.

Signage, access, bathrooms and other services should also be planned with public use in mind.

4.7 Facilities For The Disabled

Disabled persons' access to Lecture Theatres shall generally be in accordance with A.S.1428­1993 Design for Access & Mobility, Parts 1 and 2, and comply with the Disability and Discrimination Act.

It is important that these positions allow a clear view of all Lecture Theatre media.

The front row of seats is to be at the same floor level as the adjacent entry doors for disabled persons access. Wheelchair spaces must be located towards the centre front row rather than near the side. Seating must be so arranged that wheelchair users can take their place in line with a row of fixed seating, rather than sitting “out on their own”.

Designs should allow for two wheelchairs in Teaching Spaces of up to 200 seats and one additional space for each additional 100 seats or part thereof.

An audio loop for the hearing impaired shall be installed in all Lecture Theatres at the time of construction or physical upgrade. Theatres with audio loops and the seating areas where the loops are active are to be "signed" accordingly. The audio loop shall be situated in the first two rows nearest the lecturer. Should disabled access not made possible to this area, an additional audio loop must be provided to a point where disabled access exists.

4.8 Floors and Carpets

Carpets are required in all Teaching Spaces for acoustic and aesthetic reasons.

In Small Presentation Rooms and Collaborative Learning Spaces, selected woven carpet or carpet tiles may be allowed.

Standard University 'Lecture Theatre Carpet' shall be fitted in Lecture Theatres. This carpet is a woven, cut­pile, Axminster, 80% wool ­ 20% nylon, in a 690mm wide roll.

Carpets may be laid over underfelt or laid 'direct stick', but the use of underfelt is preferred for acoustic reasons.

On the nosings of stepped aisles and stairs, use "Protect­A­Tread" safety stair nosings, with bull-nose edge and insert strips in keeping with the carpet colour.

4.9 Walls

In general, wall surfaces should be durable and easy to clean. Walls to dado level should be constructed from or lined with hard­wearing materials, resistant to scuffing and scratching, e.g. masonry (with anti­graffiti treatment) or laminate finish.

Where plasterboard or plaster-glass is used, high quality workmanship is necessary to produce a level and straight surface in particular near the front of the theatre which may regularly be highlighted by spotlights, board lights and the like. These materials, particularly plasterboard, should only be used where impact damage is unlikely.

Acoustic panels may be required on the rear quarter of side walls and on rear walls. The Architect may choose to integrate panels into the general fenestration and design context of the theatre. Maintenance and cleaning ability of acoustic panels is critical.

The walls and ceiling within two metres of the front-of-house shall be dark and light absorbing to minimise the reflection of ambient light on the front projection area.

The front wall and front quarter of side walls shall generally be acoustically reflective.

4.10 Ceilings

The designer will define the shape of the ceiling to suit particular acoustic requirements.

A number of appropriate options are available in the selection of materials for ceilings, however particular care should be taken in the finish of plasterboard or plasterglass ceilings particularly if uplighting is to be used.

If adequate room is available the ceiling space should be easily accessible for servicing of light fittings and mechanical equipment, in preference to using scaffolding within the space.

4.11 Seating

Fixed seating is to be secured on the tiered floor and preferably with each individual seat being staggered with respect to the seats in adjacent rows.

Seats are to be set back as far as possible so as to avoid injury by feet slipping down between the seat back and the step.

Designers must comply with row spacing and other regulatory requirements but must be conscious of comfort and ease of access. The calculations of seat numbers are based on the clear spaces between seat rows being 500mm. The minimum centre-to-centre lateral spaces of seats is 560m.

The range of proprietary seating currently available varies from simple polypropylene shell type (with or without upholstered finish) to high quality maximum comfort seats with padding and fabric upholstery incorporating all requirements for correct posture.

The fold-up type of tablet is strongly preferred. The support mechanism is to be robust and require minimum maintenance. The tablet surface will have a durable anti-­graffiti finish. The seat width and tablet position must so as to allow people of more than average girth to use the tablet. The use of a single continuous bench with individual chairs is also a popular solution.

The preferred type of tablet-chair is the Fagaleo LAMM Chair, with Wrimatic tablet.

Approximately 13% of the general population are left handed, and designers should consider providing a proportion of left-handed seats. These seats shall be placed on the aisle, to the left of blocks of seating.

Seating Tablets

The University's Property Planning and Development Department shall be consulted on the possibility of re-­using existing seating.

Fabrics for upholstered seating must be chosen for suitability in terms of appearance and durability. Fabrics must be commercial upholstery grade, recommended by the manufacturer for the intended purpose and stain resistant. A stain resistant treatment such as "Scotchgard" may be applied; while ensuring that the fabric and adhesive bonding of padding materials is compatible.

In Collaborative Learning Spaces seating for students should generally be on ergonomic chairs with castors. The lecturer usually works standing-up and provision should be made for notes to be kept securely in a suitable position from which to talk to the whole class, Provision may also be made for the storage of pens, remote controls, etc.

4.12 Front of Theatre Seating

Comfortable loose chairs are often required when more than one person is to be accommodated at the front of large theatres.

4.13 Equipment Cupboards

The following equipment cupboards are required:

an AV equipment cupboard for ready access by presenters using the "LEC key", recessed completely into a wall at the front of the theatre, and utilising the international 19" rack mounting standard and readily accessible to service staff;

an AV Systems Rack separately keyed under the "TEC key" for access by maintenance and technical staff;

a Slide projector box or a Projection room at the rear of the theatre accessible by "LEC key", with front windows in "Starphire" low­lead glass, angled forward at 12 o to the perpendicular;

A Dimmer cupboard usually adjacent to the switchboard outside the theatre, and never physically adjacent to the AV systems rack.


Good ventilation, with generous air inlets at low level and outlets at high level, must be provided, though fan driven ventilation is often required, such as in the case of small slide projector cabinets. Dimmer cupboards require convection cooling to match the dimmer manufacturers specification.

Power Supply

A regulated power supply should be fitted in preference to use of plug units. No more that two plug units should be used to supply DC power to equipment in any one equipment cupboard.

There should be an additional mains powerpoint inside each cupboard, including small slide projector cabinets;

Dimensions of Equipment Cupboards

The internal cupboard carcass usually provides a mounting surface for audio visual cable looms and ducts, power distribution conduits etc.
Adequate clearance must be provided for these services plus the actual metal rack frame. At least 150mm clear space is required behind the equipment rack frame, inside the cupboard.

Minimum internal dimensions for a rack cupboard are 750 x 650mm (depth x width).

Cupboard height varies with the size of the rack installation, however two common formats do occur:

In the first, the height is around 2000mm, allowing for installation of a full height (44ru) equipment rack.

In the second, the cupboard is much lower, usually no more than one metre high, often built with a bench­top for use by presenters. In these cases the cupboard needs to be twice as wide, to allow for installation of two half­height rack frames.

Access to Equipment

The rack shall be mounted on wheels to allow rack removal for service and the Lecture Theatre floor and the rack cupboard floor must be continuous. If the equipment is housed in two racks, there must be sufficient length of cable connection between the two racks to allow one of the two racks to be brought out alone.

All rack cupboard doors are fitted with the TEC key lock for technician access to remove/repair equipment and LEC key lock for user access to operate equipment. See 8.4.

Location of Slide Projector Cabinet

Access to the slide projector box or rear projection room is not obstructed by seats.

The slide projector box located on centre line of the theatre unless dual image is required in which case two cabinets are necessary.

Any cabinet base more than 1500mm above floor level will usually require step (permanent or sliding) for changing of slide trays.

Cantilevered Cupboards and “bio-boxes”

Slide projector cabinets and such like shall not be cantilevered out from walls. This creates a safety hazard in terms of people knocking their heads, and in terms of people hanging on them. All cabinet work shall be taken down to the floor, not supported from walls;

Lighting Inside cupboards

Small, low voltage light source should be located in a shielded position inside the slide projector cabinet which activates when the access door is opened.

