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 - 2004
For news from previous years, click here:
- BIG-EU Publishes First Edition of BACnet Europe Journal! (10/04) Dortmund, Germany. The BACnet Europe Journal is the first publication of its kind in the BACnet world - a periodical dedicated exclusively to the further optimization and application of the BACnet standard! Although published by the BACnet Interest Group - Europe, the journal's readership is expected to greatly transcend European borders. The first edition, in fact, was sent worldwide to recipients in 45 countries. A hardcopy can be ordered, without cost, by contacting the BIG-EU or you can view a PDF version of the Journal by clicking here.
In order to promote the capabilities of the BACnet global standard, BIG-EU is intensifying its dialog with manufacturers, designers, system houses, operators and investors and plans to increase its presence in the European marketplace, according to Nils Meinert of Siemens Building Technologies, President of BIG-EU. The BACnet Europe Journal will serve as a way to share European BACnet solutions with the broader worldwide BACnet community.
The 40-page Journal, in dual-language format with German and English printed side by side, reports on case studies of BACnet applications, specific BACnet products, and news about BACnet and BIG-EU. It also contains a calendar of upcoming BACnet events and a bibliography of literature related to the standard.
BIG-EU, formed in 1998, was the first of the four worldwide BACnet interest groups and is again leading the way with the publication of the BACnet Europe Journal. Congratulations to all of our European colleagues who have made this excellent new publication possible!
- Dates of BACnet/WS Public Review Announced (10/04) Atlanta, GA. The ASHRAE Standards Committee has approved the public review of the BACnet Web Services addendum. The 45-day review will run from October 22 until December 6, 2004. Click here to download a PDF copy of the document. If you wish to comment, please visit the ASHRAE Website on or after October 22 to obtain comment forms. See item below for more details on the content of the draft.
- "Plugfest 2004" Great Success (9/04) Skokie, IL. The 3-day BACnet Interoperability Workshop ("Plugfest") 2004 is in the record books. The event, sponsored by the BMA/BTL and hosted this year by Siemens Building Technologies, was the largest ever! More than 75 people from 22 companies (plus NIST, the BTL, and our cooperating European test laboratory, WSPlab) attended the event which ran September 22-24, 2004. The participating organizations were: ABB, Alerton/Novar Controls, American Auto-Matrix, Andover Controls, Automated Logic Corp., BTL, Carrier, Cimetrics, Delta Controls, Eagle Technology, FieldServer Technologies, Honeywell, ITT Bell & Gossett, Invensys, Johnson Controls, Kiyon, KMC Controls, NIST, Notifier, Phoenix Controls, Reliable Controls, Siemens Building Technologies, Trane, Tridium and WSPlab. The attendees were organized in 28 testing teams which conducted pair-wise and multiple equipment testing of implemented BACnet functionality. Among the "firsts" were a wireless BACnet product (Kiyon), integration with maintenance management software (Eagle Technology), and successful use of BACnet's new backup and restore procedures (multiple companies).
- BACnet Web Services Initiative Goes to Public Review! (6/04) Nashville, TN. After months of intense effort by the Web Services Task Team of the BACnet/XML Working Group, SSPC 135 has unanimously voted to recommend public review of an addendum to BACnet-2004 that specifies the use of "Web services" to provide a means to integrate building automation and control systems with other enterprise computing applications. Web services provide for computer-to-computer applications many of the same advantages that the World Wide Web provides for human-to-computer information access. Potential uses of the technology include simplifying access to building energy and performance data for inclusion in spreadsheets and other management reports; accessing equipment run-time data for use by maintenance management systems; allowing tenant access to, and control of, space temperature setpoints; coupling of room scheduling with ventilation and comfort control; and many more.
The new addendum is in two parts. The first proposes an Annex N to BACnet that defines the BACnet Web Services interface, BACnet/WS. This interface is intended to be "protocol neutral" in that the defined Web services can be used with any underlying protocol including BACnet, Konnex, MODBUS, LON or legacy proprietary protocols. This has been accomplished by defining an application program interface (API) to read and write the common elements of all building automation and control systems such as values, schedules, trend logs, and alarm information using services such as 'getValue' and 'setValue' that use a simple "path" to define the intended data source. An example of such a path would be: "/ABC HQ/Conference Room A/Space Temperature". The proposed standard also provides powerful mechanisms for "localization" where certain types of data such as time, date and numbers can be formatted according to local custom and language. Text names and descriptions may also be accessed according to the local language. Several manufacturers have already indicated their intention to display Annex N gateway products at the AHR show in January in Orlando.
