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Case Study: Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, SC

The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University has a new state-of-the-art facility that has been compared to a think tank environment. Completed ahead of the 2020-2021 academic year, the 176,000-square-foot building brings students, faculty, and industry together in a collaborative and inspiring space designed for the way 21st century students learn.

“The building was designed from the ground up as an ultra-collaborative space,” said Paul Borick, project manager for capital projects at Clemson University. “The design solutions throughout the facility are intended to promote interactive learning. That was the driving force behind the project.”

Among the many high-tech features of the new building is a collection of 126 LCD displays and two LED video walls from Planar serving classrooms, huddle spaces, team rooms, sales labs, conference rooms, a large auditorium, the Dean’s boardroom, and more. Designed and installed by Athens, Ga.-based TSAV (Technical Services Audio Visual), the display solutions include: Two Planar TVF Series LED video walls; one Planar UltraRes Touch 98-inch 4K LCD display; two 98-inch Planar QE Series 4K LCD displays; 117 Planar Simplicity Series 4K LCD displays (86-, 65-, 55-, 50- and 43-inch); and six 32-inch Planar PXL3280W desktop monitors.

“The displays support collaboration and a wide variety of instructional approaches,” said Jim Hildreth, TSAV chief of staff and design project manager. “Planar products translate to every classroom in the building for distant learning, lecture capture, and web conferencing. The displays offer wide viewing angles and clear text legibility, but most important was the brightness of the displays, given the high amount of ambient light in the building,” Hildreth said. “We had to be mindful of that condition in the context of recording and lecture capture, but also in the context of students’ visibility and to not have to worry about things like eye strain. When this building was planned, a lot of attention was paid to the ergonomics of being a student which influences retention.”

While the vast majority of digital solutions were specified for instructional uses, a Planar UltraRes Touch 98-inch 4K LCD display installed at the Erwin Center for Brand Communications serves as a showpiece to engage visitors and generate interest among prospective students with interactive storytelling and recruitment.

In the building’s expansive, first-floor auditorium—a 3,200-square-foot multi-purpose area—TSAV integrated two 12-foot-long, 7-foothigh 1.8mm Planar TVF Series LED video walls in 6×6 configurations, providing two dynamic screens for use with conferences, lectures, meetings and different events. TSAV recommended the video walls in lieu of an earlier design that specified a ceiling-mounted projector.

“The auditorium has an elegant finish and a beautiful, intricate ceiling—a projector on a lift just didn’t fit with the room’s aesthetic design,” Hildreth said. “We consulted with Planar and got a solution that not only worked architecturally but was palatable in terms of the budget when you looked at integration costs, ongoing costs and the cost delta between the two solutions.

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