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
For news from previous years, click here:
- First BACnet Book Published in Germany! (10/05) Karlsruhe, Germany. The first book entirely devoted to BACnet has been published in Germany. The author, Hans R. Kranz, is shown here at a book signing on August 31, 2005, in Karlsruhe. The book, in the German language, is entitled: "BACnet Gebäude-Automation 1.4" or "BACnet Building Automation, 1.4" and was published by the Promotor Verlag. The 440 page, 10 chapter book covers all the latest BACnet developments with particular attention to its deployment in German projects. German speakers should click here for more information. Apart from his years of service with Siemens, IBM and Honeywell, Hans has served on, or chaired, German building automation standards committees and working groups that are far too numerous to mention. He currently represents Germany on ISO/TC 205 and has worked diligently to make ISO 16484 a worldwide success. Congratulations, Hans!
- Largest BACnet Event of the Year! (10/05) Nashville, TN. The BACnet Conference and Expo was held October 23-25, 2005, in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference was designed to educate mechanical system design professionals, integrators and end users about the benefits of the BACnet protocol.
A review of the conference proceedings can be accessed through the conference Website: www.bacnetconference.org.
- BIG-RU Launch Set for September 15! (8/05) Moscow, Russia. Andrey Golovin, Director of ABOK's Intelligent Buildings Direction Development, has announced that the official launch of the BACnet Interest Group - Russia is set for September 15. Apart from ABOK itself, Cimetrics, Kieback and Peter, Sauter, Siemens and York have signed on as founding members. Much effort has been put into the creation of BIG-RU's bilingual (Russian and English) Website at www.bacnet.ru/en. The site features FAQ's, a comparison of BACnet and LON, and many other interesting items!
- BIG-EU's "BACnet Forum 2005" Scheduled for Sept. 8 and 9 (8/05) Berlin, Germany. BIG-EU's signature event for 2005, entitled "BACnet on the Move - Success Factors in Modern Building Automation", will take place in Berlin on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 8 and 9. Commemorating BACnet's ten year existence, the forum will be divided into three sessions. The first session will address "Efficient Building Automation with BACnet" while the topic of the second session will be "Added Value for Buildings using the BACnet Standard". The third session, on Friday, will address "BACnet Best Practices". Details of the all-German language Forum can be found at www.bacnetforum.org.
- Boston Plugfest Planned for September 14-16, 2005 (8/05) Boston, Massachusetts. The BMA has scheduled this year's BTL Plugfest. The event will be held at the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort in Danvers, Massachusetts. This is the sixth annual BACnet Interoperability Workshop and is hosted this year by Tour Andover Controls. Best known as a "Plugfest", this event permits vendors to test their BACnet products in a neutral and friendly environment with BACnet devices from other
vendors. Last year more than 75 BACnet engineers representing 22 companies attended the plugfest and improved their implementation of BACnet and testing methods.
This year the BTL has added round-table testing to complement the one-on-one testing sessions. In the
round-table test each BACnet vendor will participate as part of one ultra interoperating system! Prior to the plugfest the BTL-WG will hold meetings on September 12-13 at the Ferncoft Resort. The BTL-WG meeting room is also provided courtesy of Tour Andover Controls.
- ADT Sponsors BACnet Seminars in the UK (8/05) Sunbury-On-Thames, England. ADT Fire and Security will sponsor five presentations on BACnet in the UK, September 12 through 16. The events will be held in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. Representing North America will be Raymond Rae, VP of Delta Controls and BMA board member and Mike Newman of Cornell University, former SSPC chairman. To reserve space at one of the five seminars, call 0800 010 999 (option 3)in the UK.
- SSPC to Meet Again at Little Creek (7/05) Norfolk, Virginia. Once again the U.S. Navy has agreed to host a meeting of the BACnet committee working groups at the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base at Norfolk. The detailed schedule can be downloaded by clicking here. For additional information, please contact SSPC Chairman Bill Swan.
