Official Web Site of ASHRAE SSPC 135
This section contains news items from 2000 for your information. They are arranged with the most recent at the top, the oldest at the bottom.
|Old BACnet News - 2000
For news from previous years, click here: [1999 News] [1998 News]
- BACnet Lighting Controls Workshop Held. (12/00) The Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology hosted a workshop on BACnet technology for lighting control applications on December 12, 2000. This workshop brought together lighting control researchers and industry experts to discuss issues and experience related to using BACnet in lighting control applications. The result of the workshop was a commitment to continue the dialog and to establish a task group of experts from ASHRAE, NEMA and IES to explore lighting application needs and possible enhancements to the BACnet protocol.
- BIG-EU Announces Training Schedule for 2001. (12/00) The BACnet Interest Group - Europe has announced its schedule of German-language BACnet training sessions for 2001:
Mar. 5, Stuttgart
Apr. 9, Frankfurt am Main
May 21, Hamburg
Jul. 9, Radebeul/Dresden
Sep. 24, Munich
- Chinese Translation of BACnet Released! Beijing, China. (11/00) Among the highlights of the Intelligent Buildings 2000 Forum and Exhibition (November 27 - December 1, in Beijing) was the release of the recently completed translation of BACnet into Chinese.
The photo shows Mr. Eric Z. G. Liu, Director and General Manager of Silvan Automation Engineering, Ltd. (left) and SSPC 135 Vice-Chairman Bill Swan with the new document. The 2-day forum and subsequent 3-day exhibition were sponsored by the Committee of Intelligent Building Experts, many of whose members are officials of the Ministry of Construction, directed by Mr. Lin Xuancai. Swan was invited to China to represent the BACnet committee, to participate in the forum and exhibition, and to give several presentations on the current state of BACnet to Chinese experts at a symposium to be held at Tsinghua University, home of Professors Wang Guizeng (Chairman, Dept. of Automation), Jin Yihui, Xianhui Yang and Jingchun Wang.
But there was also some time to see the sights! How about this shot of the Great Wall?
- BMA Sponsors BACnet Interoperability Workshop. Gaithersburg, MD. (11/00) The BACnet Manufacturers Association held its first BACnet Interoperability Workshop, November 14-15, 2000, at NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The workshop was attended by representatives of 12 organizations including Alerton, American Auto-Matrix, Automated Logic, Cimetrics, Cornell University, Delta Controls, Johnson Controls, Lithonia Lighting, NIST, Siemens, Simplex and Teletrol. The workshop provided an opportunity to test the interoperability of products from the BMA member companies attending as well as the basic operation of the implementations involved. The testing included pair-wise set-ups as well as larger networks of devices. The goal of the session was to find any interoperability issues that need to be discussed and resolved prior to the start of BTL testing, now scheduled to begin early in 2001.
- SSPC 135 Holds Interim Meeting at NIST. Gaithersburg, MD. (11/00) The BACnet committee met on November 13, 2000, at NIST to complete the resolution of comments that were received from the public review of Addendum 135c. Although this was accomplished, the process produced several "independent substantive changes" that will require, under ANSI/ASHRAE procedures, an additional review. The discussions also led to the formation of a new task group that will investigate how BACnet might be extended to permit devices to allow certain actions to be taken by some devices but not others, a requirement of some types of life safety systems. The "Network Access Control" TG will look at how access might be limited based on device, address (either MAC or IP), password, object type or service (or other pertinent attributes of either the client or server). A second task group will investigate how messages related to life safety functions can best be distributed in an interoperable manner.
- Connecticut Chapter ASHRAE Hosts BACnet Night. Cromwell, CT. (10/00) The Connecticut Chapter ASHRAE focused its October monthly meeting on the subject of BACnet. Guest speaker Mike Newman, Past Chairman of SSPC 135, conducted a 90 minute "Tech Session" that provided a technical overview of BACnet along with information related to writing BACnet specifications. At the conclusion of dinner, Chapter President Julia Weatherby called on Mike again to provide the the attendees with a general update on BACnet's progress. The meeting was attended by nearly 100 society members.
