Official Web Site of ASHRAE SSPC 135
This section contains previously released news items for your information. They are arranged with the most recent at the top, the oldest at the bottom.
|Old BACnet News - 2002
For news from previous years, click here:
- BACnet Subject of ISO Meeting in Lyon (12/02) Lyon, France. Members of ISO/TC205, Building Environment Design, have just concluded a three-day meeting in Lyon, France. The first plenary meeting of the TC in two years was hosted December 11-13, 2002, by CETIAT (Centre Technique des Industries Aérauliques et Thermiques), the French center for HVAC system and component testing and certification. Working Group 3, Building Control System Design, spent much of its time discussing ISO 16484-5, Data Communication Protocol, the fifth part of its seven part standard. (The other parts deal with building automation and control system (BACS) hardware, functions, applications, protocol testing (adoption of ASHRAE 135.1 is proposed) and project implementation.) This proposed ISO standard is BACnet (with a few minor editorial changes to conform to ISO conventions) and is currently undergoing a "parallel enquiry" within both the ISO and European Union member countries. Depending on the outcome of the voting, BACnet will move to Final Draft International Standard status or directly to publication. [BACnet is now an ISO standard!]
- BACnet/CD Now Available! (12/02) Atlanta, Georgia. The long-awaited re-release of the BACnet/CD has been announced by ASHRAE. Version 3 of the compact disk version of the BACnet standard contains a completely cross-linked and cross-referenced version of BACnet-2001. The disk also offers 11 key articles about BACnet that have appeared in various publications dating from 1983 to the present. For implementers (or other BACnet aficionados) there is also a comprehensive "map" that shows the changes made to the original BACnet-1995 and how these have now been incorporated in BACnet-2001. For ordering info, click here.
- 19 Companies Attend "Plugfest 2002" (11/02) Kennesaw, Georgia. The BACnet Testing Laboratories Interoperability Workshop attracted 19 participating BACnet organizations for a three-day session, November 20-22, 2002. The largest "Plugfest" held to date was attended by 45 participants from Alerton, American Auto-Matrix, Automated Logic, BTL, Cimetrics, Delta, Envenergy, Fieldserver, Honeywell, Invensys, Lithonia Lighting, McQuay/JCI, Notifier, Reliable Controls, Siemens, Teletrol, Trane, Tridium and The Watt Stopper. The purpose of the workshop was to conduct both pair-wise and multiple system testing in a controlled yet convivial atmosphere with plenty of knowledgeable BACneteers around to help resolve any questions of protocol interpretation that might potentially cause interoperability problems in the field.
- BTL-WG Meets to Discuss Testing (11/02) Kennesaw, Georgia. The BACnet Testing Laboratories Working Group met November 18-19, 2002, in Kennesaw, Georgia, hosted by Automated Logic Corporation. The grueling two-day meeting (see photo) was attended by 15 WG members for the purpose of discussing the status of the BMA/BTL's Testing and Listing program. One focus of the meeting was VTS, the "Visual Test Shell" software that is being used to automate much of the BACnet testing process. The latest version of this cooperatively developed open source program (VTS 3.1.9) is now available for download by any interested party from Source Forge. The BTL is now targeting the beginning of 2003 for the start of the second round of testing which will incorporate alarming, scheduling and BACnet/IP, among other things.
(8/02) Tokyo, Japan. The International BACnet Symposium sponsored by the Institute of Electrical Installation Engineers of Japan (IEIEJ) took place the week of August 5, 2002, in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. The event featured presentations by Steve Bushby, SSPC 135 Chairman; Mike Newman, Past SSPC Chairman; Jim Lee, President of the BMA; Prof. Manli Zhou, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, PRC; and Takeji Toyoda, Chairman of the IEIEJ's Protocol Committee and of the symposium itself. Masaharu Nakamura of JCI served ably throughout as the symposium moderator. Topics included a review of BACnet's technical characteristics, the status of BACnet worldwide, the role of the BMA/BTL and the state of BACnet in China. Attendance at the events, in spite of the blazing August heat, exceeded all expectations. The Tokyo presentation at the Josui Kaikan attracted 180 people while the presentation at Osaka's Central Electric Club was attended by 85. From the questions asked, and comments made, during the symposium, it is clear that interest in BACnet is growing at an accelerating rate in Japan and that the IEIEJ will be at the forefront of advocating the eventual adoption of BACnet as a Japanese Industrial Standard.