- Notes from the Denver SSPC Meeting (6/05) Denver, Colorado. At the ASHRAE Annual Meeting Jun 25-29, BACnet committee chair Bill Swan announced that Addendum a to ANSI/ASHRAE 135.1, the companion testing standard for BACnet, had completed public review with no comments. This means it will be published soon.
"This addendum is notable," said Swan, "because it is the beginning of an ongoing process: as the committee adds new features to BACnet we will also be developing tests for those features."
Addendum b to ANSI/ASHRAE 135-2004 (BACnet) also completed public review shortly before the meeting. 14 comments were submitted and the BACnet committee began the process of studying and responding to them.
The BACnet committee approved the last of its responses to the 53 comments received from the public review of Addendum c, BACnet/WS, the BACnet Web services proposal. BACnet Web services are intended to integrate building automation systems with various enterprise applications.
"Experts from around the world submitted these comments," said XML Working Group chair Mike Newman. "We have adopted a number of the suggestions and are working on an improved revision of the BACnet Web services capability."
Representatives from three manufacturers of variable frequency drives (VFDs) joined the Applications Working Group to cooperatively help develop a standard BACnet profile for VFDs. This will be the first application-oriented profile developed by the Working Group and will provide the model for others to come.
The Internet Protocol Working Group, disbanded years ago when "Annex J" BACnet/IP was added to the BACnet standard, has been reformed to address and take advantage of new aspects of Internet communications developed and deployed in the intervening time.
During the meeting it was announced that a BACnet Interest Group - Russia (BIG-RU) has been formed under the auspices of ABOK, ASHRAE's sister society in Russia. BIG-RU will sponsor BACnet promotional and educational activities in Russia.
Other topics the BACnet committee is working on include standardized communications between energy utilities and BACnet systems, CCTV and access control data models, BACnet network security, and BACnet support for lighting controls.
- Germantown Meetings Wrap Up (5/05) Germantown, Maryland. For a full four-and-a-half days members of the BMA's BTL-WG and SSPC 135 working groups labored in the friendly confines of Montgomery College's Germantown campus. On Monday, April 25, it was the BTL-WG deliberating the on-going development of the open-source VTS testing tool and the BTL's testing program. On Tuesday the working group meetings began and, before the closing bell on Friday, seven WG's had conducted business. The Life Safety and Security WG met for a total of 2 days, the XML-WG for one, and the Applications, MSTP, Network Security, Object and Services and the Utilities Integration WGs all met for one-half day each. Many thanks are due to Mike Whitcomb of Montgomery College for the excellent accommodations!
- ALC Offers "CtrlSpecBuilder" to Help Engineers Specify BACnet Systems (3/05) Atlanta, Georgia. CtrlSpecBuilder (www.CtrlSpecBuilder.com) is a free online tool designed to help engineers create specifications for HVAC control systems. Based upon ASHRAE Guideline 13-2000, it creates non-proprietary specifications that follow CSI MasterFormat 95. (A MasterFormat 04 version is planned.) It also creates Sequences of Operation, Point Lists, and Schematics for most common HVAC equipment and incorporates these into the specification. This allows the engineer to identify information that must be available through BACnet, such as I/O points, setpoints, trends, and alarms. The completed specification can be downloaded as an MS-Word file, and the schematics can be downloaded as AutoCAD files.
CtrlSpecBuilder was developed by Automated Logic Corporation (ALC) in response to requests from consulting engineers for help specifying HVAC controls. Many of these engineers wanted BACnet systems but did not know how to specify them. Since BACnet is designed to promote interoperability and the engineers wanted competitive bids on their projects, ALC took the unusual step of preparing a non-proprietary specification. ASHRAE Guideline 13-2000 provided the framework, and ALC added options that allow the user to specify a Web-based UI, cellphone/PDA access, XML/SOAP data access, and other advanced features. Even BACnet is an option rather than a default, although over 90% of all users have requested this option. ALC tracks general statistics on the Website usage, such as the fact that it has been used to create over 13,000 specifications. Individual user files are protected by encryption, however, so neither ALC nor its dealers knows who is using the tool and what specifications they are creating.