Rear projection rooms require adequate shielded lighting for operators;

All equipment racks require adequate internal lighting for technical staff;

Dimensions and location of Projection Room

Sufficient height is required to clear audience heads, sufficient room for a bench for slide and movie projectors.

Acoustic Isolation

The Dimmer cupboard and rear projection room must be acoustically insulated to prevent dimmer or 16mm film projector noise from disturbing lectures.


The front door of recessed cupboard have conventional hinges and with the door closed, the cupboard door face is flush with the wall.

Slide Projector Cabinet
Projection Cupboard or Room
Lecture Theatre - Typical Rack Lay-out
Seminar Room - Typical Lay-out
Equipment Rack with Rear Access
Equipment Rack with No Rear Access

4.14 Lectern

The standard lectern design shall be used in all Lecture Theatres. It provides lighting, an area for presenter's notes, microphones, and houses a touch­screen control panel, a computer monitor, and up to three permanently installed computers. Subject to the requirements of the Nominated User Department, some lecterns may require an extended bench area for demonstrations, but shall always include at least altogether one square metre of surface for lecturers' notes and books.

One section of the lectern module is dedicated to the computers, interface and switching equipment, along with required power outlets, video and audio link cables, computer data link cables, telephone and LAN connections. It should be noted that computers vary in dimensions over the years, and computers will be replaced on an annual basis, so designers must take advice from the University on the dimensions of spaces required to house computers.

The lectern design, can be modified to match the aesthetics and to a limited extent, the design direction of individual Lecture Theatre projects. However changes to the design must be approved by the Project Coordinator and must be consistent with the style and intention of the standard design as illustrated below.

A floor duct or trench is required to carry electrical and AV wiring to the lectern. The duct must be compartmented to provide separation between services.

The lectern must be securely fixed in position to meet electrical regulations.

Internal fittings and electronics packages are accessed via several hinged doors and removable access panels.

Substantial ventilation is needed to support the installed equipment. Each lectern includes dual computer grade fans with speed controllers, with power switched automatically under AV system control. Fans, speed controllers and internal power wiring are supplied and installed by the electrical contractor.

The lectern light is a standardised unit, supplied by the University Maintenance Store, through the Project Co­ordinator and installed by the Electrical Contractor.

A standard fixture for mains power and LAN connection and video and audio input for a lap top computer is provided.

NB: The University is currently moving to VGA sockets for lap-top video, rather than the specialised interface previously used. While this transition is in progress, VGA cables will be provided secured on the socket. These cables will be rolled up and secured with cable ties so that they do not drag on the floor and create an OH&S risk, and secured with “black fishing line”;

The lectern doors and access panels are secured with the LEC and TEC keys as appropriate. See 8.4.

A telephone is fixed securely in a position on the lectern where is easily seen and usable without bending and where it does not interfere with the main flat surface of the lectern.

The installed computer monitor is screw fastened to the lectern carcass for security.

Microphones must be fixed to the platen with tamper­proof screws.

Design and construction of the unit shall provide a well damped, rigid structure without excessive resonance or box­like boominess when microphones are in use.

Refer to the sketches for details of the lectern layout. Equipment requirements and positions must be qualified for each individual project.

Standard University Lectern
Elevation 1
Elevation 1 - view (a)
Elevation 1 - view (b)
Elevation 1 - view (c)
Elevation 2
Elevation 2 - view (a)
Elevation2 - view (b)
Elevation 3
Elevation 4
Section AA
Section AA - view (a)
Section AA - view (b)
Section BB
Section BB - view (a)
Section BB - view (b)
Detail - view (1)
Detail - view (2)
Detail - view (3)

Document Camera Extension - view (1)
Document Camera Extension - view (2)
Document Camera Extension - view (3)
Document Camera Extension - view (4)
(shown with old-style computer monitor)

Drawings by Fish, Payne, Pattenden Viney, are available from the Projects Office, Propertgy & Buildings.

4.15 Soft Furnishings

Where windows exist in Lecture Theatres, effective control of natural lighting must be achieved with selected, light-excluding curtains or blinds. In Collaborative Learning Spaces thin-line venetian blinds are preferred to maintain ambient light at a level suitable for inter-personal communication as well as projection.

Lecture Theatres

The designer should endeavour to exclude as much light as is necessary to enable projected information to be easily read. Where cinematic conditions are required, 100% blackout should be aimed for, with no annoying light leaks at perimeters of the treatment. Pelmets and light-excluding tracks are often needed on all sides to achieve complete light sealing.

Curtains and blinds are usually activated electrically, with control from the AV control system. Closure (blackout) is then automatic whenever a screen­based display is selected for use within the theatre.

Heavy curtains or roman blinds are preferred for acoustic reasons, as they provide an effective contribution to the damping of sound reflections within the space.

Motorised drape systems can be very noisy and should be avoided. Care must be taken to ensure that selected tracks and motors are not excessively noisy, as this does interrupt presentations when the curtains are activated.

4.16 Design Considerations for Small Presentation Spaces

Small Presentation Spaces may provide auxiliary sockets for the use of equipment outside of the basic range, and in general, a narrower range of combinations of presentation media will apply. The selection of built-in devices will be guided by the needs of the Nominated User Department. Dual-OHP, OHP-plus-writing-board and video-plus-writing board shall be accommodated wherever possible. Other dual combinations need not generally be supported.

PA may not be required for the presenter, but allowance must be made for the use of recorded or computer-generated sound. Very good optical and acoustic design is the central aim of design for these spaces.

4.17 Design Considerations for Collaborative Learning Spaces

Smaller spaces (i.e. those with a capacity of less than 56) which are not fitted out with AV and IT facilities for presentation or as specialised or computer laboratories, must be designed to facilitate collaboration between students and a collaborative relationship between the academic and the students.

The University has developed a number of different models for collaborative learning, including:

The “Cecil Scutt Model” in which students work in groups each group having an installed computer and the academic has a touch-screen whiteboard to display, annnotate and operate data from a fixed video projector or draw freely with marker pens. All the computers are linked by “Tutor” software allowing data-sharing; the tables and ergonomic chairs are arranged in “café format” so that students can flip form group-work to all-class discussion or attention to the front instantly.
NB: This flexible re-orienting of the class between different modes of interaction is a feature of all the designs.

The “Alice Hoy Model” in which students sit up to 7 in a group at oval tables for group work with up to 56 in a class arranged in “cabaret” format. The academic is able to roam around or address the whole class from the front of a wide room using whiteboard, OHP or data-proector/computer/VCR on a portable trolley shared among a number of rooms.

The “Podium Model” in which students sit up to 5 in groups at round tables arranged in ‘café format’, using lap-top computers provided by the department but stored in a near-by secure store. The academic may use a fixed data projector to display data via a video-socket or write on the whiteboard.

The “Boardroom Model” which resembles the “Cecil Scutt Model” but students sit around a large ‘boardroom’ table. Apart from the academic's computer, there is one other computer allowing a student to contribute or demonstrate to the class. Variations on this model has a very large table on which material may be spread out for joint work by groups, or on the other hand, students may be seated in a circle or in “school classroom” arrangements.

The “Open Plan Model” in which the capacity may be as high as 100, as students work in groups while one or more staff ciculate. Round tables are ideal, with maximum density being achieved with 5 students sharing a 1m diameter table. The staff member should have a minilectern or similar with installed computer and a fixed projector; a Smartboard is optional and in general a lapel-microphone and ceiling speakers will be required.