- Joint BIG-NA/BMA Meeting Held at Penn State. State College, PA. (10/00) A veritable "who's who" of BACnet supporters gathered at Penn State October 9 and 10 to participate in a conference and expo entitled "BACnet for the 21st Century." The meeting featured both BACnet Interest Group - North America (BIG-NA) and BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA) events. Held at the Penn Stater Conference Center, the conference was attended by about 60 people representing users, owners, manufacturers, contractors, and designers. In addition to the North American attendees there were also visitors from as far away as Korea, Sweden and Switzerland. The attendees heard presentations from past and present SSPC 135 members, manufacturers, and both faculty and staff of Penn State. A significant event was a tour of the new football training facility (Lasch Football Building) used by the university's legendary football team and outfitted with BACnet automation equipment. In addition to a product display showcasing a number of interoperating BACnet devices, attendees heard from Jim Butler, Manager of the BMA's newly-formed BACnet Testing Laboratories, on the progress being made to test and list BACnet devices. Testing is currently planned to begin in February of 2001 with an equipment listing service to be established shortly thereafter.
- TC205 Approves BACnet as ISO Committee Draft. Tromsø, Norway. (8/00) On August 5, 2000, the delegates of 15 countries unanimously approved a resolution within the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) Technical Committee 205, Building Environment Design, to make BACnet an official "Committee Draft" or "CD". CDs are circulated to member countries for review and comment much like SSPC draft standards undergo public review in the ANSI/ASHRAE process. Once the comments are received, deliberated, and any necessary changes implemented, a CD may move on to become a "Draft International Standard" and then, finally, a full-fledged "International Standard." The document approved for circulation includes the original BACnet standard with approved and published Addenda a and b, parts of Addendum c, and several elements of what is expected to become Addendum d: a revised Clause 22 ("Conformance and Interoperability"), a revised Annex A ("PICS"), and new annexes describing "BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks" and "Device Profiles." The countries approving BACnet's promotion to CD status were: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Japan, Korea, Norway, Spain, UK and the USA.
- TC205 Discusses Links to Konnex and IEIEJ. Tromsø, Norway. (8/00) In other ISO/TC205 news, Working Group 3 (the subgroup of the TC concerned with building control system design and the adoption of BACnet as a standard communication protocol for this application) spent considerable time discussing how BACnet's newly proposed extension mechanism using object profiles might be applied to developing links to Konnex (the new name of the "converged" BatiBUS, EIB, and EHS protocols in Europe) and IEIEJ/p (the protocol of the Institute of Electrical Installation Engineers of Japan). It is expected that this work will lead to interface descriptions that will become regional annexes to the final internationally standardized version of BACnet.
Posing with Isbjørn, our polar bear host are, from left to right, WG3 members: Yoshiyuki Honda (Japan), Hanns-Karl Tronnier (Belgium), Chris Chapman (UK), Takeji Toyoda (Japan), Mike Newman (USA), Carl Neilson (Canada), Hans Kranz (Germany), Nobuo Nakahara (Japan), Seung Ho Hong (Korea), Steve Bushby (USA), and Bill Swan (USA). Behind the lens was Knut Löe (Norway).
- BACnet Goes North! (8/00) From Tromsø to Hammerfest to the North Cape (Nordkapp), BACneteers braved the heat of the Norwegian midnight sun to take a BACnet hat where no BACnet hat has gone before. Approximately 340 miles north of the Arctic Circle (see map to the left), at a latitude of 71° 10' 21"N, the North Cape is a rocky promontory that projects into the Barents Sea and is the northernmost point of the European continent.
If you have a picture of a BACnet hat in an unusual location, please send it in!
- BACnet Testing Standard Goes to Public Review. Minneapolis, Minnesota. (7/00) The long-awaited companion standard to BACnet, "ASHRAE 135.1P, Method of Testing Conformance to BACnet," has finally been approved for public review. The 415 page draft standard (click here to download the 1.28 MB PDF file) defines in precise detail the steps to test whether an implementation of BACnet faithfully conforms to the BACnet standard and correctly provides the features claimed by the supplier. To achieve this, the proposed standard contains tests for each BACnet service (message type), object (function), and networking technology. It is expected that 135.1P, once finalized, will form the basis for BACnet testing, certification, and product listing programs. The first such program in North America is currently under development by the BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA) whose formation was announced in February at the ASHRAE Winter Meeting in Dallas. The BMA's thirteen member firms have formed the BACnet Testing Laboratory (BTL) to actually refine and carry out the tests. Their experience is expected to be fed back into the testing standard during the public review period. A parallel, but coordinated, program is also under development by the BACnet Interest Group - Europe (BIG-EU).
