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:
- BACnet at the Zugspitze Summit! (11/08) Dortmund, Germany. BIG-EU has just announced the publication of the ninth edition of the BACnet Europe Journal. The articles in this 44-page edition include: BACnet at the Zugspitz Summit, Flexibility at the Berlin O2 Arena, Maximum Comfort at British Multiplex Cinemas, Energy Efficiency and Comfort at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and Recording Measurements with the Trend-Log Object among others. There are also reviews of 7 new BACnet products, a section dedicated to Highlights for Developers and Users, and much more! You can download your own copy of the Journal here.
- ASHRAE Journal Publishes "BACnet Today" (11/08) Atlanta, GA. This year's BACnet supplement to the ASHRAE Journal, "BACnet Today", features nine articles covering an impressive range of topics, from using the Wireshark protocol analyzer to verify or troubleshoot the operation of BACnet networks to case studies of BACnet applications at Montgomery College, the University of Minnesota, and Loyola. Two other articles present case studies of some important Canadian projects, while still other articles describe the BACnet situation in Europe and the status of BACnet's new lighting control capabilities. This edition of "BACnet Today" marks the seventh consecutive year of these supplements! Visit our Bibliography link to download your own copies of the articles.
- DuServe Dubai World Central Presents 3-Day BACnet Seminar in Dubai (10/08) Dubai, UAE. The DuServe division of Dubai World Central hosted a 3-day seminar on BACnet in Dubai, October 7-9, 2008. The title of the seminar was "BACnet: The Open Platform For Building System Integration" and was held at the exclusive Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. The seminar was taught by David Fisher, President of PolarSoft Inc., a long time champion of BACnet, and leading figure in the ongoing development of the BACnet standard. The seminar was attended by many consulting and specifying engineers, government and commercial property developers from all over the Middle East, including the UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Topics included a comprehensive Introduction to BACnet objects, services, LANs, alarming, scheduling, trending, proprietary interfaces, integration and system management, workstation software, related BACnet applications outside HVAC, IP infrastructure, live demonstrations of BACnet tools and devices, and nearly half a day of introduction to CSI MasterFormat specification focusing on BACnet interoperability and integration specifying techniques.
With over $500 billion in government and private development projects underway in Dubai, including the world's largest airport and tallest buildings, BACnet is figuring prominently in the master plans of many of these projects. With a burgeoning interest in comprehensive interoperation and integration, this seminar was timely and helped to foster better understanding about BACnet's benefits and issues.
The progressive management of DuServe DWC deserves compliments for organizing this extremely successful event, as well as the local Automated Logic and Alerton/Honeywell branches in Dubai who donated equipment and time.
- Ninth Annual Plugfest Held in St. Paul (10/08) St. Paul, MN. BACnet International held its 9th annual BACnet Interoperability Workshop in St. Paul, MN, October 7th-9th, sponsored by Trane. This workshop was designed to be an informal environment in which engineers could bring their BACnet implementations for informal testing with other BACnet implementations and thus foster communications within the BACnet community and promote the interoperability of BACnet devices.
This year the event was attended by 98 engineers from 29 different companies. 48 different teams participated in one-on-one test sessions for 2 1/2 days. In addition to the test sessions, training sessions were offered on the second day providing information on preparing for testing, creating interoperable implementations and new BACnet features. Prior to the workshop event, BI's BTL Working Group held its quarterly meeting to discuss BTL testing.