Designs shall be developed which meet the pedagogic requirements of at least one course perfectly, while conforming to the standards herein;

The following considerations will assist the designer in facilitating collaborative learning:

Light and Sound

Rooms must work without voice-amplification and allow the academic to work either from the front or walking around, so the rooms must be spacious and yet allow a voice to be easily heard. This requires priority to be given to acoustic design;

Projection systems must not rely on dimming of lights, so fenestration must ensure that ambient light levels are both ideal for interpersonal communication and adequate for video projection. Adjustment of venetian blinds in response to outside light variations is presumed;

Furniture Arrangement

Rooms should have a “wide” orientation, rather than a “long” orientation;

Ergonomic chairs on castors are preferred, but subject to advice from the Nominated User department, sturdier chairs may be necessary;

Furniture arrangements must allow the formation of groups of 4 to 8 as well as all-group discussion and in no case will it be admissible that a student has their back to another student while engaged in all-group discussion;

The degree of “polarisation” in the room design will depend on advice from the Nominated User Department. Other things being equal, the degree of polarisation should be minimal but not non-existent;

Whiteboards shall be provided in abundance; for example, 2- or 3-leaf double-hung boards at the front, over a projection space plus boards on all other walls for groups to utilise;


Where computers are installed they must be so located that they do not interrupt the student's line of sight to others or hide them from other students. In general much of the time students spend in a room will not involve using the computers, so the computers should be altogether unimposing and it is preferable to compromise the design in respect to keyboard and monitor use than to compromise the design with respect to interpersonal communication;

Either Macintoshes or PCs may be installed (not both), but where interfacing to third-party devices (such as electronic whiteboards) is required, PCs shall be used;

The use of radio-LAN should be considered as a network solution for future installations;

Floor boxes must be provided for power and network leads and these shall be lockable but are generally left un-locked;

AV Equipment

Projectors in most cases should be fixed and a bracket from the ceiling or fixed at a height of about 2000mm on a wall are preferred solutions;

A control system is not required for these spaces. Designers should rely on the internal controls of AV devices to ensure their safe use, and not overrisde these controls with external devices. Remote control modules or on-board controls are used for the operation of all AV equipment. Any removable items such as remote controls should be secured with light “fishing line” so placed that it may be easily operated and will not create a OH&S danger for tripping;

NB: The University recommends Electroboard's SmartBoard, Large size (1500mm wide) to be located with the top edge of the board 2100mm above floor level.

NB: The University recommends NetSupport School for the networking software.


Due to the access to the University network and the amount of equipment in these spaces, the rooms must be secured. Currently the LEC-key is being fitted to room doors for this purpose, but consideration should be given to the use of swipe card access to rooms and all equipment. This is a preferred solution but implementation will be subject to budget constraints;

Where the design calls for portable equipment, the design must include adequate, convenient, secure storage for AV/IT equipment on the same floor and nearby. Surveillence cameras, magnetic library-tape on equipment or other such measures may be required;

4.18 Design Considerations for Specialised Laboratories

These projects are each unique. In general the need for adequate lighting will rule out the use of projection, but multiple video monitors may be used to display material to all parts of the lab. As many laboratories are large and noisy, PA may be required.

5 Electrical and Lighting Services

5.1 Energy Management Issues

The use of electrical power in Lecture Theatres is actively regulated to minimise energy consumption. Many power circuits, and all lighting circuits, are connected to the AV control system, which regulates service delivery based on input from a range of switches and sensors. Included in these is one or more ceiling mounted microwave sensors, which monitor room occupancy. Control software is programmed to ensure that lighting and power are shut down when the room is not occupied.

Selection of light fittings is an important factor in energy management. Directional tungsten filament down-lighting is necessary to provide good illumination when projection systems are in use. Fluorescent lighting is usually also available for use when projected displays are not required. All fluorescent fittings are dimmer controlled, and are fitted with Helvar electronic dimming ballasts.

5.2 Power Supply

Each Lecture Theatre should have a dedicated electrical distribution board, usually a sub-board fed from the main building supply. Requirements for individual circuits are quite high, therefore switch boards should be planned with generous capacity and wiring space. Adjacent wall area should be available for installation of dimming and power control equipment.

Most Lecture Theatre dimmers will require a 3 phase supply at up to 40 amps per phase. In some cases, smaller dimmers require a single phase supply at up to 40 amps capacity.

Some Lecture Theatres require a stabilised supply for power to demonstration and experimental equipment. In these cases the necessary equipment should be installed within the electrical or dimmer cupboard. Ventilation requirements must be adjusted to support the stabiliser operation. Lecture theatre power should be relatively clean and stable adjacent industrial operations must be treated sceptically, and supply planned so as to eliminate any chance for disturbance to theatre supply.

5.3 General Power Distribution Outlets

Each Lecture Theatre should be serviced by a generous provision of strategically placed general power outlets, positioned at or near skirting level, and wired to Australian standards. Power outlets fall into two categories, those of a general nature for cleaning services, demonstration equipment, etc. and power outlets connected to the lectern which are generally used to plug­in overhead projectors. The latter type, labelled "OHP Power", require activation of the touch screen on the lectern in order to operate. Generally, one such power outlet is provided on the lectern carcass; at least two other "OHP Power" outlets will be required at the front of the theatre, either located on the floor adjacent to the OHP station or on the walls under the projection screens. The power outlets required for general purposes only will be distributed around the theatre and located no closer to the front than the first row of seats.

5.5 Provision of Auxiliary Sockets

At least one spare GPO must be provided in the audio-visual equipment rack.

An auxiliary audio-visual socket must be provided in bio-boxes where they are provided.

5.6 Specialist Power Requirements

The specialist power requirements for each space should be tabulated by the AV consultant, and then reviewed with the project electrical consultant for implementation. Specialist services are planned to allow for complete supply and installation of working systems by the electrical contractor, thus eliminating any service demarcation issues.

Earth leakage circuit breakers should be installed on circuits where user intervention with equipment is expected. Many circuits are switched or regulated by dedicated control units, which respond to requests from the AV control system. In this manner, power to say a slide projector is automatically turned on when required, and safely turned off at the completion of a presentation. The following table lists typical "special power" requirements for a medium sized Lecture Theatre.

Ct # APPLICATION C/B Control Max Load Phase
1 Slide projector power ELB PCU 10 amp Common
2 Overhead projector power ELB PCU 10 amp Any
3 Video projector power ELB none 15 amp Common
4 AV rack power ELB none 15 amp Common
5 Computer power#1 (lectern) ELB PCU 15 amp Common
6 Computer power #2 (lectern) ELB none 15 amp Common
7 General AV power (lectern) ELB PCU 15 amp Common
8 Motorised screen power ­ MCU 10 amp Any
9 Motorised curtain power ­ MCU 10 amp Any

ELB = earth leakage circuit breaker;
PCU = Power Control Unit (specified by AV consultant);
MCU = Motor Control Unit (specified by AV consultant);
Common / The common electrical phase chosen for all AV service supply.

5.7 Lighting Planning

Lecture theatres are lit by a combination of 240 volt tungsten filament downlighting and fluorescent light fittings. Lamp cost, lamp life and ease of replacement are all important factors in the selection of fittings. Typically, the University requires the use of conventional GLS downlight fittings in low­ceiling spaces, and PAR lamp equipped fittings in areas with higher ceilings. The latter fitting is the preferred type. Fluorescent units are fitted with low brightness diffusers and Helvar electronic ballasts.

Light fittings are segmented into circuits which compliment the room functions. Up to twelve separate circuits may be required in an average Lecture Theatre. The drawing depicts a typical circuit arrangement marked on to a reflected ceiling plan.

Typical Lighting Layout

5.8 Lighting Control

Control of individual lighting circuits is achieved by multi-channel dimmer units, which use solid state devices to regulate the electrical waveform fed to the lamp. Some important characteristics required of the dimmer are as follows:

Minimal EMI & RFI emissions

Minimal acoustic emissions

Individual MCB for each output circuit

Local override control with push button operation

Remote control by RS.232 signal from the AV systems

Simple access to low voltage control terminations

Adequate separation between low and high voltage areas inside dimmer unit

Active mains supply waveform tracking and output compensation

Automatic re­boot on power­up

In­built surge limiters

Soft­start switching

Halogen clean­up cycle for low voltage lighting

For heat dissipation purposed, dimmers must be surface­mounted, not recessed into wall cavities.

Consideration should be given for the installation of an hour-­run meter where incandescent lamps are specified.

