Posted in practice on February 1, 2016 12:00 pm EST

Examining Design-Build of AVL & Acoustics

A Q&A with church project-focused Summit Integrated Systems.

The Summit Integrated Systems' Team.











Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter Designer Today to stay up to date with all we do at Designer and with what's going on in the field of house of worship architecture.


TAGS: acoustics, avl, business, design, sustainability, tools,


By Carol Badaracco Padgett

Summit Integrated Systems of Lafayette, Colo., provides full design-build services of audio, video, lighting and acoustics, coming alongside architects, engineers and consultants as they flesh out and create performance spaces for worship environments. It’s a crucial collaboration—one that allows a church to more effectively reach and impact local community. But what does this kind of collaboration look like, in practice?

Church Designer magazine caught up with Summit Integrated Systems’ Chris Rayburn, founder and CEO, to find out.

Church Designer: How does Summit Integrated work specifically on church projects, and what intimate level of understanding do you bring to the process when you work with architects and other designers—and ultimately with the church leadership on a new building or renovation project?

Rayburn: At Summit, 100% of our business is house of worship projects. We exist to serve the church. Our team consists of former church pastors, technical leaders, and volunteers. We partner with architects, engineers, and designers to help the church leverage technology and achieve [its] vision. We bring the expertise and experience that comes with 200 completed projects.

Church Designer: How does what you design for the worship space or sanctuary carry over into the other technology offerings of the church—for example, performance spaces in the youth areas, digital signage, and other technology building-wide?

Rayburn: Our services are all encompassing. From the parking lot to the kids’ spaces to the online streaming of services. We work with the audio, video, lighting, and acoustics of every space.

Church Designer: It's important to help the church save money on AVL equipment—through smart specification of gear—and through energy-saving equipment and control wherever possible. How do you help make these types of gear decisions especially effective in the church setting where funds are often tight?

Rayburn: Every project shares one common theme: the wants and needs exceed the budget. Our goal is to tailor the gear selection to the items that meet the long-term vision of the church.

No two projects are the same. It might mean phasing a camera package for a later date, or reusing existing equipment. Or it could mean designing a system that runs all systems on an iPad controlled by one volunteer. Either way, the gear selection will be a custom tailored list of products, each serving a specific need.

Flatirons Community Church, Golden, Colo.

Church Designer: What do you foresee will happen in worship spaces within the next five years that will be a game changer? It might be in the realm of equipment, or design, or both.

Rayburn: LED technology is changing the landscape of video and lighting. Lamp changes in projectors, house lights, and theatrical fixtures [are] quickly becoming a thing of the past. Get ready for bright LED walls that work in rooms with ambient light, color changing house fixtures, and reduced energy costs.

For audio, more powerful processing is allowing for more advanced speaker control using FIR [finite impulse response] filters. This allows us to make any speaker sound better than it ever has before.  continued >>