Royal Star & Garter
offer a range of care, along with many activities,
to support their residents’ enjoyment of life. When Covid hit the world back in March 2020 this put a stop to what they offer as the core of their care. In Sept 2020, SFL Group was approached by Huw, a long-standing client of SFL for live events. Huw was helping RSG look at how to make their homes COVID-19 secure and to look at visitor rooms for their residents. During the past year everyone has struggled with the impact of the COVID-19- missing seeing people, interactions, Hugs but when care homes were asked to close their doors to visitors how could they make this possible?
SFL were approached to provide a holistic Audio, Acoustic & furniture solution to the custom built rooms, having experienced what we are able to create in Live Events, Huw gave us his brief for the installation, to design & deliver a audio solution that allowed residents and visitors to seamlessly communicate without an audio divide, we needed to consider acoustics in the room to prioritise audio quality within the rooms, lastly to design & manufacture custom Dinning tables with the mute buttons to site either side of the glass dividing wall.
We recognised that the system we would implement needed to be simple to operate whilst also have minimal to 0 maintenance requirements, Sam Jacobs, Project Manager at SFL worked closely with Shure Applications team to design and test systems appropriate for the care home, hosting Covid secure demo’s at our facility here in Reading. We were able to test different options and scenarios to find the best fit for the project, ultimately resulting in us choosing Shure Advanced Microflex system to be the bed rock component of Audio system utilising the MXA710 Linear Arrayable Microphone in conjunction with the MXN5W-C Ceiling Speaker. This system was a dramatic difference between the previously tested alternatives and once our testing was complete and our first installation was complete the Care Home team were convinced this was the right solution to roll out across all of their homes.
Whilst the audio system was the core component the acoustic treatment and dining tables were another key aspect of the project, our carpentry and print teams were instrumental in designing and creating some creative solutions to “nasty” acoustic problems finding acoustically transparent materials to print on and custom built frames for each of the rooms creating elegant art pieces. Oak Tables were CNC’d and built in house encompassing the simple one press mute buttons.
The final solution for each of the rooms really allowed the space to feel homely and welcoming for the residents and their families, whilst delivering great audio discreetly.