The dimmers are controlled by RS.232 commands generated in the AV control system, as a response to user input or time reference. See § 13.7 for details of programming. Multiple lighting "scenes" are created in the control software, and requested as required for different Lecture Theatre situations. Maximum lighting levels are regulated within the software, with lamp filaments protected through limiting of power levels, thus reducing operating costs. Gentle ramped activation from cold eliminates thermal shock, further extending lamp life. User interfaces to the lighting control system include simple push button panels located at entry doors. LED indicators provide status indication for users. Buttons provide direct access to on, off and preset dim lighting levels. The lighting systems are interfaced through software to the major operating states of the Lecture Theatre. For example, if a lecturer selects "VHS" from the list of media choices on the lectern control screen, the control system will automatically adjust the lighting circuits to provide optimum viewing conditions for the VHS videotape.

5.9 Specialist Lighting

In addition to the downlight and fluorescent fittings, certain specialist light fittings and circuits are usually required. The following list covers most possibilities, which do vary somewhat from theatre to theatre.

White board lighting. Usually directional fluorescent fittings designed to avoid glare.

Computer keyboard illumination. Close pattern spot­light illumination from the ceiling.

Aisle lighting. Low power tungsten filament indicator lamps fitted to the end of fixed seating rows. Aisle lighting recessed into the walls or stair tread sides may sometimes be necessary but should generally be avoided due to cost.

Slide projector cupboard service light

Lectern spotlights

Document spotlights

Larger theatres which are used regularly for public activities, seminars and conferences will also require additional spotlight circuits for flexible illumination of presentation zones, displays, committee tables and the like. Lighting must be planned so as to provide quality illumination of the subject, whilst protecting projection screens from unwanted wash or spill.

5.10 Lighting Maintenance Issues

Fluorescent fittings equipped with electronic ballasts (and connected to dimming control equipment), must be treated as systems, rather than individual fittings. Tube replacement should be undertaken on a "whole room" basis at periodic intervals, as demanded by effective tube life. University policy is to relamp each theatre during the summer semester break. Tubes should not be replaced on an individual basis, as new tubes will exhibit totally different dimming characteristics to aged tubes.

Fittings must be planned to allow simple replacement. In large theatres with high ceilings access is required above the ceiling on permanent catwalks.

5.11 Lighting for Small Presentation Spaces

Lighting for Small Presentation Spaces shall meet the same standards as Lecture Theatres, but integrated automatic control is not always required. However, the use of a control system operated by an electronic wall panel, benefits system maintenance and optimises user-control.

5.12 Lighting for Collaborative Learning Spaces

Lighting for Collaborative Learning Spaces must optimise conditions for interpersonal communication. Dimming for presentation shall not be required.

5.13 Lighting for Computer and Specialised Laboratories

Computer and specialised laboratories should provide for the presenter to be able to operate a dimmer so that the lighting level may be set according to conditions.

5.14 Performance Standards

The completed electronic systems will be completely free of short circuits, ground loops, hum, oscillation, feedback, excessive system noise, instability, RF interference and the like.

Completed video display systems shall provide stable images, without any visible detrimental artifacts, including noise bars, jitter, shake or ground loops. In each lighting regime, all areas of seating must receive an even level of lighting.

It is particularly important that wash of lighting onto the display surfaces be minimised in the lighting regime specified for AV use. The lighting system must not project artifacts or shadows on to the screens.

All systems shall perform smoothly, without detectable hesitation, mismatch of signal levels, or detectable degradation to image or sound.

In general the systems performance must match that of best operational practice in the audio and video broadcast industry.

After the completion of the control system programming and equipment commissioning, the AV contractor shall demonstrate the performance and function of all system components to the satisfaction of TSS and the consultant.

6 Mechanical Services

The designer should refer to the Standard Brief for Consultants sections on Mechanical Services for policy in regard to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Energy Management and Building Controls. In general all mechanical services are controlled by the University's BAS (Building Automation System). Manual on/off control is available only on the mechanical services switchboard.

Where BAS is not available in a building, air conditioning, heating and ventilation should be electrically controlled using motion detectors (of a type agreed with the Engineering Services Manager), timers, clocks and space temperature sensors as appropriate, including pre­conditioning.

Lighting is not controlled by BAS, but is controlled by the user as a part of the AV controls. Full fresh air ventilation is preferred for Lecture Theatres, however fresh air damper open/close control may be fitted to allow pre­conditioning of the space to be executed in an energy efficient manner. Noise levels from mechanical equipment are to be kept to a minimum. In determining acceptable noise levels, designers should consider the following criteria:

NR 30 (Noise Rating)

Australian Standard AS 2107

Department of Housing and Construction

AIRAH Design Guide.

6.1 User input to HVAC Controls

The user call for ventilation is by means of motion detectors fitted in the theatre. The motion detector(s) provide an input to the AV control system, which in turn signals the BAS which controls the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), taking a variety of factors into account. The user should not be required to operate the HVAC directly.

6.2 Fresh Air Supply

In larger theatres, consideration should be given to the fitting of variable speed fans, which allow for the air volume to be varied according to the level of occupancy.

7 Acoustics

All Teaching Spaces need to be designed for proper acoustic performance with use of appropriate materials to floors, walls and ceilings. Care should be taken by the designer to allow for features which will reduce noise penetration to and from the theatre to acceptable levels.

Speaking and listening are the single most important means of communication used in learning, so good acoustic design is of primary importance. Collaborative Learning Spaces, and in most cases, Small Presentation Spaces, should be designed for excellent voice communication without voice reinforcement. Where the size, shape or other features of the room make it impossible to achieve the highest standard, then voice-reinforcement should be added and the acoustic design adapted to suit voice-reinforcement.

7.1 Reverberation

The use of modern audiovisual equipment requires short reverberation times.

Mid­band reverberation times, measured as RT60, should be set at around 0.5 seconds for Lecture Theatres up to 150 seats; for larger theatres, slightly longer times are acceptable.

7.2 Ambient Noise

Ambient noise from mechanical systems and adjacent areas must be carefully controlled. Steady state noise levels should be limited to NR30, though this is often difficult to achieve.

7.3 Isolation

Effective isolation assists with reduction in ambient noise. STC ratings for walls and doors must be planned to support the NR30 objective defined above. Double sheet drywall construction is often required, and all barrier walls should extend slab­to­slab in multi level buildings. Barrier treatments should not be contemplated unless accompanied by suitable mechanical noise reduction.

8 Safety and Security

The designer will need to be fully conversant with the Building Code of Australia requirements for Lecture Theatres in relation to the following items: ­ aisle widths ­ tiered row spacing ­ distance of seats from an aisle ­ escape routes and exit doors ­ exit and emergency lighting ­ aisle lighting.

Consideration of fire protection measures is essential for both new and existing refurbished Lecture Theatres.

The University has a policy for the locking and security of Lecture Theatres. Details of current policy are available from the Property and Campus Services department. Details of security key-locks are noted in sub­section 3.07.06. Keying of Audio visual cupboards is explained in 8.4.

8.1 Emergency lighting and Exit lighting

It is necessary that emergency lighting design be in accordance with the relevant code.

Early in the design stage, the consultant shall approach the Engineering Services Manager to establish the appropriate type of emergency lighting system to be specified.

Exit light fittings shall be of the maintained type. Emergency light fittings shall be of the non­maintained type. Legends for exit signs shall be green lettering on black background.

8.2 Aisle lighting

Aisle lights are normally required in Lecture Theatres. Ceiling mounted spots are preferred to those mounted on seats.

8.3 Fire protection services

Fire protection is a mandatory consideration in all buildings including Teaching Spaces and Lecture Theatres, both refurbished and new.

8.4 "LEC" keys and "TEC" keys

Three types of key-lock are required in each teaching space or Lecture Theatre.