The second part of the addendum contains an addition to BACnet's Annex H, Combining BACnet Networks with Non-BACnet Networks, that prescribes the gateway mapping specifically to and from BACnet messages.
The combined effect of the BACnet/WS annexes is to provide a set of generic Web services that can potentially interface to any building automation protocol as well as to describe exactly how this interface would work with underlying BACnet systems.
- SSPC 135 Changes the Guard (6/04) Nashville, TN. William O. Swan, III of Novar Controls (Alerton) is the new Chairman of SSPC 135. In the picture, outgoing Chairman Steven T. Bushby of NIST, on the left, presents Bill with the official SSPC gavel in the gardens of Nashville's Opryland Hotel to mark the turnover. Bill is exceedingly well prepared for his new duties having previously served as both the SSPC's Secretary and Vice-Chairman. Dave Robin of Automated Logic Corporation will ably join Bill as Vice-Chairman and Carl Neilson of Delta Controls will continue his valiant work as Secretary of the committee.
Steve's departure marks the end of his 17 years of service as a BACnet committee voting member, a record that is unlikely to be matched. During that time he served for 13 years as Secretary and then Vice-Chairman of SPC 135P and, in 2000, took over the helm as Chairman of the follow-on standing committee, SSPC 135. Although Steve has accepted some new responsibilities at NIST, he plans to follow the tradition set by his predecessor, Mike Newman of Cornell and Dave Fisher of Polarsoft, among others, in offering his counsel to the committee even though no longer formally a member. Thanks for the years of hard work, Steve, and best of luck in your future endeavors!
- SSPC 135 Prepares to Meet in Nashville (6/04) Atlanta, GA. All meetings will be in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, the same facility where SPC 135P, the "ASHRAE Protocol Committee" that developed BACnet, met for the first time 17 (short) years ago!
- BIG-ME Welcomes BACneteers to Dubai (5/04) Dubai, UAE. The BACnet Interest Group - Middle East held a gala evening of BACnet presentations, discussions, and dinner overlooking the Persian Gulf on May 22, 2004. The event, jointly sponsored by the ASHRAE Emirates Falcon Chapter and the newly formed BIG-ME, was held in the Fairmount Hotel, one of Dubai's newest and most elegant, and was attended by nearly 140 people. Mike Newman, Past Chairman of SSPC 135, led off the evening with a description of BACnet's technical fundamentals. Steve Bushby, current Chairman of the SSPC, then followed with information on how BACnet is being maintained and extended, where it is being used, and some case studies. Jim Lee, President of the BMA, concluded the talks by providing some information on BTL's testing and listing program, a discussion of the other BACnet Interest Groups and their activities, and some business facts and figures of interest to those in the building automation and controls industry. For more info on BIG-ME (and the other BIGs), click here.
- BACnet Delegation Meets with Leaders of ASHRAE-EFC (5/04) Dubai, UAE. Unlike the other BIGs, BIG-ME is jointly sponsored not only by controls firms operating in Dubai, but also by the local ASHRAE chapter, the Emirates Falcon Chapter, which was kind enough to invite the travelling BACnet delegation to lunch. Shown in the picture (L to R) are: Mike Newman, Cornell, Past Chairman - SSPC 135; Dr. Mohsen Aboulnaga, Professor and Dean, College of Design and Applied Arts, Dubai University College, Vice-President of ASHRAE-EFC; Jim Lee, Cimetrics, President of BMA; Bassam Elassaad, PE, Director of Marketing, Middle East, Africa and India Region, Trane, President of ASHRAE-EFC; Steve Bushby, NIST, Chairman - SSPC 135; and Girish Hira, Managing Partner, Ramesh Hira L.L.C., Treasurer of ASHRAE-EFC. Thanks to the combined efforts of all involved, the launch of BIG-ME was a unqualified success!
- BACnet Goes to Russia (5/04) Moscow, Russia. Following their stay in Dubai, Bushby, Newman and Lee flew to Moscow where they were cordially greeted by members of Cimetrics' Russian staff and ABOK, the Russian Association of Engineers for Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, Heat Supply and Building Thermal Physics. ABOK maintains a liaison to SSPC 135 and is considered to be the "sister society" to ASHRAE in Russia. The main orders of business were to attend "SHK Moscow 2004" (the 8th International Trade Fair for Sanitation, Heating, Air Conditioning and Building Automation) and, on May 25, to speak at the symposium "Modern HVAC systems. The technologies of Intelligent Buildings" that was sponsored jointly by ABOK and EHI, the Association of the European Heating Industry. As in Dubai, the BACnet message seemed to be very well-received. To all of those whose hospitality and efforts helped to make the Moscow visit a success, Cпacибo!
