Case Study: Komune, Malaysia

Komune image use

Ideal Systems details how it helped a Komune’s co-working space become functional without sacrificing flexibility.

Office space is expensive. Corporate clients are looking to move away from investing in buildings and facilities along with the add-on, associated costs of procuring furniture and technology systems. Instead, they are seeking to rent office space that meets their needs. In Asia Pacific, this trend has fuelled the growth of co-working spaces which have been springing up across the region with increasing regularity.

Co-working spaces allow corporate clients to stay agile. With more and more employees looking to have flexible working hours for work and life balance, co-working spaces provide companies the option to scale up or down as the need arises. These facilities also let companies adopt modern working trends like hot-desking without significant investment.

Komune is a co-working space located in the heart of Bangsar South in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It offers a large space designed for modern corporate requirements. Tenants have access to a range of meetingrooms, event space sand lounge areas to use as needed.

Allied Engineering served as the consultant for the project while Ideal Systems was the system integrator. Jun Hao Soo, project and support engineer for AV and ELV at Ideal Systems, talks about how the integrator got involved with the project: “Design for the Komune project began in November 2018 and from there the project proceeded and was completed in early 2019. We’ve completed and delivered a number of corporate projects and have also previously worked with Komune, so for us coming on board for this particular project felt very natural.”

Soo details the role of Ideal Systems: “The consultant provided us all the layouts, floor plans and mechanical drawings of the space. The specifications and schematic designs were created by Ideal Systems and then Allied Engineering verified our work for the client. We had a lot of input on the project.”

The requirements from Komune were clear from the startandSoosays:“IdealSystems was tasked with providing audio and video systems for the co-working space. The main aspect of this was a background music system that would cover the facility. The client wanted complete sound reinforcement for its training rooms, studio, tenants and in-house staff.

The whole system was expected to deliver better speech reproduction while also being fit for use for other occasions.”

Providing audio at Komune was easier said than done. Soo says: “The whole working space has an open ceiling concept.

In addition, the configuration of the furniture and the seating arrangement is meant to be flexible. Both these points made the space extremely challenging to design for when it came to acoustics. The design and the choice of speakers was crucial.”

Ideal Systems employed EASE modelling to design an audio system that would fully meet Komune’s requirements.

Sonance PS-P43T speakers were selected to provide sound for the co-working space. Soo discusses the reasons behind the choice: “Sonance was chosen as the speaker because we specifically needed a pendant shape design to blend in with the aesthetics of the ceiling. It also provides great audio quality and good coverage with regards to SPL. Most importantly, Sonance provided us with beta versions of its products so we were able to run some simulations before deployment to confirm that the speakers would work as we intended in Komune’s environment.”

An Amperes MA2012P mixer amplifier is used to manage the audio system in some areas while a JBL CSMA 2120 amplifier together with JBL CSR-V wall controller can be found in other spaces.

Wireless microphones have been provided for audio input. Getting the wireless microphones to function as desired was a challenge and Soo details: “Malaysia had some changes to the range of wireless frequencies available for microphones in 2018 but our project was not affected by these changes. But providing adequate coverage due to the nature of the space at Komune was a challenge. We solved this problem by selecting an active antenna system and properly deploying it to ensure there were no deadspots.”

The studio area and meeting rooms at Komune have also been fitted out with video systems. Epson projection of varying brightness is the selected display technology.

The studio features a 5,000 ANSI lumens brightness Epson EB2255U projector fixed in place with a projector mount. A ceiling mounted projector screen is also provided. A HDMI wall plate allows for wired input. On the back-end an Aten HDMI switcher and HDMI audio de-embedder is employed.

Over in the meeting rooms, an Epson EB-W05 projector is used together with a Draper projector screen. HDMI extenders are also used.

Regarding the selection of projection as the display technology, Soo says: “The meeting rooms at Komune are not that big and the volume of the space is not large. However, since the space is meant for co-working and the furniture can be moved, a large audience may be present in these meeting rooms and our display must be able to cater to that. This meant that flat panels would be too small to serve the meeting rooms which left us with projection as our viable option. We’ve selected the brightness of the projectors accordingly to provide Komune with the biggest possible screen for the space that they have.”

An Aten matrix switcher is used to manage the video system. Soo says: “There are a lot of options available on the market when it comes to matrix switchers. Every technology has its own merits but, for Komune, Aten hit the sweet spot with regards to functionality and cost effectiveness. We’ve used the product before, and we have no issues or problems during deployment.”

A portable videoconferencing system from Logitech has also been provided.

Ideal Systems had hurdles to overcome with regards to the video system. Soo details: “The biggest challenge was providing Komune with large screen sizes that still worked for the space that they have. The ceiling of the co-working space is actually quite low and we were using projection. We had to work together with the client to make sure that the flexible seating arrangement did not obstruct the projector throw distance and that we could maintain projection line of sight to ensure that the screen functioned properly.”

To conclude, Soo suggests a possible upgrade that Komune can consider: “In a co-working space, the tenants might be present for a limited period of time. I would recommend investing in an AV control system with a well-designed UI with one-button operations. This would eliminate any learning curve with regards to the AV systems and allow the users to get the most out of the technology that is available at the Komune.”