Locks for main entry doors, which are master-keyed to the University system. These locks are opened and re-locked by the relevant Building Supervisor. Teaching staff do not have these room keys;

Small Presentation Spaces and Collaborative Learning Spaces which have equipment and network access which cannot be otherwise secured, shall be controlled by swipe cards (preferred), or shall be keyed to the LEC key system supplemented by other security measures;

Locks for AV equipment access by Lecturer's (LEC key) including:

    AV rack cupboard user access doors Lectern touch screen cover

    Computer module front access doors

    Projection room (or cupboard) door

    AV storage cupboard if provided

Locks for service access to AV and electrical equipment by AV Technician only (TEC key), including:

    Lectern centre column door Computer module rear doors

    AV rack cupboard rear doors

    Electrical and mechanical distribution boards.

Note: Keys for Technician's access will also unlock keys to Lecturer cupboards.

8.5 Storage

Lecture Theatre accommodation will be enhanced by the provision of a separate lockable storeroom for loose items as follows:

audio­visual equipment, mikes. etc.

overhead projectors and their trolleys

loose furniture including chairs and tables

other sundry items.

In some Collaborative Learning Spaces it will be advantageous to provide storage space for occasionally used AV equipment and students' work.

Refurbishment projects will in many cases have limited space available.

9 Sundry Issues

9.1 Clocks

Clocks should be installed in the lecture theatre, primarily for reference by the lecturer. Clocks should be mounted on the rear wall or on the side walls towards the rear. Any clocks used must be battery operated, analogue and silent running.

9.2 Telephones

In Lecture Theatres and Laboratories in which video projectors or other complex audio-visual equipment are fitted, a University internal telephone shall be fitted on the lectern. The telephone shall be so located as to not interfere with the useable desktop space, and must be clearly visible and accessible.

9.3 Graphics and Signage

Signage and graphics will follow University standards.

The name of the Lecture Theatre shall be signed outside the main entrance to the theatre or room.

Any signage placed inside the Lecture Theatre is to be unobtrusive and not distract from the main functions of the Lecture Theatre.

Provide the following standard University signs in selected locations inside and outside the theatre or teaching space:

The “No Eating / Drinking” and “Audio Loop” signs are supplied by the University Maintenance Store through the Project Co­ordinator.

In addition, the following instructions and labels should be incorporated in the Lecture Theatre:

The AV touch screen lid should bear a discreet notice on the inside “Close After Use” and the phone no. of TSS shall be shown;

In the Projection Box slide projectors should be labelled “Left” and “Right” and carry basic instructions for use.

The drawers containing the radio microphones, the doors to the computers and the drawers or doors to any remote controls shall be discretely and clearly labelled for the lecturer.

9.4 Data Sockets

Sockets shall so far as possible be provided so as to fit standard cables;

Installed male sockets shall be avoided, as pins may be damaged by repeated use, and it is often costly to replace sockets. In order to ensure that sockets are standard, while avoiding male sockets, female sockets may be installed and gender-changers fitted, so that if pins are damaged, the gender changer is easily replaced;

Sockets for multiple inputs to a lap-top (e.g. audio-out, video-out, power-in, network-in) shall be fitted immediate proximity to each other, if possible on a single face-plate;

Sockets providing access to the network must have physical security, either via a LEC-key or via a swipe card.


This need for versatile, large-screen electronic display systems is the dominant factor influencing the design of AV facilities, including Lecture Theatres and Small Presentation Spaces, and is typically the most expensive single equipment element of any presentation system.

In order to facilitate maintenance and ease-of-use of AV installations, the University has a standardised approach to many design aspects: a standard lectern design, the 19" equipment rack, light dimming and environmental control methodology.

However, not all Teaching Spaces need to be equipped to the highest level.

In general, all Teaching Spaces should incorporate the Basic standard (10.1);

All Teaching Spaces are connected to the CATS LAN — “Centrally Allocated Teaching Spaces Local Area Network”;

All Small Presentation Spaces and Lecture Theatres shall include provision for computer data as in the Data Presentation Standard (10.2) below;

Small Presentation Spaces and Lecture Theatres shall include provision for the Basic Sound Standard (10.3) below;

All Lecture Theatres shall include provision for additional features as in 10.4.

Having regard to user requirements, budget and overall demand for the various possible additional features, a range of additional features as in 10.5 may be incorporated.

In a few selected premier spaces, special features as in 10.6 may be incorporated.

10.1 Basic AV Facilities

The University considers basic facilities to all Teaching Spaces to be as follows:

Writing boards with suitable illumination. Whiteboards are to be used unless blackboards are specifically required by the Nominated User Department;

Overhead projection screen sized and positioned appropriately, possibly tilted, and usually to the side of the writing board;

Quality overhead projector with trolley. Trolley and projector selection is standardised, as approved by Teaching Spaces Services;

Connection to the CATS-LAN — Centrally Allocated Teaching Space Local Area Network;

Some provision for the presentation of computer data;

A lectern or other provision for the staff member's notes, with convenient access to controls.

Either the primary projection image is placed at the centre of the front of house, or two images (which may include a writing space) are treated equally and situated either side of centre.

Portable Equipment

The University strongly prefers solutions which rely on permanently installed equipment. However, in some Collaborative Learning Spaces where the requirement for presentation of video or slide images is infrequent, arrangements may be made for the use of portable equipment, which shall include:

room and furniture design which allows for the introduction and placement of portable equipment;

either computer and display device to be provided on a single unit, or provision made for the connection of a lap-top computer and video tape player to an installed computer;

Secure storage provided nearby for AV and IT equipment, with an appropriate level of alarm-protection and/or surveillence;

Basic Standard of Presentation Equipment in Collaborative Learning Spaces

Collaborative learning relies chiefly on person-to-person communication, with computer data providing the most frequent form of mediation apart from whiteboards. Lighting shall be designed for effective communication and adequate visual display without variation of lighting levels which disrupts classes.

Some disciplines require the display of VCR tapes, TV broadcast or 35mm slides as part of collaborative learning, but these media shall be provided only in response to consultation with the nominated user department. NB: The current percentage demand for use of the various media in teaching are: OHP 95%, computer 66%, VCR 50%, slides 30%, 16mm 3%.

Small Presentation Spaces

Small Presentation Spaces shall, in addition include provision for:

installed video projector, in all cases;

video-tape presentation, in all cases;

35mm slide projector with remote control and appropriate screen;

Simple light dimming to complement AV projection;

Simple lectern with reading light and room lighting controls;

10.2 Data Presentation Standard

The minimal data presentation facilities will include:

Lap-top socket;

One installed computer, IBM or Mac;

Audio-out for each of the above;

LAN connection for each of the above to the ‘CATS-LAN’;

Video display up to a maximum horizontal scan rate of 65Khz and a bandwidth in excess of 70Mhz.

While the Lecture Theatre Standard provides for both platforms and lap-top connection, Small Presentation Spaces shall only provide for one platform, according to local preference. Collaborative Learning Spaces will generally use IBM-type PCs.

10.2.1 Security of Projectors

Current models of LCD projector are prime targets for theft. Normal cable-type security is insufficient. Henceforth, all LCD projectors must be protected by cages constructed according to the specifications in 10.2.2 below. LITE-LOCK or other equivalent method of causing an alarm signal on the University's Aries system in the event of unauthorised disconnection of the equipment is also recommended for new intallations.

As noted in Section 14 below, the make, model and serial number of all equipment which has a domestic application and/or is valued at more than $1,000, must be provided to the Manager of TSS at Practical Completion and the equipment indelibly marked with the name of the University.

The other items which are prime targets for theft are laptop computers and the University does not support the location of these items in centrally allocated teaching spaces.

10.2.2 Projector Cage

The cage fitted to protect the LCD video projectors from theft shall

Be of rectangular shape, so sized as to adequately house the projector for which it is designed, with a 2cm clearance for adjustment of the projector .