Participants this year were: ABB, Aircuity, Automated Logic, Alerton/Honeywell, American Auto-Matrix, Carrier Corporation, Contemporary Controls, Cimetrics, Delta Controls, DriSteem Co., Fr. Sauter AG, Honeywell - EBI, Honeywell Life Safety-Notifier, InterWorking Labs, Johnson Controls, KMC Controls, Lennox Industries, Lithonia Lighting, LOYTEC, Lumisys, McQuay, Phoenix Controls, PolarSoft, Reliable Controls, Siemens, TAC, Trane, Trend, and Viconics
- ALI Presents 1/2-Day BACnet Course at Chillventa (10/08) Atlanta, GA. The ASHRAE Learning Institute is sponsoring a half-day seminar at the Chillventa exposition in Nuremberg, Germany, on October 15, 2008, from 9:30 to 12:30, entitled "An Introduction to BACnet". The course will be presented in German by Hans Kranz of HAK Consulting, a leading proponent of BACnet in Germany. According to the course description: "This course helps attendees understand the basic elements required to successfully plan for BACnet. Attendees learn that interoperability covers a wide range of possible options, including how to simplify interoperability by defining specific areas where interoperability is required. Also discussed are the basic components of any multi-vendor or multi-discipline BACnet control system, how different systems can be merged together using BACnet, and how BACnet facilitates the integration of older systems with BACnet-based systems."
- BI Awards Presented at the GSBC (9/08) Dallas, TX. One of the events marking the just concluded BACnet International / BNP Publishing "Green Sustainable Building Controls" conference was the presentation of six awards aimed at recognizing contributions to the ever growing BACnet community. Presented by BI President Andy McMillan (Teletrol), the awards were: 2008 Sponsor of the Year presented to Trane "in appreciation of sponsorship and outstanding support for the 9th Annual BACnet Interoperability Workshop"; 2008 New Member of the Year presented to Kele, Inc. "in appreciation of their support and promotion of BACnet as the global standard to connect the dots in building automation";
2008 Volunteer of the Year presented to Michael R. Wilson (Lumisys) "for his tireless efforts and outstanding contributions to the BACnet International community"; 2008 Titan of Testing Award
presented to Carl Neilson (Delta) "in appreciation of his outstanding prior service as BTL-WG Chair and his ongoing contributions to BACnet testing"; Distinguished Service Award presented to Mike Newman (Cornell University) "in appreciation of his many years of dedicated service and support for the BACnet community"; and, finally, a Distinguished Service Award presented to William "Bill" Swan (Honeywell/Alerton)
"in appreciation of his dedication and support for the global BACnet community". Congratulations to all of the award winners!
- BACnet China Journal Makes its Debut! (9/08) Dortmund, Germany. The first edition of a new publication, the BACnet China Journal has made its appearance. With articles from contributors in China, Europe and North America, the full-color magazine was produced by MarDirect Marketing and follows the same format as the BACnet Europe Journal and the BACnet France Journal. The new publication is bound to stimulate interest in BACnet in this important market. Congratulations to everyone involved!
- "Alarm Summit" Wraps Up; SSPC Meetings Begin (9/08) Atlanta, GA. Nearly 20 die-hard BACneteers spent the weekend of September 12-14 discussing the intricacies of BACnet's alarm and event capabilities. The idea was to identify areas that could potentially be clarified, simplified or just simply improved. In the order of importance as determined by a vote of those present were these topics: Fault Reporting, Algorithms Allowed By Object Types, Enabling / Disabling of Either Alarm Processing or Notification, Generic Alarm Notifications, Alarm Forwarding, Alarm State Machines / Algorithms, Alarm Registration, Alarm Summarization, Acknowledging, Alarm Configuration Security, Single vs. Multiple Algorithms per Object, Event Notification Parameters, Alarm Escalation, Alarm Grouping, New Alarm Object Properties, Alarm Object vs. Notification Class Data, Alarm Generation Overhead, Alarm Timestamps and Alarm Priority. As you might suspect, there was not enough time to completely discuss each of these subject areas. Nonetheless, the consensus was that significant progress was made in identifying topics for further discussion and possible approaches for improving the standard. During the week of September 15-19 the SSPC working groups will meet at Georgia Tech and the entire committee will meet for one entire day.
- BACnet Marketing Survey Underway! (8/08) Atlanta, GA. BACnet International has launched an eagerly-awaited survey to gauge the current state of BACnet's position in the global building automation and controls market. The survey is intended to answer these questions, among others: What is BACnet's market share? Where is BACnet being used? What are the trends in BACnet deployment?
