People News

Our people: Justin Passey.


Justin Passey, Associate Director, Audiovisual

Striving to accomplish client’s goals.

I made my way into Audiovisual…

…from the IT support side around 2007. I had been working at a children’s hospital in Seattle as a support technician and they needed help operating and maintaining the main 150-seat auditorium due to difficulty scheduling specialist labour. Soon I moved into AV support full time and was exposed to AV installation, meeting room design, and media management while also developing skills as a Video Conferencing Engineer, which became my main focus. In 2014 I began heading the AV design and support practice at a supercomputer company eventually relocating to New York where I transitioned my career toward AV design and consultancy. My work for a New York firm led me to accept a position with them in London in Autumn 2020, which eventually resulted in my decision to move to Hoare Lea.

I joined Hoare Lea in Spring 2022…

…As a firm, we are well established, capable, and dedicated to delivering at an extremely high standard, that carries a great deal of respect across the industry. Knowing that I can reach out to anyone in the firm with an idea or question and that the person responding will be one of the best in their field is a great confidence builder when we’re designing ambitious solutions. I’m excited about working with a team who are truly

In my role, I lead the AV team…

…which is part of the Intelligent Buildings Group along with ICT and Building Intelligence. We have a close partnership between the three teams, sharing knowledge and supporting each other on projects regularly. The AV team itself is made up of a mix of energetic and creative individuals who see AV as a set of tools for collaboration rather than a bunch of equipment for equipment’s sake, an approach which we’ve applied to our designs both historically and in our active projects.

I love the idea of pursuing what I call Big Idea AV…

…Projects that really raise the bar and apply the latest technology in ways that are more nuanced than simply bigger, brighter, or louder.

Why is AV needed in the space we’re designing? What is its purpose? How can the AV system help the space perform its function as well as possible? How will people use the space, and does the system we design enable that or create barriers? Is the solution “right-sized” and how will it adapt to future needs?

And how do we balance these parameters with the client’s budgetary and supportability needs, and how can we align it with the Architect’s vision? Solutions that address these questions thoughtfully and serve the client’s goals well are what we strive to accomplish.

I’m also passionate about helping the AV industry become a better partner in the race to Net Zero which also aligns us with Hoare Lea’s commitment to the North Star. Our North Star is our commitment and overarching goal of supporting people and planet through our work. AV technology by its very nature is high in energy consumption and is usually replaced on a fairly regular cadence, neither of which is beneficial to the planet, and we’re in constant dialogue about reducing embodied carbon through lower energy consumption, standardisations to support reuse of core infrastructure, longer product lifespan, and logistical improvements. We consider sustainability and environmental impact in our designs, and are prepared to have dialogues with our clients about prioritising and embracing sustainable options for each project. We also use our influence to encourage manufacturers to take a more proactive approach; sustainability is as important to us as it is to our clients.

We have a number of exciting and interesting projects currently…

… This includes a science and research building, a large flexible conference space for an EU government agency, a public school’s concert hall,  recital space, specialised university spaces, and two high-spec professional screening rooms along with a mixture of residential, workplace, and office buildings. The breadth of knowledge required to support these projects is immense, and each one allows us to learn new things, which keeps us highly motivated.

Outside of work…

… I live with my wife and our two cats in the city and in my spare time I like to explore London with my camera and being a city which lends its hand to photography, there’s always, always, always something going on.