New Construction? Here’s How to Calculate Your AV Budget

construction-av-budget-calculation-blogAnyone who has ever bought or rented a house knows that a mortgage or rent payment shouldn’t exceed 25 percent of your gross income. But how many AV or IT managers know how to calculate an accurate—and affordable—budget for audio visual systems and equipment? We do! Your AV system should account for 8 to 12 percent of a new building budget. In other words, if your building budget is $1 million, you should plan on $80,000 to $120,000 of your total budget going to the AV technologies.

According to global real estate and infrastructure investor CBRE, your workplace strategy also has a large impact on your AV budget—and what kind of tools that budget gets spent on. Workplace trends are moving towards designs that accommodate a wide range of workstyles, tasks and activities, and your AV can be an integral part of that productivity and innovation. Their recommended rule of thumb for furniture, fixtures, equipment (FF&E) and AV is 20 to 30 percent of your total building budget.

Breaking Down Your AV Investment

So where does that AV budget go? GENCOMM’s room cost estimates can help you make sense of—and plan for—your AV spending. A typical breakdown looks like this*:

  • Huddle room up to five seats: $4,000 to $15,000
  • Boardroom: $25,000 to $100,000
  • Small conference room up to eight seats: $10,000 to $25,000
  • Training room: $10,000 to $30,000
  • Large conference room (10+ seats): $25,000 to $60,000
  • Multi-purpose room: $50,000 to $250,000
  • Video conference room (traditional or web-based): $10,000 to $50,000

*These are average costs and may vary based on client needs.

Plan Ahead to Maximize Your AV Budget

Seems simple enough, right? But leaving your AV budget to the last minute, not including it in your original building budget, or leaving it in the hands of someone who is not an AV expert can end up costing you more money in the long run. For example, if you rely on a property management company rather than an AV integrator to choose your technology, you’ll probably end up with a system that doesn’t meet your needs and has to be replaced. If you wait until a new building is almost complete to start considering your AV, you will almost certainly face higher installation costs than you would have otherwise. And without an AV design and budget that takes into account the whole picture of your AV needs—including future needs—you risk ending up with a system that will be outdated before you even start using it.

Get Help Calculating Your AV Budget

Every AV plan needs an AV expert who knows industry trends, understands what tools best meet what needs, recognizes best practices and can integrate your AV system into the bigger picture of your company and your space for today and into the future. A GENCOMM AV engineer can start you down the right path with a free, customized plan for your new AV project. Get in touch today.

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