Nedbank Namibia is a leading financial service holding company that operates as one of the four largest banking groups in the country. The company’s ethos is focused around providing clients with innovative banking solutions. Nedbank holds its employees in similarly high esteem, striving to foster an environment conducive to their development and growth. Inspired by this vision, the firm sought to build a new, modern headquarters in the heart of Windhoek. They acquired ownership of the plot of land in 2018, and immediately set to work.
Fast forward to 2021, and the earthworks and architecture were complete. The final piece of the puzzle was to implement an extensive audio-visual system spanning the nine floors of the facility. Stage Audio Works (SAW) Namibia delivered this in full, with a solution consisting of Audac loudspeakers, a variety of screens, and Crestron and QSC for the control element. The specification, design and integration were all handled by SAW Namibia, with the primary requirement being to streamline collaboration. This was achieved by installing native Microsoft Teams conference systems in each room. Different rooms throughout the building required different functionality to be built-in, yet the framework to still be accessible to all. Consistency was the operative word – all systems had to be easy to use, with a familiar Teams interface.
As part of the project, SAW Namibia installed a sophisticated audio solution throughout the Nedbank Campus. This included an end-to-end background music system (BGM) utilising twenty-four Audac CIRA ceiling loudspeakers, deployed across the executive and ground floors. They offer the perfect balance between high-quality audio and ease of installation and operation. An Audac Modular Audio System provides access to all the relevant streaming platforms and radio stations Nedbank might need. The system is powered by two 240W Audac public address amplifiers. In the auditorium, more colloquially referred to as the Sky Garden, SAW Namibia opted for Crestron’s ceiling loudspeaker solution, the Saros, to integrate seamlessly with the Crestron control. Twenty of these were enough to cover the area. For most of the individual boardrooms and collaborative spaces, a soundbar sufficed with support from additional Audac wall loudspeakers in the larger executive and meeting rooms to ensure consistent audio levels.
The visual element was equally comprehensive. Primarily, SAW Namibia distributed thirteen 49” Samsung professional displays across all the floors. With these, Nedbank have the option to display important information on a building-wide scale. Amongst the ground floor pod area, a space that encourages active collaboration, a larger 82” Samsung signage display was erected. This was dwarfed only by the 5.12 x 2.88m Pixel Plus xcell-I Lite screen specified for the auditorium, which is referred to colloquially as the Sky Garden, as it opens onto the side of the building. With a pixel pitch of 2.5mm, this solution was ideal for the large, indoor space. For the remaining meeting rooms, SAW Namibia integrated 65” Samsung displays as the focus points. The exceptions to this are the executive meeting room, where an 82” screen as well as a cutting-edge 92” Grandview motorised screen were installed, and the large meeting room where a 75” Samsung display was used as the main visual focal point. In the larger two conferencing spaces, high-quality Atlona cameras were installed, with Stage Plus brackets, to enhance the video experience.
With such an extensive equipment list, a unifying control solution was therefore essential to bring the system together. To this end, SAW Namibia implemented a Crestron Flex solution, combined with supporting Crestron hardware for each of the rooms that required Microsoft Teams integration. “The Crestron Flex range offers the full Microsoft Teams unified communications experience, which we combined with an integrated AEC-enabled speakerphone that delivers superior conferencing and collaboration,” explains Joppie Maritz, Managing Director of SAW Namibia. “With its seamless BYOD (bring your own device) flexibility, this solution truly ticked all of the boxes in terms of our client’s requirements.”
The goal was to increase accessibility and collaboration, which would subsequently streamline Nedbank’s operations. SAW Namibia achieved this using a robust Crestron system, supported by a QSC audio processing core. Combined, they offer control features such as occupancy sensors working in tandem with room scheduling, available across the building.
Emce Smit, the Technical Manager at SAW Namibia, and the Project Leader on this job, highlights how they overcame certain challenges: “As with all construction work, there are often inconsistencies between the plan on paper and the bricks-and-mortar on site. It’s these differences which we need to work through together to deliver the experience they bought into when the solution was originally pitched.” Smit expands on this point: “It’s the way the industry works. The AV aspect only comes in during the final phase. We then collaborate closely with the other contractors to ensure the result is polished and working as intended.”
“It’s why our supplier relationship, plus their equipment track record and technical support are such key factors in choosing our preferred brands,” states Maritz. “We have achieved excellent results with Audac on previous projects. Their high-quality, reliable loudspeakers and audio processing solutions provide peace of mind, and the straightforward installation really helps with the tight deadlines. This project brought together a lot of different features and the result was a resounding success!”