- Liaisons Approved Between SSPC 135, CEN, and the IEIEJ. Minneapolis, Minnesota. (7/00) Testimony to the growing international stature of BACnet is reflected in ASHRAE's formal approval of liaisons to the BACnet committee from CEN, the European Community's standardization body, and the Institute of Electrical Installation Engineers of Japan (IEIEJ). Liaison to CEN and its TC247 "Controls for Mechanical Building Services" will be Roger Braun of Siemens, Landis & Staefa Division. Representing the IEIEJ will be Takeji Toyoda of Hitachi Building Systems, Chairman of the IEIEJ's BAS Protocol Committee. Delegations from both Europe and Japan attended the recent meetings and made significant contributions to the committee's deliberations. In addition, translations of the BACnet standard are either complete or underway in Korea, Japan and China and a German translation of NIST Internal Report 6392 on specifying interoperable building automation and control systems using BACnet is also underway.
Members of the IEIEJ delegation and SSPC leaders gather for a group picture in Minneapolis. From left to right, Takeji Toyoda, Steve Bushby, Mike Newman, Masaharu Nakamura and Hiroshi Ito.
- SSPC 135 in Transition: Bushby In, Newman Out... (7/00) Unlike membership on the original project committee that drafted BACnet, membership in a standing standard project committee is subject to strict "term limits." Thus, after four years at the helm, Mike Newman of Cornell University happily passed the chairmanship of the SSPC to Steve Bushby of NIST at the conclusion of the Minneapolis meeting. "Steve is superbly qualified for the job and this will free me up a bit to work on BACnet from a different perspective," Newman said. "I will, of course, continue to help the committee in any way I can, but now I can give more time to the testing and certification effort and the international work," he said. Others "rolling off" this year were Ron Anderson, Dave Fisher (one of the original SPC 135P members), Tony Icenhour, Cher Nicastro, and Bob Old. Thank you all and please stay active. (The committee always welcomes anyone willing to do work, whether they are on the official roster or not!).
- ...and Ron Jarnagin to Become StdC Liaison. (7/00) With thanks to outgoing liaison Jim Vallort of Nicor, the SSPC is happy to welcome Ronald E. Jarnagin of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as its new liaison to the ASHRAE Standards Committee. Ron's experience as the embattled, but ultimately successful, chairman of SSPC 90.1, "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," will surely be helpful as he represents us in the months ahead. Welcome aboard, Ron!
- Addendum 135b Approved for Publication. (2/00) The ASHRAE Board of Directors at its meeting in Dallas has approved the publication of Addendum 135b as an ASHRAE standard. This second addendum to BACnet contains 17 refinements to BACnet, including the addition of 3 new object types and 2 new services. Addendum 135b thus joins Addendum 135a, the BACnet/IP specification, as a published addition to the original 1995 BACnet standard.
- BACnet Adopted as Korean Standard! (1/00) Word has just been received from Prof. Seung Ho Hong of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Hanyang University in Ansan, Korea, that BACnet has achieved the status of a Korean national standard, KS X 6909, as of December 17, 1999. More information later!
- BACnet Specifiers' Guide Now Available! (1/00) NISTIR 6392, GSA Guide to Specifying Interoperable Building Automation and Control Systems Using ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-1995, BACnet, is now available for public use and download in Adobe .PDF format. The NIST Internal Report was prepared by NIST under contract to the General Services Administration for use by GSA "staff or design consultants when preparing specifications for interoperable building control systems using BACnet technology." While not a "guide specification" per se, the document explains the issues that need to be considered when specifying the communication details of a BACnet communication system and makes some recommendations for the choices involved. The IR is intended to complement more general guidelines for direct digital control systems in buildings by providing detailed suggestions for specifying BACnet as the data communication protocol of choice.
