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H-FARM Campus is an innovation centre where entrepreneurs, professionals and students collaborate together in the digital transformation process. It is a place where ideas are exchanged, opportunities and new stimuli are created, and experiences are shared.
In recent years, we have witnessed how technological acceleration has forced many industries to rewrite their business models and has propelled us towards new services, products and lifestyle habits. In recent months, following the onset of the pandemic that affected the entire planet, we have seen how quickly change is destined to accelerate, transforming content, models and tools.
But how is an educational environment created where the human and digital interact with each other and create new possibilities? H-Farm Campus has entered into technological partnerships to create future-proof buildings, asking for support for audio-visual solutions from Prase Media Technologies.
" Prase added value played a key role in the H-Farm Campus project ." commented Alberto Prase, Founder and Sales Manager of the company, “our team of AV specialists have interpreted the needs and objectives given not only by proposing technologically adequate solutions, but also by guiding the client along a careful validation process. The various combinations were first tested with the H-Farm Campus representatives at our headquarters, and then test rooms were set up on site to validate the proposed solution after a month of use in the live situation. "
The cultural transformation caused by digital innovation is forcing us to rethink dialogue with consumers and how to rewrite the internal processes of companies. Similarly, in schools and universities and in education, in general, we need to rethink software platforms to communicate with students and to reorganize school teachers and staff. The Campus is our response to this issue. We focus on young people and their future, with the enormous responsibility and awareness of helping them to draw a new trajectory.
51 hectares of digital Campus, minutes away from Venice
The campus is located in the heart of the Sile River natural park in an area known as Ca’ Tron, one of the largest single agricultural estates in Italy, which borders the Venetian lagoon. It is in a strategic position in Italy’s northeast region and is just 12km for Venice’s Marco Polo airport, 20km from Treviso and 50km from Padova.
The project is over an area of more than 51 hectares, of which only 10% is made up of built structures. This growth is in perfect synergy with H-FARM’s historic headquarters and in total harmony with the surrounding countryside. The high architectural standards have guaranteed a non-invasive landscape, which blends in with the local area, thanks to buildings of moderate height that create a low-impact architecture.
The expansion will include the creation of new structures dedicated to education, start-ups and businesses for a total of 30,000 square meters. The project has zero architectural impact due to the recuperation of several abandoned or neglected structures belonging to a former military base in the area. The remaining area will be dedicated to parkland with over 27 hectares that will be open to the public. The architectural project was designed by the Zanon Architetti Associati (ZAA) studio and includes a prestigious collaboration with RSH-P, Sir Richard Rogers’ architectural studio.
Education is at the heart of the campus expansion
Five new buildings dedicated to education, from nursery school to university.
H-FARM was one of the first places in Italy to invest in education with the conviction that students need inspiration and creativity to develop the necessary skills to face the challenges of tomorrow. There are five new school buildings, including structures for early childhood education, university and post-graduate offerings, capable of welcoming up to 2,000 students for a total of 13,000 square meters.
Let's explore in particular the audio-visual solutions adopted in the first buildings inaugurated in September.
This is the main entrance with access to the vast campus. The welcome centre hosts in its 400 square meters the reception desk, the large dedicated shop and some spaces for working or meeting with colleagues and partners. The architectural lines in post-industrial style harmoniously welcome vintage-style furnishings and a 130" LED Wall, which thanks to the LG SuperSign digital signage solution, is a spectacularly visual element for internal communications, corporate branding, as well as support for speakers and workshops when the welcome area is, if necessary, transformed into a venue for events.
Credits: Prase Media Technologies
The background music is diffused into the environment with a rain configuration of Tannoy AMS5ICT in combination with the Bluesound B100S network music player and thanks to the reliable ethernet connection, guarantees uninterrupted music streaming. Specially designed for integrated audio systems, this player features a specific design for rack mounting, euroblock connectors and a protocol pre prepared for configuration with third-party control systems.