- BMA Announces BTL-Listed BACnet Advanced Application Controllers (5/04)Boston, Massachusetts.
The BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA) has announced that several controllers have now obtained BTL listings as "BACnet Advanced Application Controllers (B-AAC)." The controllers, manufactured by Alerton, Automated Logic, and Delta Controls, are the most sophisticated products that have received a BTL listing to date. Information about these products can be found on the BMA's Website www.bacnetassociation.org.
Annex L of the BACnet standard (ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2001) defines several device profiles for building automation products. BACnet Advanced Application Controllers support all BACnet objects and services that are necessary for event and alarm initiation, scheduling of actions, data sharing, and several device management functions.
In order to obtain a BTL listing, a product must pass a suite of tests defined by the BACnet Testing Laboratories. These tests are based on ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135.1-2003.
For more information about the BMA, please visit the BMA's Website or call +1 617-426-6956.
- VDI/BIG-EU Hold BACnet Training (5/04) Düsseldorf, Germany. The German Association of Engineers (VDI) and the BACnet Interest Group - Europe held a BACnet training session on May 3 and 4 entitled "Gebäudeautomation mit BACnet" (Building Automation with BACnet). The course was taught by long-time German colleagues, BACneteers and VDI members Hans Kranz (HAK Engineering / Forst) and Frank Schubert (MBS GmbH / Krefeld). The first day focused on BACnet technology while the second day was spent considering the specification and business issues surrounding digital controls and networking. The seminar will be repeated on September 27 and 28, 2004, in Karlruhe.
- BACnet Delegation to Visit Dubai and Moscow (5/04) A delegation of BACnet experts will be traveling to the Middle East and Russia this month. Steve Bushby, Chairman of SSPC 135, Mike Newman, Past Chairman, and Jim Lee, President of the BMA, will be making the trip. The first stop will be Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, May 22. Here the speakers will meet the new BACnet Interest Group - Middle East and will be making presentations on BACnet to about 100 members of BIG-ME and the ASHRAE Emirates Falcon Chapter which is jointly sponsoring the seminar. About 100 people are expected to be in the audience including mechanical and controls contractors, manufacturers, consulting engineers and end users. Government officials from Dubai municipality and Dubai civil aviation may also attend.
The second stop is being arranged by ABOK, the Russian Association of Engineers for Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, Heat Supply and Building Thermal Physics. ABOK maintains a liaison to SSPC 135 and is considered to be the "sister society" to ASHRAE in Russia. Here the delegation will attend the SHK Moscow 2004 Exhibition. On Tuesday, May 25 they will speak at the VIII European ABOK-EHI Symposium "Modern HVAC systems. The technologies of Intelligent Buildings" and will present information on the current state of BACnet world-wide.
- BIG-EU Booth at L+B 2004 Welcomes Hundreds (4/04) Frankfurt, Germany. BIG-EU's BACnet booth at this year's Light+Building 2004 Exhibition in Frankfurt was standing room only for most of each of this year's show's five days, April 18-22. The mood was one of growing acceptance of BACnet's role as a fundamental ISO/CEN standard that can provide the necessary infrastructure to network all of the systems of importance in modern buildings. Skillfully organized by BIG-EU, the booth featured interoperating equipment from 12 manufacturers: ABB, Andover, Delta, Honeywell, Invensys (Messner), Innovision (ALC), Johnson, Kieback & Peter, MBS, Neuberger, Sauter and Siemens.
- BIG-EU Concludes Preparation for L+B 2004 (4/04) Darmstadt, Germany. The BACnet Interest Group - Europe has now completed its final preparations for this year's Light+Building exhibition that will take place from Sunday, April 18 to Thursday, April 22 at the Messe Frankfurt Fairgrounds in Frankfurt/Main.
Once the mechanical work of installing the various pieces of equipment on the display panels was completed, the BACnet network was commissioned and the data exchange between the 12 participating manufacturers was "fine-tuned". Thanks to pre-planning and the excellent cooperation of all concerned, the entire set-up process was finished by lunch!
