Customizing the Commercial Space
Cutting-edge technology in The Hub
McLean, Va.’s Nard’s Entertainment counts among its wide-ranging expertise a special talent for commercial and amenity space installations. Because of a long-standing relationship with Carr Properties, a development firm specializing in workplaces centered around hospitality and flexibility, the firm was tasked with bringing the latest cutting-edge technology to a Washington, D.C. building known as “The Hub.”
“They are very forward-thinking and have always had an interest in bringing technology into day-to-day lives and making the workplace feel more and more like the home,” explained of John Carroll of Nard’s, who is the company’s chief technology officer.
“We started on the project 18 months ago. The original request was just to add some music and TVs to a fitness center,” he said. That soon expanded to include the addition of music to the garage, the lobby, the café, the rooftop lounge and then to three conference rooms and to the hub of a five-suite workspace that shares a conference room and a kitchen area.
For this project, Nard’s selected URC’s DMS distributed audio system and the URC Total Control system – including URC’s MRX-30 advanced network system controller and TKP-7600 interface. Nard’s also custom-programmed the user interfaces with corporate branding and off-site control for building engineers, property management and IT professionals.
“These smart buildings are just one cohesive system where property managers from their desks can control and troubleshoot any aspect of these systems,” explained Carroll. “If somebody calls and says, ‘Hey, I can’t get such-and-such on the TV screen,’ the manager can just pick up their controller, push a button and it happens for them.”
Carroll is appreciative of what URC brought to the table for this installation – and for other Carr Properties that are adopting similar solutions. “Because of the simplicity of the URC platform and the price points we are able to hit, we’re able to put in custom-branded control to fit the environment into places people would never have thought affordable before. URC gets the job done, and brings a lot of value to the building.
“URC gives us the option to customize everything you need to in the background, but not so much that you overcomplicate the program. And for these commercial spaces, the simplicity of the platform spans across all the buildings that are managed by the same company – keeping it simple if a tenant moves to another office. They’re going to go to a building that looks and feels the same – and that translates to tenant retention across the board.”
Added Carroll, “From the time you enter this building through the parking garage with soft background music until you complete your business in one of the conference rooms or group spaces, you feel more like you’re at The Ritz vs. an office building.”