Be constructed of security grade steel mesh with allowance for air circulation;

Have an ample opening suitably positioned for the lens;

Have ample openings at the side and/or rear as appropriate for cables;

The upper plate of the cage shall be welded integrally to the steel bracket fixing the projector to the ceiling in such a way that the projector is able to bolt to the bracket;

The sides and underneath plate shall be in one piece, fixed firmly to the upper plate by two padlocks securing lugs penetrating through slots in the upper plate. The lugs shall be small enough and so positioned as to make cutting them difficult, but large enough to take the padlocks supplied by TSS;

The lower part shall be easily removable for servicing by unlocking the padlocks and dropping the cage down revealing the projector fixed to the bracket above;

An arrangement shall be made so that the projector position and orientation can be adjusted whilst inside the cage.

Alternative steel protection may be used, subject to approval by the University's Security Manager. Currently Spaceage Communication have an agreed variation.

10.2.3 Selection of Display Method

According to the dimensions and use of the space, a video projector or monitor will be used for display. The selected technology must be capable of resolution and scanning speed to match the dominant computer platform populations.

LCD projectors are now specified, and the Manager of TSS must be consulted in the selection of model;

Where the Furthest Student is less than 5m, a video monitor may be used instead of an LCD Projector;

Multiple video monitors may be used to overcome sight-line problems in larger laboratories;

10.3 Basic Sound Presentation Standard

Despite the growth in the use of visual and computer means of communication, verbal communication remains the single most important method of teaching and learning. Irrespective of the size of the space, maximum attention must be paid to optimising the acoustic properties of the space.

Amplification is required for all Lecture Theatres and should be considered for Small Presentation Spaces of 35 seats or more. It is unsuitable for Collaborative Learning.

Wherever amplification is installed, whether for presenter's voice or for electronic sound, provision for audio-recording should be provided.

Provision for sound presentation (audio-cassette and computer audio) is always required for language teaching, and is required for all lecture theatres.

Selection of Microphones

The preferred method of voice input is lapel microphone and provision for UHF radio microphones is basic where amplification is required. The selection of UHF frequency must be coordinated with the existing range of frequencies in use in nearby spaces. The Manager of TSS will assist in ensuring that interference is avoided. Appropriate amplification shall be installed with quality stereo amplification, front of house speakers and ceiling speakers where required.

Wherever amplification is installed, provision for amplification of taped and computer audio shall be provided, with possible use of a general-purpose auxiliary input socket, with suitable input switching conveniently provided to the presenter.

10.4 Basic AV Features for Lecture Theatres

Lecture theatres should include the Basic AV facilities, including large screen video projection and quality stereo microphone amplification plus, where possible, as follows:


Dual A4 overhead transparency projector capability (side­by­side)

Dual 35mm slide projector capability (side­by­side)

High brightness slide projectors must be used, and in very large theatres, Super high brightness projectors and consideration should be given to 400W OHPs.


video tape and audio-q replay;

Automatic microphone management;

Lectern microphones (hard wired, gooseneck type);

Audio/video switcher for source selection;

Audio-out from PC in the lectern;

Audio-out from Mac in the lectern;

Audio-out from lap-top in the lectern;

Audio recording (cassette) of lectures;


VHS video replay (PAL/NTSC) multi-standard;

Video/audio auxiliary input at front of room;

Display interface for IBM PC (VGA);

Display interface for Apple Mac;

Display interface for lap-top computers;

Permanent PC and Mac (supplied by the client);

15" flat-screen monitor at the lectern for computer preview;


Telephone on lectern (internal, out-going calls only, client supplied);

University standard lectern (refer appended drawings);

Laser pointer;

AMX logic control system, including source selectors and environmental controls;

Touch screen control panel;

Push button panels at entry doors;

Automatic preset lighting dimmers;


Fluorescent lights with Helvar electronic ballasts for dimming;

240volt (long life) PAR downlights;

Presenter spotlights;

Computer keyboard light;

Aisle lights;

Exit lights;

Writing board lights;

10.5 Additional AV Features

Special facilities share all of the above features, plus the addition of further services to meet special needs. The following list covers many of the “specials” required in differing spaces.

Dual video projection;

Additional presenter microphones of UHF radio / hand held type;

Audience response microphones of UHF radio / hand held type;

Document camera input to projector (VGA-type, portable unit mounted pernanently on the lectern);

Broadcast TV reception (VHF/UHF);

Broadcast Radio reception (FM/AM);

Capability for 35mm multi-­image presentation;

S­VHS video replay (PAL/NTSC/SECAM) multi-standard;

U.matic video replay (PAL/NTSC/SECAM) multi-standard;

16mm film projection;

Dual 16mm film projection;

16 mm film projection (anamorphic) capability;

Recording camera (fixed or remote controlled);

Audio monitoring in the projection room (where existing)

Automatic microphone mixing;

CD replay (may be integral with audio-tape player);

NB: The current specification for installed PC computers now includes a DVD player, so the installation of a CD player or separate DVD player is now redundant, and Laser Disc players are not generally required; WHere there is intensive demand for DVD and a player is installed, multi-zone capability is required.

10.6 Special AV Features

The following features will occasionally be required in addition to all the above:

Electronic whiteboard input to projector;

Multiple power points for a proportion of students to use lap-tops;

Beta-max video replay (PAL/NTSC/SECAM) multi-standard;

U-matic SP video replay (PAL or NTSC or SECAM);

Projection room video monitoring (PAL/NTSC/SECAM) multi-standard;

Projection room computer output monitoring (multi-scan);

Projection room touch screen for system control;

Audio conference system with Conference mikes (cabled, desk type);

Audio/video link to other Teaching Spaces;

ISDN connection and Videoconference system (see 11)

10.7 AV Facilities for Computer Laboratories

Basic AV facilities for a Multimedia Computer Laboratory, rather than 10.1., is:

A Whiteboard with suitable illumination;

An Overhead projection screen sized and positioned appropriately, usually tilted and to the side of the writing board;

Quality overhead projector with trolley;

A large-screen RGB Video monitor or ceiling-hung LCD video projector;

Presenter's computer with room for papers, a reading light, nearby room lighting controls (dimmers), and handy to the OHP;

Daylight should be avoided as this not only interferes with projection, but interferes with viewing of computer screens.

10.8 AV Facilities for Specialised Laboratories

AV facilities in Specialised Laboratories will vary considerably from project to project, but will generally require basic facilities as per 10.1, 2 and 3. Specialised video equipment such as video cameras fitted to microscopes or endoscopes are typical.

11 Video Teaching and Conferencing

The University currently prefers to use V-Tel equipment, but PictureTel or Tanberg equipment is possible. On no account should a fourth proprietary system be specified. Whatever system is used, the owner department must commit to a Maintenance contract for each codec for at least three years from the project date.

Videoconferencing facilities may be combined with any of the types of Teaching Spaces. In each case quite different design considerations will apply.

11.1 Additional Design Considerations for Videoconferencing

There are important planning considerations which require careful integration of the equipment fit-out with the building and room design:

Rear projection shall be used if possible, to provide a quality image ambient lighting is adequate for transmitting images and local dialogue;

Reverberation times and ambient noise must be minimised. Mid­band reverberation times, measured as RT60, should be no more than 0.5 seconds , as electronic echo cancellation is used.

Videoconferencing spaces must be situated in quiet areas with adequate noise insulation;

There must be no entrance/exit door near to the presentation area;

Viewing angles for both local audience and for video cameras must be planned with additional care;

A document camera over the lectern, a presenter camera and where relevant, an audience camera will be required;

The principal lectern camera should be so placed that the presenter may look into the camera while looking at the local audience or alternatively while viewing the remote video on a monitor;

Extra lighting services will be required, including document lighting, presenter lighting, audience/ participant lighting, where possible avoiding glare for both audience and presenter;

Lighting types must be selected with consideration given to the quality of projected and transmitted images. Lighting must be fully controlled;

Surface colour and texture must be selected to optimise for signal transmission. This will usually mean matt surfaces with rich, pastel colours and the absolute minimum of detail;

Extra cupboard space will be required for equipment racks and systems;

ISDN data cabling will be required;

Macintosh computers will not be required;

Videoconferencing frequently involves very long, arduous conferences, and there is a lot of machinery involved. Therefore, improved mechanical systems and better cooling is required, while ensuring the absolute minimum noise level in the room;

The standard lectern will be modified to incorporate much additional hardware and to provide a document viewing area;

Provision should be made for a technician to operate controls away from presenter's area;

Extra monitors will be required for the presenter use;

An STD telephone is required by the operator;

Visual media will be restricted to video when using the codec so, for example, a document camera will be used as a substitute for OHPs and slide-to-video converters will be required, electronic whiteboard instead of a writing board.