H-FARM International School, PYP Program
The first building in the park accommodates up to 400 children from kindergarten and primary school. In an environment designed to inspire and stimulate the creativity of the little ones, alongside the modular and light furnishings there are LG75TR3BFB touch displays positioned a few centimetres from the floor. Even children can interact with this interactive display, which in addition to performing the function of a classic blackboard, allows you to connect to the internet, change the background to adapt to the lesson. And, thanks to Air Class technology which allows direct sharing to students' devices, encourages collaboration during learning.
The building also has an indoor gym, equipped with Tannoy wall speakers and Epson projection, a canteen and various recreational spaces with a sound system for background music and service communications.
At the entrance there is a 86" 4k display useful for disseminating updates on the campus, relating to the building and the promotion of activities and events. This is one of the approximately 60 networked displays integrated into the halls and common areas of the campus to ensure widespread and timely communication in such a vast ecosystem.
"LG SuperSign [digital signage software] was crucial in setting up such a large digital signage system in such a limited time." Commented Marco Cella Application Engineer for Prase Media Technologies "In addition, the new map view ensures intuitive management and updating of the entire system, which could potentially also include the other [H-Farm] offices for an always consistent, updated communication and centrally managed. "
H-FARM International School, MYP & DP Program
The second building covers an area of four thousand square meters in which up to 450 middle and high school students are housed. The H-layout offers the right space for 21 classrooms, a large canteen and 12 thematic laboratories to cultivate the many and varied skills of the children. Also in this building the sound diffusion is given by a rain configuration of Tannoy speakers, while teaching in classrooms and laboratories is supported by LG touch display.
Worthy of particular note is the music laboratory, equipped with two 8 "speakers and a 12" Tannoy subwoofer , which ensure adequate sound diffusion even during rehearsals, when the wall adjacent to the dining room is removed to make space for the public.
The university is highly specialized and master courses are housed in the largest and most technologically interesting building. The college covers an area of 5,300 square meters, divided into 18 classrooms , the offices of the faculty and environments for meeting, study and collaboration. The classrooms, which can accommodate up to 700 students, are divided into two models.
The first responds to the audio-visual needs of larger classrooms, where the absence of a fixed teaching station was an innovative impulse to propose a voice-lift beamtracking solution. The teachers' area, virtually limited in the space between the first row of desks and the projection wall, is captured by four Biamp TCM-X ceiling microphones located symmetrically to ensure timely coverage. The absence of any form of perceptible microphone is reflected in a greater spontaneity of the teacher who establishes a genuine conversation with the class. The patented beamtracking technology, which activates the microphone lobe closest to the sound source, ensures perfect audio recording, guaranteeing optimised diffusion.
"For these environments we have proposed a solution that allows us to guarantee uniform sound pressure to all students, regardless of where they sit" commented Luigi Schiavone, Project Manager of the H-Farm Campus project for Prase Media Technologies." Taking advantage of the feature of the beamtracking microphones that follow the teacher in the explanation, we separate the signal and direct it in different amounts to the speakers in the room depending on the position, guaranteeing everyone present a crystal clear listening experience, without the fatigue typical of diffused audio that does not take into account the proximity to the sound source and the direct sound component."
The Biamp voice-lift solution proposed, tested and accepted before the Covid emergency, has given other application advantages. The spacing is, in fact, facilitated by the possibility of streaming the audio of the lesson to another classroom, increasing the capacity of the course, while the touch-less ceiling solution simplifies the sanitation of the rooms.
For the nine smaller classrooms, a technological model was chosen that meets simpler AV needs, combining video support (alternatively projector or display) with a pair of Genelec 4020 active speakers. Local audio amplification has made integration simple even in these potentially critical environments, while ensuring premium audio quality.
The EBL610U model was chosen for the projection, capable of responding to educational needs despite the moderate height of the classrooms, imposed by the architectural standards that embed the complex into the surrounding natural environment. In the teacher area there is also an Atlona Omega panel with HDbaseT and USB-C ports for immediate connection between laptop or tablet and the classroom AV system.