- BACnet Course Scheduled in Switzerland (11/02) Oensingen, Switzerland. A one-day BACnet course is slated to take place on November 19, 2002, at the Fachhochschule Solothurn (FHSO) in Oensingen, Switzerland. The course aims to present a concise overview of BACnet fundmentals (networking, objects, services and functions) in order then to focus on the interoperability of BACnet systems. This will be explored both from a theoretical and practical perspective in the Fachhochschule's multivendor BACnet laboratory. For more info or to register contact FHSO at 0848 821 011 (telephone), 062 388 25 20 (FAX), or e-mail at email@example.com
- 140 Attend BIG-NA/BMA Conference at OSU (9/02) Columbus, Ohio. The BACnet Interest Group - North America (BIG-NA) and the BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA) exposition and conference entitled "BACnet - CONNECTED!" was held at The Ohio State University, September 22-24. Nearly 140 attendees participated in presentations, panel discussions, and question/answer sessions on a host of building automation and BACnet topics. Highlight of the conference was a live BACnet demonstration featuring 9 screens, video projectors, workstations, and controllers from 9 different BACnet vendors. The demo consisted of a set of inter-vendor operations including reading and writing setpoints, controlling outputs, modifying schedules and reading trend logs - all between systems from different manufacturers. The demo was up and running with only a few hours of preparation. Thanks go to Dick Lighthiser, Ron Sharpe, and Tammi Post of OSU and Jonathan Fulton of Building Control Integrators, as well as to all of the participating BIG-NA and BMA members, for making the conference the biggest and best BIG-NA/BMA event yet!
- Vendor ID List Tops 100! (8/02) Atlanta, GA. ASHRAE has just announced the assignment of 3 more BACnet Vendor Identifiers, bringing the total number assigned to 107. The most recent additions are the Meidensha Corporation and NEC Engineering from Japan and PRIVA Building Intelligence from the Netherlands. Vendor IDs (perhaps more appropriately called "Organization IDs" since not all of them are assigned to vendors), are used by BACnet developers to differentiate the content of certain BACnet services and to identify developer-specific extensions to BACnet object types (or entirely new object types) via the object profile mechanism. Vendor IDs are also an unofficial metric of BACnet's growing popularity.
Click here to view the complete list of IDs issued to date.
- 135.1P Goes Out for 2nd Public Review (6/02) Atlanta, GA. Proposed Standard 135.1P, Method of Test for Conformance to BACnet, is now available for public review for the second time. The review will last for 45 days, from June 14 until July 29, 2002.
- BTL and SSPC Hold Meetings (4/02) Redmond, Washington. The BACnet Testing Laboratory (BTL) Working Group and several SSPC 135 working groups met April 16-19 in Redmond, Washington. The BTL working group met for two days to refine testing details and procedures that will be followed as the laboratory expands its testing capability to the next level of sophistication in BACnet controllers. The BTL has already begun testing and listing devices that provide the capabilities of BACnet Application Specific Controllers. The plan is to be able to begin testing and listing devices that provide the capabilities of BACnet Advanced Application Controllers in July.
Following the BTL meetings, SSPC 135 working groups on Objects and Services (OS-WG), Network Security (NS-WG), Utility Integration (UI-WG), and Life Safety and Security (LSS-WG) met for two days. All of these working groups are deliberating new BACnet functionality that will eventually be proposed as addenda to the standard. Examples of the items under consideration include new objects to represent and manage utility loads, features needed to integrate access control systems with other building automation systems, and ways to increase the security of building automation systems. The next meeting for SSPC 135 and its working groups is scheduled for June 22-24 in conjunction with the ASHRAE Summer Meeting in Honolulu.