Experience has shown that it should not be attempted to integrate control of the codec with the other AV and environmental controls. The presenter and/or technician will therefore be able to operate the codec directly and operate other equipment via a separate integrated control system.

The Document camera should generally be a separate input to the codec from all other video inputs, but the AV control system may be used to select and operate each input. The University does not generally support remote control of our cameras.

Audio inputs must be gated and/or mixed with care to minimise distortion and feedback when used by the codec.

Where audience feedback is required, microphones must be made accessible where at all possible without requiring the participant to leave their seat, and fixed microphones are preferred to radio microphones for audience feedback.

Tracking devices are not recommended for camera control, consequently, there must be provision for multiple camera presets.

Videoconferencing simply does not work unless the highest possible quality is achieved in design of installations, selection of equipment and the overall architectural environment.

11.2 Telelecturing Spaces

A Telelecturing studio is like a Lecture Theatre, with a remote audience "virtually" in the midst of the local audience by means of a camera and a monitor positioned as near as possible to the local audience, and the presenters area doubling as a "stage". This set-up complicates the lighting constraints in the extreme.

Teaching spaces cannot be optimised to meet the requirements of both local and remote teaching. Therefore, a distinction should be made between spaces which are principally local Lecture Theatres, but have videoconferencing fitted, and spaces which are specialist teleteaching studios.

Where videoconferencing is fitted as an optional extra to a local Lecture Theatre, the ease of use of the controls must not be compromised for the purpose of teleteaching. Consequently, it should be assumed that the codec will be operated by a technician. Conversely, a purpose-built teleteaching space should be designed for the presenter to operate alone, given a fair level of technical competence.

Equipment which is required for videoconference must be located securely out of the way of the public if the space is dual purpose, and should not require special set-up.

In a dual purpose theatre, audience feedback is best provided via hand-held radio microphones, whereas in a teleteaching studio, fixed microphones may be provided for up to 32 participants, gated to enable/disable all together from the control system.

At the beginning and end of lectures, it may be required to change into "conference mode", i.e., the remote audience image will be displayed on the front projection screen to facilitate conferencing between the two audiences. But the normal mode of operation is presenter to combined local-and-remote audience.

11.3 Videoconferencing Seminar Rooms

Videoconferencing seminar rooms are like local Collaborative Learning Spaces, except that some participants take part via cameras and video monitors. Full two-way audience participation is required and camera, microphone and sight-line design must facilitate this. Videoconferencing Seminar rooms may be best achieved using the meeting-room set-up described in 11.4 below, except that a different ambience is required and high priority must be given to the use of audio-visual media.

11.4 Videoconferencing Meeting Rooms

Videoconferencing meeting rooms include participants from a remote location by positioning a large-screen video monitor with video camera on top at one end of a "boat-shaped" table, which allows local participants to act as if they were just another person sitting at the table, and give a good view from the camera of all participants, with the chairperson centre-stage.

The meeting-room set up will allow for document cameras or lap-top computers to provide alternative video inputs. Dual monitors or Picture-in-Picture may be used to allow video display to be available to local participants.

It is essential that all participants have instant access to microphones.

11.5 Video-linking Presentation Spaces

Large spaces, especially those in areas suitable for conferences with nearby foyers, etc., may be linked to neighbouring theatres for the purpose of facilitating a larger audience viewing an event in the larger space. Video-linking may also be used from small interview rooms to allow others to view interviews without imposing on the subjects.

The preferred means of achieving this facility currently is the use of television signal transmission over coaxial cable, so that local users can control the received signal by tuning of a television receiver.

This feature is invariably one-way and audio-video. It may be assumed that technical support will be available whenever this feature is used.

12 Computer Laboratories

It is essential that the primary function of a computer laboratory is clearly decided upon at the beginning of the design process as experience has shown that attempts to combine different functions usually lead to poor outcomes.

The following characteristics of the usage of the laboratory need to be clarified:

Is the space intended primarily:

Does the lab. require an office or space for a duty programmer or technician?

Does the lab. require a presenter's desk and computer?

How much secure storage is required for hardware and valuables, software, scrap-paper, as well as freely accessible storage for manuals, etc.?

What is the heat load? This may be excessive and special care is usually required to ensure that cooling is adequate.

Are long opening hours envisaged, and if so should card-key access be incorporated?

Are students likely to use the lab. for short or long periods of time? [This will affect decisions balancing ambience as against utility].

Is there a need for multiple seats for single computers and how much desk space do the users need for papers, etc.?

Should lap-top connection be allowed for? and is there a possible problem of compatibility of lap-tops with projection equipment?

12.1 Cables and Networking

Cable ducts must be provided around all walls and so designed as to allow for ready and frequent access and allowance must be made for at least 100% expansion in the future.

Power and data must be ducted separately. See section 8 for all issues relating to cabling and network infrastructure.

12.2 Furniture

The University's SHARM department provides ergonomic guidelines for the design of computer furniture;

Sufficient desk area must be provided at each work-station for books and papers;

A proportion of work-stations should be designed for two students to collaborate;

Unless the CPU boxes are very low-profile, seminar/tutorial labs should locate the CPU-box below the bench space to avoid students being isolated behind the monitors;

A space or hook to put the keyboard away may be a useful way of creating extra bench space for papers, etc.;

12.3 Security of Equipment

Appropriate security should be specified to be fitted by the supplier of computers, printers, etc. This would generally include padlocked steel cables, and PCs should be such that they cannot be opened or disassembled allowing removal of disk drives, etc.

Printers should have security cables so fitted as to prevent insertion or removal of paper by students.

All devices should be secured by Light-Lock cables;

12.4 Security of Access

Where computer laboratories are intended for student access, they are generally required to be open for long hours, and this usually involved fitting of card access door control.

Where card access door control is used, there is always a danger of assault and of people being inadvertently locked in:

There must be a telephone, with the phone no. to call for security clearly marked.

Signage and other means must be used to clearly notify users of automatic lock-down;

12.5 Print Services

It is preferable that a networked printer is made available within each computer lab. If so, then:

the print queue should be spooled, to avoid excessive delays;

the printer must be secure against insertion or theft of paper;

12.6 Noticeboards

All computer labs. should have generous provision for both whiteboards and pin boards for the posting of notices, warnings, regulations etc.

12.7 Technical Support

Particularly in labs that are intended for individual work rather than presentation, a Technician's or Duty Programmer's Office will be required. Ideally, this should be so situated as to provide an overview across the lab., a quiet working area for the programmer and secure housing for servers, etc. and secure storage for software. The location of technical support should be clearly signed.

12.8 Audio Visual Equipment

Computer labs which are designed for collaborative learning may also at least occasionally have to be used for presentations, so while optimising the space for seminar, it must still be possible for a presenter to show material.

Computer laboratories will generally use a video projector alternately with OHP and writing board. The projector may generally be assumed to be used in combination with the installed computers, so care must be taken to ensure compatibility.

Care must be taken to design sight-lines to the display screens so that they are not obstructed by the installed computers.

12.9 Room Lay-out

Inappropriate use of computers is an on-going problem with all types of computer labs. One measure to limit this problem is to so arrange the monitors that no student has "privacy", and ideally it is easy for the Duty Programmer or Tutor to see what students are doing from various points in the room.

"Factory-style" rows of computers are quite unsuitable for Collaborative Learning as the tutor will be unable to reach many students, and discussion and collaboration is inhibited. Care should be taken in the case of Collaborative Learning labs that the tutor is easily able to circulate.