If you plan to attend Light+Building this year, please visit the BIG-EU booth B55 in Hall 9.1.
- ANSI Approves Addenda 135a, c and d (4/04) Atlanta, Georgia. ASHRAE has announced the approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) of the three addenda to BACnet-2001 that were published by ASHRAE earlier this year. These addenda, along with previously approved Addendum 135b, can all be downloaded free of charge from the ASHRAE Website by following the /Technology & Standards/Standards Addenda link.
- BACnet Committees to Meet in Germantown (3/04) Germantown, Maryland. Montgomery College will once again play host to a week of BACnet meetings starting Monday, April 26. The BTL Working Group will meet on Monday and the various SSPC 135 WGs will meet at various times over the following 4 days.
- BTL Expands Testing Capability (2/04) Boston, Massachusetts. The BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) is now accepting BACnet Advanced Application Controllers for testing in the BTL's product testing and listing program. BACnet Advanced Application Controllers have some alarm/event notification and local scheduling capability, as well as basic data sharing and device management functionality. The BTL plans to begin preliminary testing of BACnet Building Controllers this summer.
For information about the BTL's product testing and listing program, please visit the BACnet Manufacturers Association's web site, www.bacnetassociation.org. For the latest version of the BTL's Device Implementation Guidelines for BACnet developers (in PDF), please visit the BTL's Website.
- BACnet/XML and Web Services (1/04) Anaheim, CA. Today, our industry is abuzz with the possibility of integrating building automation and business systems in such a way as to create valuable new services for the building owner. In an attempt to find a common language between systems, SSPC 135's XML Working Group (XML-WG) is deliberating the addition of the information technology (IT) known as "Web Services" to the BACnet standard. Web Services is a set of technologies that enable "machine-to-machine" communications using two standards called XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).
Among the design objectives for this new capability are:
- BACnet/XML must support remote Read, Write and Find Information capabilities at a minimum. Support for advanced services can be added as the need is demonstrated.
- BACnet/XML must leverage the extensive capabilities of the BACnet standard and the work of the BACnet XML Working Group.
- BACnet/XML must be compatible with industry standard IT security mechanisms.
- BACnet/XML may enhance BACnet services where appropriate.
- BACnet/XML must support the connection of systems through Network Address Translation devices and firewalls.
- Addendum a to BACnet 2001 to be Published (1/04) Anaheim, CA. ASHRAE has approved Addendum a to BACnet 2001 for publication as an ASHRAE standard. Addendum a contains nine new features for the BACnet standard, the most significant of which is an improvement in the way schedules are represented and maintained. BACnet always has had the capability to represent even very complex schedules. However, if a schedule represents the combination of several independent events, it has not been possible for a workstation to read the schedule object information and determine the individual components that were combined to make the overall schedule. The new features in 135a make it possible to view and manipulate the schedules at this finer level of detail.
The other new features in Addendum a will not be as obvious to end users but are very significant to manufacturers developing BACnet products. These features provide supporting infrastructure that is largely hidden from operators. They include more detailed error reporting, adding dynamic discovery features for MS/TP slave devices, support for new engineering units, clarification of the behavior of array properties when the size of the array is changed, and refinements in router behavior when unexpected messages are received.
- Addendum c to BACnet 2001 to be Published (1/04) Anaheim, CA. ASHRAE has approved Addendum c to BACnet 2001 for publication as an ASHRAE standard. Addendum c adds eight new features that include enhancements to the life safety objects and services and new standard object types that provide a way to represent utility meters and other measuring devices that provide pulsed outputs. These changes illustrate the way that BACnet is growing in response to input from manufactures that are developing building automation products in fields other than HVAC control and the way that integration using BACnet is paving the way for interactions with entities outside the building such as utilities.
- Addendum d to BACnet 2001 to be Published (1/04) Anaheim, CA. ASHRAE has approved Addendum d to BACnet 2001 for publication as an ASHRAE standard. Addendum d contains information about how to interconnect BACnet devices with devices that use the EIB/Konnex protocol. In Europe, there is a large installed base of EIB/Konnex products and defining a way to interconnect these devices with BACnet devices was one of the key features that led to the adoption of BACnet as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard. International cooperation is an important part of the maintenance of BACnet. We maintain liaisons with the European standards body CEN, the Institute of Electrical Installation Engineers of Japan (IEIEJ), and with ABOK, ASHRAE's sister society in Russia. These are in addition to the interactions with the ISO member countries that participate in ISO/TC 205.
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