IFEMA performs the largest EN54 PA/VA installation in Europe with LDA Audio Tech technology

IFEMA EN 54 PA/VA systems

IFEMA performs the largest EN54 PA/VA installation in Europe with LDA Audio Tech technology

The Madrid fairground IFEMA has adapted its public address and voice alarm system to the international standard EN 54, performing the largest EN54 certified PA/VA installation in Europe recently. In this project, systems designed and made by LDA Audio Tech have been used.

This project has meant applying all the standards required by this regulation to the sound system for 1 million square meters, using 385,640 watts distributed in electroacoustic and amplification systems.

All these elements are managed through a control equipment certified under the EN 54 standard, able of broadcasting up to 52 simultaneous and different evacuation messages, and backed by a customized management software that allows operating over the venue system, fully scalable and expandable so that more areas can be added depending on the future needs of IFEMA.

The project’s main objectives required, on the one hand, to strictly comply with the regulations through their technical specifications, which apply to the fair because it is a building with an occupation that exceeds 500 people and, on the other, to guarantee a good performance of the installation using a robust and certified system. All this to cover the needs of one of the major fair institutions in Europe, with more than 4 million visitors a year.

Ruybesa Global Technologies is the integrator company assigned as a contractor for this project, which has been carried out using advanced LDA Audio Tech systems. Ruybesa Global Technologies has more than 40 years of experience, having previously installed audiovisual and public address solutions in IFEMA, while LDA Audio Tech is a pioneer in Spain in the design and manufacture of EN 54 certified solutions, used in facilities in more than 50 countries around the world. GHESA Ingeniería y Tecnología was the engineering company responsible for the project and site supervision.

With this large project, IFEMA continues a process of technological transformation within its philosophy of ongoing innovation and its strategic growth plan. Under this line of work is the recent achievement of the AENOR Emergency Management certification, as well as the improvement of security systems, the renewal of the Wi-Fi network, capable of simultaneously connecting up to 65,000 users, or the installation of latest generation 5G technology in the venue.

Guaranteed safety in the whole venue

The new public address and voice alarm system is supported on the fully redundant data network installed in IFEMA, working as a communications base infrastructure. From there, each of the EN 54 systems, both in the pavilions and in the other locations, can operate locally and independently.

This way, if the data network goes down, messages could be emitted from each communication room, either directly through the microphone or with prerecorded audio, stored in the equipment itself.

The central control system is based on redundant servers, so that the failure of any equipment does not entail the loss of any installation functionality, thus guaranteeing the security of the fair in case of emergency.

These are some of the relevant figures for this installation:

  • 100 % coverage for the whole venue, including indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Possibility of simultaneous broadcasting for up to 52 different emergency and evacuation messages in different zones.
  • More than 200 sectorization zones.
  • More than 5,400 speakers.
  • 221 multichannel amplification equipment.
  • 516 acoustic boxes.
  • 1,200 amplifiers with 250, 500 and 1,200 W, to reach 385,640 W of total power.
  • 200 km of fire-resistant cable used for speaker installation.
  • Text-to-speech and multilingual voice systems.

Technologically innovating solutions

The technical scope of the project includes the following solutions:

  • LDA NEO central control system that allows remote control and supervision of distributed public address and voice evacuation equipment.
  • LDA NEO Extension public address and voice evacuation system for individual control and amplification of each area. This system replaces the previously installed one and complies with the EN 54 standard for all areas: pavilions, cores, North, South and complementary doors, technical booths, machine rooms, parking lots, K-door accesses, galleries, Central Avenue and tents.
  • Implementation of EN 54 speaker systems and infrastructures.
  • Automatic audio volume control system in pavilions, tents, halls and auditoriums of North and South doors through the installation of strategically located probes.
  • Integration of a local sound inhibition system in the exhibitors, automatically controlled by the emergency and voice evacuation system.
  • Real-time notification system of any anomaly in the system.

LDA Audio Tech public address and voice evacuation systems have been complemented with JBL speakers, as well as products from other manufacturers.

Channeling, wiring and installation of speakers in height have also been carried out, including 516 speaker boxes over 12 meters. For this, up to 6 lifting platforms and 12 machines have been used simultaneously, three of them with the possibility of installing up to 25 meters high.

The user interface of the control software is similar to the previous one, so it has not meant a great change in the operability of the system. It allows to manage the audio volume and to control each zone of the venue, also including the deployment of the system in the new installed areas.

A total of 42 full-time people and 9 with partial dedication have worked on this project continuously and during the different phases of execution. The team has been coordinated at all times with the rest of IFEMA personnel, adjusting the working deadlines to the fair activity, also considering the delivery times for materials to be able to finish within the established deadlines and not affect the normal functioning of the organization.