To try to get the answers to such questions, two previous surveys were conducted, one in 2001, the other in 2003, by BI's predecessor, the BACnet Manufacturers Association. The present survey is intended to be the first of a series of annual surveys related to BACnet's position in the world market. The survey is being sent to all members of BI, holders of BACnet Vendor IDs with known email addresses, as well as to other BACnet manufacturers around the world. If you would like to participate, you can use this link to go to a page on the BI Website where you can download a PDF of the survey questions and also access a link to the confidential online interactive survey form, once you are ready to input your data.
- Sign Up for Plugfest 2008! (8/08) Atlanta, GA. The BACnet International BACnet Testing Laboratory Working Group invites manufacturers of BACnet products to attend the 2008 Interoperability Workshop October 7-9, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul, Minnesota. This is the ninth annual BACnet Interoperability Workshop and is hosted this year by Trane. The event permits vendors to test their BACnet products in a neutral and friendly environment with BACnet devices from other vendors. Last year more than 100 BACnet engineers representing 34 companies attended the workshop and improved their BACnet implementations and testing methods. Details of this year's workshop, a.k.a, "Plugfest", are now available here!
- SSPC 135 "Changes the Guard"! (6/08) Salt Lake City, UT. For only the fourth time in its history, the BACnet committee has a new chairman! In the photo, outgoing chairman Bill Swan, Alerton/Honeywell (right), passes the new, improved committee gavel to incoming chairman Dave Robin, Automated Logic Corporation. Dave, apart from his service as committee Vice-Chairman, has also been instrumental in the development of BACnet/Webservices, the network security addendum and, most recently, the new XML specification. Special thanks are due to Bill for his tireless work in shepherding a huge number of addenda through the development - public review - publication process during his four year term - as well as keeping numerous other balls in the air. Thanks, Bill!
The SSPC is also pleased to announce that Carl Neilson, Delta Controls (center), and Sharon Dinges, Trane (right), have agreed to assist Dave in the operation of the committee as Vice-Chair and Secretary, respectively. Carl has been a long-time major contributor to the BACnet effort including serving as Secretary, Convener of the Testing and Interoperability Working Group, and Co-Chairman of the BTL Working Group. Carl also holds the all-time record for developing and submitting the most change proposals since BACnet's inception, something on the order of 111 (so far)! Sharon, a System Applications Engineer with Trane, has been contributing her insights to the committee for many years and has been working with the Utility Integration, Objects and Services and Applications Working Groups.
- Salt Lake City Meeting Brings Multiple Advances (6/08) Salt Lake City, UT. One of the key developments during the BACnet committee's three and a half day meeting was the completion of a new standardized method for representing building data that will give BACnet new capabilities for communications between a diverse set of applications. A definition for an XML syntax that can be used to represent building data in a consistent, flexible and extensible manner, is now defined by Addendum t and was recommended for public review during the ASHRAE Annual Meeting which took place between June 21 and 23.
The eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is a popular technology in the data processing and communications worlds, based on its ability to model a wide range of data, and its ability to be transformed and extended. "With this new IT-friendly way of representing building data, we are opening up a whole range of possible new ways to share data. XML can be used for exchanging files between systems, integrating buildings with energy utilities, and expanding enterprise integration with richer Web services", said Dave Robin, incoming BACnet Chairman.
The committee also moved eight other addenda towards publication:
Addendum g, a new means for securing BACnet messages using updated encryption technologies, was recommended for another public review following an extended period of revision and analysis by the Network Security working group following the preceding public review.
The Life-Safety and Security Working Group, comprised of BACnet and physical security industry experts, recommended another public review for Addendum j, which proposes physical access control extensions for BACnet. "We received only nine comments on the previous public review," said working group convener David Ritter, "and they were all positive and constructive comments."
