01 Nov Synchronised listening at Dubai Expo 2020
The Belgium Pavilion is one of more than 100 exhibition spaces at the Dubai Expo 2020. The four-storey building sits in the ‘mobility’ district of the site and showcases ideas from the country’s entrepreneurs to create smart mobility systems for 2050.
With accessibility for ‘people of determination’ – the term used in Dubai for disabled people – being high on the Expo agenda, project managers for the Belgium Pavilion were keen to include assistive listening technology.
Contacta’s technical design team worked on the drawings to create loop layouts for all specified areas. Our partners in the region, Topland, installed a comprehensive package of hearing loops throughout the building.
Clear customer service
Under-the-counter loops were used in the fast-food outlet at the back of the Pavilion and in each of the site’s two shops. Two portable loops were provided for the restaurant.
In the welcome area of the Pavilion, a perimeter loop powered by a Contacta V7 driver offers clear sound to visitors with hearing aids as they enter the building.
Lift music – and escalator music!
A key part of the experience for visitors is a changing soundscape along the 21 second escalator ride between the first and second floors.
The sound being played through the ‘tunnel’ housing the escalator changes every seven seconds which meant three separate loops were needed. In conjunction with Contacta’s design team, Topland’s engineers had to account for the considerable amount of metal in this space. They opted for the V15 loop drivers which they located in a rack underneath the escalator.
The same experience for everyone
A tight and unique layout of the loop systems ensured that the sound being played in the first seven seconds of travel on the escalator were identical to the sound heard in the first 10 metres of the corridor.
This was repeated in the next seven seconds of escalator/corridor travel and the last seven seconds of travel on the escalator/lift.
The corridor loops are powered by the same V15 drivers used for the escalators, while the lift has been fitted with its own loop system powered by a Contacta HLD5 driver.
Andy Faulkner, Managing Director of Topland, oversaw the entire installation.
“The result is that whichever route visitors take, they all hear the same sounds at the same time.”
Looping a multi-use space
The second floor is a series of long narrow ‘rooms’ housing a range of exhibitions. Phased array loop layouts powered by Contacta V34a PRO drivers mean sound from one space doesn’t spill over into the other.
The large room on third floor also needed phased array loop configurations to enable the space to be used as three separate areas. Each sound source is powered by one of our new highly powerful and efficient V22a drivers.
“The only dividers between the spaces are acoustic curtains,” said Andy. “Our calculations had no room for error as we had to ensure each space could function as a separate listening environment.”
Hot but not sticky
Prior to the air conditioning going in, the extreme heat saw temperatures in the Belgium Pavilion reaching 45 degrees Celsius and 75% humidity.
“This presented a physical challenge to staff and also prevented the adhesive tape from sticking,” Andy said.
Thanks to the quality of Contacta’s products and an excellent installation by Topland, managers involved in the site want to use both on an upcoming project in Egypt.
“This has been a complicated project requiring skills and dedication which Andy and his team have displayed throughout,” said Ran Meyrav, Head of New Business Development for Contacta.