The need for windows to look out of, and natural light to improve interpersonal communication may be waived in preference for avoiding reflections on monitor screens and reducing ambient light on projection screens in student-access computer labs intended for relatively short-stay student access.

Where students may be expected to spend long hours at the computers or in Collaborative Learning spaces, the designer should endeavour to provide a suitable ambience. For example, seating may be so arranged that students at least have another human face to look at apart from their computer, if it is not possible to provide an outside view;

Space must be provided for students to leave bags etc.;

12.10 Air-conditioning

Due to the extremely high heat load generated by the computers, air conditioning and ventilation must generally be well provided for.

13. Controls

The audio-visual and electrical equipment in Lecture Theatres and some small presentation spaces are controlled by the presenter using an intengrated control system. In general this system will utilise a touch screen, programmed and laid-out according to standards described below.

Either Crestron or AMX control systems may be used. The University has up till now used monochrome screens, but it is now preferred to move to a Windows-type full-resolution and colour screen design.

NetLink is a standard feature for the implementation of control systems in the University. A NetLink mastercard shall be used to connect control systems to CATS-LAN, the teaching space virtual LAN.

It will be the consultant's responsibility to ensure that the network software applied is compatible with systems in place so that the controls may be accessed by TSS. The consultant must contact the Manager of TSS to ensure that software is compatible.

13.1 Software Structure

Differences caused by differing brand/model of equipment will be isolated into separate software sections, such that the core code is practically independent of the machine differences. Upgrade or substitution of equipment should only require modification of the interface code, and not rely on substantive changes to the core program.

13.2 Menu Structure

The main presentation page shall be a menu, offering choices of selecting the operation of the room by each of the presentation media contained in that room. e.g. The menu choices may be: COMPUTER DISPLAY, VIDEO TAPE, UMATIC, AUDIO CASSETTE, SLIDE etc.

Each of these menu choices will cause a page flip to a page dedicated to that particular function, and possibly including general purpose controls common to all pages. e.g. The VHS VCR page might contain controls for Play, Stop, Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind for the VCR, as well as LIGHTING and VOLUME controls.

Room Page

A separate page dedicated to room functions will be provided, it should be accessible from ALL other pages. This room page will contain controls for all ROOM specific functions. This might contain controls for lighting, volume, screens, blinds etc.

13.3 Dual Video Projection

Where dual video projection has been provided, the control system will allow the user to select any projection source, or no image, for either of the projectors.

13.4 Page Layout

Page layout will be consistent across all pages, in button sizing, position, shape and labelling. Functions occurring on multiple pages will be located at the same x-y coordinates, and have identical size and labelling etc.

Page layout for similarly controlled devices shall be Substantially the same in layout. e.g. VHS tape, and Audio Cassette provide similar controls,(Play, Stop, Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind) and would therefore have almost identical page layout, with the difference highlighted by differing page label, and different Icons.

13.5 Symbols

In addition to the use of button size, shape and text labelling to indicate function, the touch panel layouts should also include aspects of ICONIC labelling to aid in recognition of function. This should be applied as appropriate.

13.6 Functionality

Volume controls

Volume controls shall be by UP and DOWN buttons located above and below an Active Vertical Bar-graph on the Touch Panel.


There shall be a MASTER reset button, located on the MAIN MENU page, that indicates the room is RESET. Activation of this function, shall be by holding this button for 3 seconds. This eliminates accidental reset of the room.

The RESET function shall typically do the following:- Turn off video projector, Reset any curtains, drapes, screens to the preferred position, Reset lighting system, Stop all machine transports, zero slide trays and power off-slide projectors, any other housekeeping functions as appropriate.

Transport control

Machines with shuttle controls (such as video tapes) will have intelligent use of FFWD and REWIND buttons, rather than separate shuttle controls. i.e. The FFWD button will act as a shuttle forward button, if the transport is in PLAY, but as a normal (off head) FFWD if the transport is not in Play. Pause control will offer both common forms of control independent of the actual machine operation. i.e. The AMX code will implement that either PAUSE or PLAY buttons will cancel the PAUSE mode.

Button feedback

Where appropriate, touch panel buttons will indicate the state of the controlled device. i.e. PLAY buttons shall light continuously if the VCR is in PLAY mode (by the control system). If feedback is not appropriate, such as VOLUME UP/DOWN buttons, the button should light only whilst pressed.

Automatic support functions

It is expected that all necessary system operations are automatically activated, by the operator choosing a minimum of actions.

e.g. Choosing VHS VCR from the main menu followed by PLAY, should power the Video projector and select appropriate input; - possibly by canceling slide projection, stop other actions that are precluded by choosing VHS play - such as stopping the audio cassette transport; automatically connect the VCR to the sound system at an appropriate volume level; activate any curtains, drapes as appropriate; set the lighting level as required for optimal image viewing (consistent with other use of the room - such as participant note taking). It is expected that this philosophy be applied to all sub-systems within the scope of this installation.

13.7 Lighting Controls

The lighting controls implemented by the Touch Panel in a lecture theatre shall be so designed as to:

By default, select the lighting regime appropriate for whatever projection mode the user has selected;

Offer the user a " Manual Override" button which disables all changes in lighting regime initiated by changes in projection mode, but allows the user to set any lighting regime manually;

Switch the lighting into a "Safe Mode" 15 minutes after raw input from a motion detector has ceased and the projection equipment has switched off or the touch panel has been closed.

Select "Safe Mode" during "working hours", namely between 7:30am and 9:30pm Monday to Friday, until the wall controls or the touch panel indicate otherwise.
"Safe Mode" shall be aisle lights where these are provided or a minimal setting of incandescent lighting or ambient lighting where this is adequate. The system will ignore motion detector activity while in "Safe Mode".

Switch to "Out of Hours Mode", which is total darkness, outside the working hours, until wall controls or the touch panel indicates otherwise.
When in "Out of Hours Mode", the motion detector shall switch the lighting to "Safe Mode" if motion is detected, except where there is sufficient ambient lighting or possible "false alarms" from passing traffic. After 15 minutes of no motion being detected, the lighting will be reset to "Out of Hours Mode".

Leave aisle lights on throughout all forms of projection unless the user changes this setting manually. Where genuine aisle lighting is fitted which does not interfere with projection, the user will not be able to turn this off.

Allow lighting changes initiated from the wall panel to effect change in the lighting independently of the status selected at the touch panel.

14 Manuals & Guides

14.1 Equipment Inventory and Operating Manuals

The contractor will collect, collate and bind all equipment manuals and pass these to the clients representative. The manuals will be bound in a specially labelled 3 ring (D type) A4 binders and delivered to TSS.

Prior to Client Occupancy or Practical Completion, whichever is earlier, the Audio Visual Contractor shall supply the Project Manager in charge and the Teaching Spaces Services Manager an advance list of the Make, Model and Serial Number, along with the purchase price, of every piece of equipment which has a potential domestic application and/or is valued at more than $1,000.

All such equipment must be indelibly marked with the name of the University. Marking must be so placed as to be as difficult to remove or hide as possible. The TSS Manager will make available free of charge all marking equipment / stencils required to mark the contract installed Audio Visual Equipment.

14.2 Quick Reference Guides

The contractor will prepare and provide to the client four (4) copies of a single sheet A3 sized "Quick Reference Guide" for each major system.

The A3 guides will be folded to provide four pages, and will be printed on all sides. The guides will be produced in mono (black & white) and laminated in clear plastic for protection.

The guides will contain simple "step-by-step" instructions for the presentation systems.

The guides will be prepared by an experienced technical writer, and produced using PC based professional publishing software.

The guides will be delivered to TSS prior to practical completion being achieved.

14.3 Controls Source Code

At the completion of the warranty period, the AV Consultant shall provide the source code for the controls to the Manager of TSS. The course code thereafter is the property of the University, with the proviso that it not be on-sold or copied to third parties, but remain private to the University and the author.

15 Reactive Maintenance Support

During the Defects Liability Period the contractor shall have qualified and suitably equipped service staff available, to support the following reaction times:

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