The Testing and Interoperability Working Group revised its definitions of several new types of BACnet operator workstations following the first public review of Addendum l last fall. "These definitions will not only allow users to specify the capabilities of different workstations, but are necessary for defining the tests done on those workstation by BACnet testing labs," said working group convener Carl Neilson.
Addenda h, r and s, all comprised of a number of independent changes, were also recommended for public review.
After reviewing the comments submitted for two addenda, the BACnet committee determined that Addenda b and m had passed spring public review and will be submitted for publication. Both addenda are comprised of a number of independent changes but include user-oriented extensions such as the Event Log object, which keeps a history of BACnet alarms in a standard fashion.
Also during the meeting outgoing BACnet Chairman Bill Swan announced the publication of BACnet 2008, incorporating the five addenda that have been approved since the publication of BACnet 2004. These are Addenda a, c, d, e, and f. These addenda, and public review drafts of the others, can be downloaded from our Addenda page.
The BACnet committee continues to work on a broad range of other items such as architectural and theatrical lighting controls, developing standard profiles for various building automation devices, CCTV control, and elevator monitoring.
- BI Announces Fall Conference in Dallas! (5/08) Atlanta, GA. BACnet International has announced this year's BACnet Conference entitled the Green Sustainable Building Controls Conference (GSBC). The three-day conference will take place in Dallas, Texas, at the Fairmont Dallas hotel from September 21-24 and will be co-sponsored, as last year, by Engineered Systems magazine. The GSBC's focus will be on green, sustainable building design, operations, integration, building automation, energy saving and lighting control. Owners and facility management professionals will attend to learn about new building technology, design and operation. BI is looking for papers for presentation on Monday, September 22, 2008, that focus on BACnet-related topics in the green, sustainable building area. More information is available at the conference Website!
- Fall Plugfest Announced (5/08) The next BTL Interoperability Workshop, also known as a "Plugfest", will take place this October 7-9, 2008, in St. Paul, Minnesota. This year's event will be hosted by Trane and held at the St. Paul Crowne Plaza Riverfront. For further information, please contact BTL Manager Lori Tribble.
- BIG-EU Celebrates "10 Years of Success!" (4/08) Frankfurt, Germany. BIG-EU knows how to celebrate its birthday! Following the close of business on April 9, 2008 at the Light+Building trade fair in Frankfurt, the stage was set at the BIG-EU booth for a great party. Two large and beautifully decorated birthday cakes (complete with pyrotechnic sparklers!), an extensive buffet, lots of champagne, beer, wine and even some specially prepared apricot schnaps, greeted the 100 or so revelers. And the cause was just: from its modest beginnings in 1998 with just 18 members, BIG-EU has grown into a powerhouse organization with 80 current members - and the rate of growth shows no sign of slowing.
It is worth noting some of BIG-EU's accomplishments. Apropos Light+Building, the BIG-EU booth has grown from a tiny corner of the hall to one of the largest and most well-attended booths at the show. The BACnet Europe Journal, published twice per year, has nearly doubled in size. The current edition is 64 full-color pages and features extensive coverage of Fraport AG's decision to deploy BACnet at Frankfurt International Airport, the third largest airport in Europe. The BEJ has recently been joined by a sister publication, the BACnet France Journal. The BIG-EU business office, MarDirect, is even considering extending its publishing reach to China with the possible publication of a similar BACnet China Journal later this year. Meanwhile, the BIG-EU Technical Working Group has continued to provide technical feedback, suggestions for improvement and clarification, and expertise to SSPC 135 and has thus made a significant contribution to BACnet's success not just in Europe but around the world. Finally, the organization has worked diligently to ensure that the BTL mark will be held in high regard through the establishment and on-going support of the BTL testing program. All in all, it truly has been "10 Years of Success!" Congratulations to all who have worked hard to make BIG-EU what it is today!
- 14 European Companies Earn Certification/BTL Mark! (4/08) Dortmund/Frankfurt, Germany.