- Notes from the Orlando SSPC Meeting (2/05) Orlando, Florida. The ASHRAE Winter meeting, February 5-9, featured sun, fun and two and a half days of SSPC meetings! Among the results, the BACnet committee approved two addenda for public review. Addendum b to ANSI/ASHRAE 135-2004 (BACnet) was approved by the committee for a second public review following changes made as a result of comments received in the initial public review. Addendum b contains new BACnet features related to advanced trend logging capabilities and specialized alarm handling capabilities important in Asian markets.
Addendum a to ANSI/ASHRAE 135.1-2003, the companion testing standard for BACnet, was approved for its first public review. This addendum defines new tests for features of BACnet that have been added since publication of the testing standard as well as refinements based on experience testing BACnet products.
"These addenda demonstrate the evolving nature of BACnet," said committee chair Bill Swan, "with new capabilities being added on an ongoing basis, and the subsequent need for expanding and enhancing the testing."
Other topics of discussion included BACnet network security, common data models for CCTV and access control, and BACnet support for lighting control applications.
A highlight of this meeting was a significant increase in international participation. Attendees came from the U.S., Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.
- ABOK to Form a BIG in Russia and... (2/05) Orlando, Florida. Plans to form a BACnet Interest Group - Russia (BIG-RU) under the auspices of ABOK, the Russian sister society to ASHRAE, were announced by Andrey Golovin, Head of ABOK's Collective Members Division. The two principal goals of the new BIG-RU will be:
ABOK also plans to establish a BACnet Training Center where interested parties can get hands-on experience with BACnet products as well as learn about BACnet from a more theoretical perspective.
- To promote BACnet technology in the Russian Building Automation and Control System (BACS) market via the Web, the ABOK Journal and other publications, conferences, seminars and exhibitions.
- To assist international BACnet companies in establishing business relationships with established Russian BACS companies, for the mutual benefit of both.
- A New BIG to Form in Sweden! (2/05) Orlando, Florida. Another piece of BIG news is that a steering committee has been assembled in Stockholm to form a new BACnet Interest Group in Sweden. Whether the group will cover only Sweden, or will be extended to embrace the other Scandinavian countries, remains to be seen. In any case, it is clear that interest in BACnet is on the rise in northern Europe. Meeting attendee Jan Risén of SWEDVAC, the Swedish Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers, reported that large BACnet projects have been completed in both Stockholm, Sweden and Trondheim, Norway, with several more on the drawing board!
- XML-WG Continues Work on BACnet/WS (2/05) Orlando, Florida. The XML Working Group continued its deliberation of comments received from the public review of BACnet/WS, the BACnet Web services proposal, which closed in December, 2004. The BACnet committee received 53 comments, and is reviewing and responding to each. Responses to some of the comments have already been approved, and some of the suggestions made have been adopted by the committee.
"We received high-quality comments from experts around the world," said XML-WG chair H. Michael Newman. "These comments will help us to refine and improve the BACnet Web services capability, which will be used to integrate building automation systems with enterprise applications."
- BACnet/Utilities Interfaces Discussed (2/05) Orlando, Florida. The Utilities Integration Working Group (UI-WG) made progress toward standardizing the interfaces between energy utilities and buildings with two of its proposals, both with their roots in ASHRAE Research Project 1011-RP, "Utility/Energy Management and Controls Systems Communication Protocol Requirements", having been approved by the group. One proposal provides a means for an organizational view of the objects in a BACnet device; the other defines a new load control object.
Another proposal still under discussion by the UI-WG makes use of the BACnet/WS Web services proposal by using the Web services as the standardized means by which the utilities would interact with buildings over the Internet.
[2004 News] [2003 News]
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