- Public Review Period for Addendum 135c Ends. Minneapolis, Minnesota. (7/00) The public review period for Addendum 135c ended on June 15, 2000, and produced 10 comments. Responses to the comments were prepared by the SSPC in Minneapolis and are in the process of being conveyed to the commenters. This addendum contains two new object types and a new service dedicated to facilitating BACnet communications with Life Safety devices. A new service is also proposed that would allow change of value subscriptions to be made for any property of any object with subscriber-specified COV increments. Included too is a mechanism whereby BACnet devices can be backed up and restored using existing services in a standardized way. Finally, a new service has been drafted that will allow for improved alarm processing, particularly in the case of devices with limited processing power.
- BACnet Papers Highlight Congress Building Performance. Frankfurt am Main. The Congress Building Performance, held in Frankfurt the week of March 20, 2000, featured several papers that centered on BACnet. Two of the papers were presented bilingually and may be viewed here. The first, "BACnet - Past, Present and Future," was presented by Mike Newman, SSPC Chairman at the time, and gives an overview of the standard. (Click here for English, hier für Deutsch). The second paper, "BACnet in Europe," was presented by Nils Meinert of Siemens, Landis & Staefa Division and President of BIG-Europe. (Click here for English, hier für Deutsch).
- Light+Building Exhibition Ends in Germany. Frankfurt am Main. The first biennial Light+Building exhibition, featuring building automation and control companies from around the world, successfully concluded on Thursday, March 23, at the Frankfurt Fair Grounds. Notable exhibitions included Honeywell and Kieback & Peter's booths which were linked together via BACnet to demonstrate the capability the companies are using in the German parliament buildings (Reichstag) project. Siemens, Neuberger, and Johnson likewise had portions of their booths dedicated to BACnet products. Another popular venue was BIG-Europe's booth. There knowledgable representatives from several of the 37 companies that now make up the membership of the BIG, along with some SSPC 135, BMA, and ASHRAE folks, helped to answer questions and provide BACnet information to the many visitors.
- ISO/TC205 "Building Environment Design" to Meet in Tromsø, Norway. The committee deliberating the adoption of BACnet as an international standard is slated to meet in Norway during the first week of August. Participating in Working Group 3 "Building Control Systems Design" on behalf of the United States will be SSPC Chairman Steve Bushby (also Convener of WG3), Vice-Chairman Bill Swan, and Past Chairman Mike Newman. SSPC member Carl Neilson will represent Canada. The meeting is expected to focus on resolving issues relating to BACnet interfaces to the European Installation Bus and Japanese IEIEJ/p protocols.
- BIG-AA Makes its Public Debut at ARBS 2000! Melbourne, Australia. BIG-AustralAsia debuted at the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Building Services Exhibition (ARBS 2000) in Melbourne at the end of March, 2000. The exhibition, held in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) Industry Conference, had over 200 exhibitors. For more details, read Jim Henry's report.
- BACnet Manufacturers Association Holds its Kick-off Meeting! The initial meeting of the "BACnet Manufacturers Association" (to be known as the "BMA") was held in Dallas on February 7 and was attended by a standing-room-only crowd. The meeting, chaired by Jim Lee of Cimetrics, the BMA's first president, was aimed at introducing the goals of the association and inviting interested manufacturers to come aboard. The primary goal initially will be to develop a conformance testing program aimed at assuring that BACnet products from different suppliers can truly interoperate. This will be accomplished through the establishment of the "BACnet Testing Laboratory." Later the BMA hopes to sponsor BACnet training and joint marketing activities. Here is the press release announcing BMA's launch. Their website can be visited at www.bacnetassociation.org.
- BMA Names Initial Board of Directors. As one of its first orders of business, the BMA has selected its initial Board of Directors (BOD). They are: Gerry Hull, Automated Logic; Clair Jenkins, Alerton; Jim Lee, Cimetrics; Steve Lydecker, Lithonia Lighting; Kevin Osburn, Siemens; Raymond Rae, Delta; and Pat Sheridan, Simplex. According to the association's by-laws, each director's term is 4 years, although the initial directors were selected for staggered terms of 1 to 4 years to ensure an opportunity for "new blood" at each year's BOD election. Should the association members so desire, the number of directors may be increased up to a maximum of 12.
- Over 30 Companies Display BACnet Interoperability in Dallas! The largest BACnet interoperability demonstration yet has just concluded at the AHR Expo 2000. The demo featured wireless LAN technology tying together diverse equipment including building automation controls, lighting controls, fire alarm systems, laboratory controls, VAV controllers, air handling units, chillers and variable speed drives. For more details, click here!