The first round of European certification tests has been successfully concluded and appropriate certificates awarded along with the right to display the BTL mark. The formal award ceremony took place at the BIG-EU booth at the Light+Building trade fair in Frankfurt. Volker Röhl, President of the BACnet Interest Group Europe (BIG-EU) and Frank Bitter of WSPCert, the certification agency, made the presentations.
The following companies received the highly sought-after certification: ABB Oy Drives, Delta Controls, Fr. Sauter, Honeywell, HSC Regelungstechnik, Johnson Controls, Kieback&Peter, Neuberger Gebäudeautomation, Plüth Regelsysteme, Priva, Saia-Burgess Controls, Samson, Siemens and TAC.
In Europe, the certificates are taken as proof that the the BACnet conformance testing was conducted to the highest standards and is often required by specifiers and building owners. The certificates are considered evidence that the BACnet implementation tests were conducted by an independent and accredited testing laboratory.
The BTL mark is a visible confirmation of the certification. Discussions between BIG-EU and BACnet International are currently underway to coordinate the listing of tested products and to ensure the reciprocal recognition of the test results, whether the tests were conducted at the WSPLab in Germany or at the BTL lab in Mumbai.
- BIG-EU Booth at Light+Building Attracts Thousands! (4/08) Frankfurt, Germany. The BIG-EU booth at the European trade fair "Light+Building" has been a major attraction. For one thing, the booth is the largest BACnet booth ever at about 1800 square feet. But it is far more than the size that is so impressive. This year's booth features 31 exhibitors from 7 countries, all of whom have interoperating BACnet equipment on display. They are: ABB Automation Products, Alerton, Axima, Delta Controls, GFR, Honeywell, I.T.E.N.O.S., INGA, INH-GmbH/HHO-Automation, Johnson Controls Systems & Service, Kieback&Peter, MBS, Messner Gebäudetechnik, Neuberger Gebäudeautomation, Novar, Plüth Regelsysteme, Priva, Promotor Verlag, Regel Partners, Saia-Burgess, Samson, Sauter-Cumulus, SE-Elektronic, Siemens SBT, SysMik, TAC, Trane, Trend, WAGO Kontakttechnik, Wonderware and WSPLab. The view of the enthusiastic crowd is that BACnet has come an incredibly long way in Europe since BIG-EU was established 10 years ago. Happy Birthday, BIG-EU!
- Prototype Implementation of Network Security Addendum Sought (3/08) Atlanta, GA.
The Network Security Working Group of ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 135 (BACnet) has completed work on proposed Addendum g to add state-of-the-art network security technology to the BACnet standard.
Due to the scope of this addition, the Working Group desires that a phase of prototype implementations and in-depth specification review be completed before the addendum is submitted to ASHRAE for Publication Public Review. To download the Pre-Public Review draft, click here.
If you've been waiting on the sidelines, now is your chance to get involved. But please don't delay. We would like to have review comments by April 18, 2008 so that they may be considered at the next meeting of the Working Group in Germantown (see below). Prototype implementations may take longer to develop, of course, but there's no reason to delay starting. Every prototype is highly valued in0 this process. Even partial or limited implementations will help exercise the specification and will move us toward the goal of publishing a solid and interoperable standard. Questions on participating in the prototyping should be directed to the Convener of the Network Security Working Group.
- ASHRAE Announces 45-day Public Reviews of 8 Addenda (3/08) Atlanta, GA. Eight addenda to BACnet-2004 are now available for public review. These are: Addenda b, h, i, j, m, n, q and r. The subject details can be found on our Addenda page. The reviews will be the first to use ASHRAE's new Web-based comment system that allows reviewers to submit comments via an online form. Committee members will be able to review the comments online and circulate proposed responses for consideration and editing by other committee members before being voted on for approval to send to the original commenter. To access the ASHRAE standards page, click here.
- SSPC to Hold Spring Meeting (3/08) Germantown, MD. Once again SSPC 135 and its working groups will hold an interim meeting Monday through Friday, April 21 to April 25, 2008 in the friendly confines of the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College, thanks to the generosity of Mike Whitcomb and his staff. For additional information click here and/or view the Meeting Schedule.