The various rooms of the college overlook an internal courtyard that will soon be the scene of student events and in which a dedicated audio system with Tannoy weather-resistant IP-65 speakers has already been implemented.
A structure on an IP network
The entire campus complex is based on a Dante network and is managed through two Biamp IO AVB servers , obviously equipped with Dante cards, on a Cisco AVB compliant network infrastructure. The Design Prase team and the internal IT team agreed to create an AV ecosystem entirely on an IP network , to ensure a scalable, easily upgradeable and centrally controllable solution.
To ensure greater flexibility of use , Shure ANI network interfaces have been implemented in all the college environments and in most of the classrooms in the building hosting the secondary classes . A design focus that allows you to add additional audio-visual technologies to the central system or to interconnect various environments within the campus.
Global and timely control
The management of the complex AV system is entrusted to Atlona Velocity . Each main building has a dedicated gateway that guarantees centralised control of all technologies on the network. The team in charge can easily check the status of each individual environment and intervene remotely thanks to the iPad application. The management of the individual classrooms is locally entrusted to the Biamp TEC-X and TEC-1 wall panels that allow you to start or turn off projectors, displays, microphones and speakers. The panels communicate with the central control system, updating it in real time on changes in status or any anomalies, while ensuring a redundant malfunction proof solution.
Credits: Prase Media Technologies
“Prase proved to be a fundamental partner for the success of our project. He followed us in all the requirements analysis and development phases of our AV project, also allowing us to field test every single component for the necessary time in production environments in order to validate its specifications before inserting it into the final solution. Thanks to the close collaboration with the technical team, we were able to build a solid infrastructure by optimising the number of objects installed in the field and introducing some innovative elements, such as Biamp's voice lift system and automatic shooting systems with speaker tracking" said Alberto Aldrigo, IT Manager of H-FARM
The most cutting-edge technology for a digital Campus
H-FARM Campus is one of the most advanced technology hubs in Italy and at the European-level. Thanks to esteemed partners such as Vodafone, who guarantee a high connection speed of 10 gigabytes it is the ideal place for experimenting with new technology such as virtual reality, distance learning and smart cities.The most advanced wi-fi network in Europe has been implemented with Cisco that allows for real-time interaction through interconnected systems in any place: for example, students will be able to take lessons in real-time virtual reality, allowing for an entirely interactive experience.
Campus security is guaranteed through an access control system using Assa Abloy technology, which, combined with AXIS video surveillance, allows it to obtain the highest of safety standards for students, professionals and guests of the Campus. Through the H-FARM app, it’s possible to access any service within the Campus with a smartphone, from opening the door in the student residence to reserving the playing fields of the sports centre.
IOT systems, 3D printers, VR laboratories, LG Electronics screens integrated with Apple TV in all classrooms and an advanced system of voice-lift and automatic registration of university classes thanks to the support of Prase Media Technologies and their cutting edge audio-visual solutions: these are just some of the integrated technologies in H-FARM Campus, making it one of the most innovative and technological centres in Europe.
The common areas, offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, athletic facilities - all managed digitally through a software platform provided by IO.T Solutions. The Controlled Room function guarantees limits to the maximum capacity of indoor areas, thus programming time slots for proper use to avoid group gatherings and allowing those present access times to the common areas. The H-FARM campus is completely cashless: payments are made via credit card or smartphone.
A place for everyone
Sports facilities, cultural events and services for the entire community
A close relationship with the local area makes the Campus of H-FARM a place that is accessible to everyone. The design process allowed for the creation of partnerships with the local community to take advantage of the new opportunities created by the Campus. Upon registration, all of the residents of nearby towns can access the public park area, the Athletics centre, the library and other services.
All in all this project is an education innovation centre of excellence supporting the dynamics of multiple communities.
Credits: Prase Media Technologies