- BIG-EU Booth Draws Crowd! (4/02) Frankfurt, Germany. According to show organizers, nearly 130,000 visitors attended the Light+Building trade fair in Frankfurt during the week of April 14-18. Of these, some 66,000 were reported to have visited the exhibition halls devoted to building systems, including building automation and control. A "big" attraction was the booth sponsored by the BACnet Interest Group - Europe (BIG-EU). Featuring the largest live BACnet demonstration in a single booth in history, the BIG-EU booth covered an area of nearly 1000 square feet, about three times larger than any of the previous BIG-EU booths!
Thirteen organizations had BACnet connections to a dedicated Ethernet LAN that ran the length of the booth: ABB, Alerton, ALC, Delta, Fachhochschule Dortmund, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Kieback & Peter, MBS, Neuberger, Saia-Burgess, Sauter and Siemens. The traffic was a mix of BACnet over Ethernet and BACnet/IP. Exhibitors could read and control prearranged points throughout the exhibit and indicate results to the on-lookers on numerous laptops and fixed-monitor workstations. For the technically oriented, the Dortmunders were able to display the network traffic, byte by byte, on their BACnet protocol analyzer.
North America was well represented at the booth by Dave Guthrie (Alerton), Mike Gilmore (ALC), Greg Holloway and Ray Rae (Delta), and Mike Newman (Cornell).
Steve Comstock, ASHRAE's Director of Communications and Publications, also put in an appearance. Newman, who has attended all of the BIG-EU exhibits to date, reported that the nature of the questions posed by the visitors had undergone a notable evolution: "It used to be that the main question was 'What is BACnet?' but this time people wanted to know 'Who has what BACnet products?' and 'Which vendor has the best product for my application?' The level of sophistication has clearly skyrocketed!" Anecdotal evidence of the increasing interest in BACnet in Europe came from many sources. In Germany, for instance, it was claimed that nearly 50% of all specifications for commercial building control systems now contain references to BACnet!
- ARBS 2002 a Rousing Success! (4/02) Sydney, Australia. Jim Henry, Chairman of the BACnet Interest Group - AustralAsia (BIG-AA), has provided the following on-site report. Thanks, Jim!
"ARBS 2002 (Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Building Services Exhibition) was held in Sydney at the Sydney Exhibition Centre from 25 to 27 March. The show set records for attendance. Member companies of BIG-AA organised a BACnet village, with a big BACnet banner flying high over the corridor reserved for members of the village. Alerton, Automated Logic, Doust Automation & Control, Electromation, Reliable, and Sphere Systems sponsored the village. Danfoss, Daikin, McQuay, ScadaEngine, Simplex, and TC Technologies used the BIG-AA and most connected to the interoperability network. As is expected with BACnet, the companies connected on an Ethernet LAN, had a couple of short discussions about device address conflicts, and we were all up and connected and viewing and operating each others equipment within minutes.
As the pictures show we all were on one corridor, so it was easy to send visitors back and forth between booths to see changes to equipment. The cooperation shown by the BACnet exhibiting companies reflects the cooperation generally found in the BACnet world.
There was a daily lecture given by me as Chairman of BIG-AA at the 300 seat main stage on "BACnet as the world standard for high level interfaces."
All in all the show was a resounding success for BACnet."
For a detailed write-up, see Jim Henry's article in the May issue of www.automatedbuildings.com.
- BACnet-2001 Now Available! (1/02) Atlantic City, NJ. ASHRAE has announced the availability of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2001 in hardcopy form. This is the long-awaited, consolidated BACnet standard that includes all of the Addenda, a through e, that have been approved since the standard was first published in 1995. Among the features that were only accessible previously through the separately published addenda are: Annex J, the BACnet/IP specification; the new life safety features; the new conformance and interoperability definitions (including BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks (BIBBs), Device Profiles and a new PICS); the new Averaging, Multi-state Value and Trend Log object types; several new services including GetEventInformation, SubscribeCOVProperty and UTCTimeSynchronization; the new profile concept for extending object types in a standard way; and many other significant enhancements. The cost of the new document is $99 for ASHRAE members and $124 for non-members. A compact disk version of the standard, complete with full hypertext linking, is expected to be available later this spring.
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