- Association BACnet France Launches its Second Journal Edition (3/08) Saint Cloud, France. With the publication of its second, 28-page, full color BACnet France Journal, the Association BACnet France is making exemplary progress in the promotion of BACnet on French soil! According to Association President Jean-Daniel Napar, the association had a booth at the interclima+elec home and building trade show in Paris, February 5-8; is planning a translation of BACnet into French; and is planning to create a BACnet France Website later this year. Congratulations to all of our French colleagues who are making these things happen!
- Bill Swan Speaks at Indian Conference (2/08) Bangalore, India. SSPC Chairman Bill Swan spoke at a Confederation of Indian Industry conference on "Energy Efficiency in Building Design & Construction" as a panelist on energy efficient equipment and systems. His talk, "Building Automation and Green Buildings," presented an overview of current and proposed ASHRAE and LEED standards and the various ways in which BACnet systems help achieve the requirements of the standards and earn points toward LEED accreditation. During his stay, Bill's hosts took him on a tour of Bangalore including the imposing Vidhana Soudha which houses the Karnataka state legislature, across from it the red state High Court building (sharing photo with a BACnet hat), and everywhere Bangalore's infamous traffic jams.
- NYC Meeting Yields Record Number of Public Review Docs (2/08) New York, NY. During the ASHRAE Winter Meeting, the BACnet committee recommended public review for 10 addenda to the BACnet standard including Addendum q, to tunnel BACnet over ZigBee wireless networks. "This will lead to a significant reduction in the cost of installation at the sensor and controller level by reducing the amount of wired networking required in a building automation system," said Jerry Martocci (Johnson Controls), convener of the BACnet committee's Wireless Networking working group.
"Marrying these two technologies seemed obvious," said Martocci. "BACnet already had the object and services model designed specifically for building automation but no wireless network, and ZigBee had the wireless capabilities but no object model for building automation. We just had to put the two together to benefit from the synergies."
"The project to draft this addendum began almost two years ago," said BACnet Chairman Bill Swan, "with an intense three days of meetings between BACnet and ZigBee experts. During this time we learned about ZigBee's data communications and they learned about BACnet's networking and objects and services model. Together we looked at a number of approaches and discussed the pros and cons of each."
Martocci noted that for various technical reasons battery-operated devices, including sensors, will probably be ZigBee only, but that powered controllers would have BACnet/ZigBee capability. He also observed that the "mesh" networking among ZigBee nodes leads to self-healing networks, so that even if a link between two nodes is obstructed the "mesh" network can route around the obstructed link, leading to reliable networks.
In other developments, the BACnet committee worked towards approval of nine additional addenda during the meeting. "Only a few of these are going out for first public review," said Swan, "but it is our expectation that these are all likely to pass without significant comments."
One such addendum is Addendum j, support for physical access control. This was drafted by the Life Safety and Security working group, comprised of BACnet committee members and experts from the physical security industries. Public reviews of Addendum j have been announced in journals and other media serving the security industry, with long review periods to help ensure it gets the most complete review possible.
Another addendum being prepared for public review is Addendum i, support for lighting applications. This addendum was drafted by the Lighting Applications working group, comprised of representatives from lighting controls manufacturers and BACnet experts.
The BACnet committee is continuing to work on a broad range of other items such as integrating buildings and the energy utilities, developing standard profiles for various building automation devices, CCTV control, and elevator monitoring.
- BIG-Finland Hosts Introductory BACnet Seminar (1/08) Helsinki, Finland. The Finnish Society of Automation was the venue for BIG-FI's first introductory seminar on the concepts of BACnet on January 10, 2008. The seminar was led by Frank Schubert (MBS Software and BIG-EU) and was attended by 20 participants, the majority of whom were building system integrators. Thanks to Teemu Heikkilä (ABB) for the photo.
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