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 Forum 2009 Beijing" Attendees Enthusiastic! (10/09) Beijing, China. A crowd of some 160 enthusiastic participants filled the ballroom of the China People's Palace in Beijing to take part in the first BACnet Forum in China. The day was filled with 18 presentations from speakers from North America, Europe and Asia (see program) along with a product exhibition of BACnet equipment from 8 suppliers, all of whom were members of the newly-formed BIG-CN, formed the previous afternoon. These included ABB, Contemporary Controls, Delta, JCI, K&P, Reliable, Sauter, and Siemens.
H. Michael Newman, Cornell University, the first chairman of the ASHRAE BACnet committee, greeted the attendees and gave a keynote talk on the "Success Story of the BACnet Protocol" (you can download the presentation (in PPS format) here). The Forum was hosted by the Intelligent Building Development Centre of Science and Technology Committee of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the P.R.C., BACnet International and BIG-EU. The organizers in Beijing were MarDirect and the Instrumentation Technology and Economy Institute of China (ITEI) in cooperation with the Intelligent Building Branch of the China Construction Industry Association, Technical Committee 124 on Industry Process Measurement and Control of the Standardization Administration of China (SAC/TC 124) and the Intelligent Building and Building Automation Committee of the China Automation Association. This broad participation was certainly one of the keys to the Forum's success!
At the conclusion of the Forum, the organizers sponsored a quiet dinner in the hotel for some of the travelers. Here, from left to right, Ding Lu (ITEI), Ivy Pan (MarDirect-China), Li Yumin and Wang Chunxi (both of ITEI) celebrate a toast to a job well done! The next forum in China is expected to take place in Shanghai in 2010.
- New BIG Forms in China! (10/09) Beijing, China. The long-awaited formation of a BACnet Interest Group in China has now come to pass! BIG-CN held its initial meeting on October 19, 2009 at the China People's Palace Hotel in Beijing. The principal order of business was the election of officers. The photo shows Ivy Pan of MarDirect-China and Douglas Chan of Delta Control's Beijing office, getting ready to tabulate the ballots. The top four vote-getters were selected as the initial officers and the remaining nominees agreed to serve on an Advisory Board, similar to the organization of BIG-EU. The elected officers were: Richard Yu, Reliable Controls; Wang Jiejun, Thermokon; Jacky Xu, Honeywell/Alerton; and Mu Yanping, ABB. The Advisory Board will be initially comprised of: Douglas Chan, Delta; Ma Duan Ning, Johnson Controls; Henry Zhang, Sauter; and Hans Symanczik, Kieback & Peter. Additional organizations that participated in the kick-off meeting were: Automated Logic, Contemporary Controls, the Instrumentation Technology and Economy Institute, SAIA, Siemens and TridonicAtco. MarDirect-China, which was instrumental is arranging for the formation of BIG-CN, has agreed to serve as the BIG's secretariat. Congratulations to all who helped make the launch of BIG-CN a reality!
- BI PlugFest 2009 Draws 38 Companies! (10/09) Atlanta, GA. "PlugFest 2009," the tenth annual BACnet Interoperability Workshop, took place this year at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia on October 13-15 and was sponsored by BACnet International. More than 86 BACnet engineers (of which 9 were first-time attendees) represented 46 teams and 38 different companies. This year's participants were: A.O. Smith, ABB, Inc., Aircuity, American Auto-Matrix, Automated Logic Corporation, Blue Ridge Technologies/Lumisys, Carrier Corporation, Chipkin Automation Systems Inc., Contemporary Controls, Cylon Controls Ltd., Delta Controls, Distech Controls, Eagle Technology, Inc., Ebtron, Inc., FieldServer Technologies, Fr. Sauter AG, Honeywell Analytics, Honeywell International, Honeywell Life Safety-Notifier, Honeywell/Alerton, ITT Corp, Johnson Controls, Inc., KMC Controls, LOYTEC electronics GmbH, Lutron Electronics, Phoenix Controls, PolarSoft, Inc., Red Lion Controls, Reliable Controls Corporation, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Touch-Plate Lighting Controls, Trane, Tridium, TSI Incorporated, Viconics Electronics Inc. and WattStopper.
- Facilities Decision Conference & Expo Features BACnet Track (9/09) Las Vegas, NV. BACnet International and Trade Press Media, publishers of Building Operating Management, partnered to produce the 2009 Facility Decisions Conference and Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center from September 22-23. The event attracted some 1,300 building automation professionals and top-level facility decision-makers as well as nearly 200 leading industry suppliers. The conference offered general presentations, targeted learning sessions and workshops, a "Solutions Exchange" session, and an exhibit hall. You can download the event brochure here. In addition, BACnet International presented awards to four outstanding BACnet volunteers:
- Steve Bushby, NIST, received the "Distinguished Service" award. Steve has been involved with BACnet since 1987, more or less continuously. He served as secretary of the BACnet committee for 8 1/2 years, during the time of its drafting, as it grew to its initial 512-page length. He then served as vice-chair for five years and then as chair for five years. He has been chairing BACnet International's steering committee since the beginning. He has also served, and is still serving, as the convener of ISO/TC 205/WG 3, the ISO working group that is responsible for the international standardization of BACnet (ISO 16484-5 and -6).
- Ben Dorsey, KMC Controls, received the "Cornerstone" award. Ben, a member of the Marketing Committee, leads the publications sub-committee. This group is presently focused on the new BACnet International Journal. This quarterly publication is slated to have its first issue in January 2010, in time for the AHR Expo.
- Kent Gorrie, Reliable Controls, received the "Scarlet Pimpernel" award in appreciation of his tireless efforts and outstanding contributions to the BACnet International website and community. This award title seemed to fit Kent as the phrase "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is typically used to describe someone who is everywhere, often when you least expect them. This definitely describes Kent's level of engagement and contribution to the BACnet International community.
- Roy Kolasa, Honeywell, received the 2009 "Volunteer of the Year" award. Roy has been an active and engaged member of the marketing committee since its inception and recently accepted the position as BACnet International's Education Committee Chair. Roy has been instrumental in content for presentations at conferences as well as a driving force in overall marketing committee activities.
- BTL Seeks New Manager! (8/09) Atlanta, GA. BACnet International is seeking someone to take on the job of managing the BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL). The BTL is responsible for the testing and listing of BACnet products worldwide. Lori Tribble has served admirably for several years but has recently decided to move on. Thanks, Lorrie, for your hard work! Among the required qualifications are: a strong understanding of the BACnet standard and the test process; good interpersonal, inter-corporate communication skills; strong management and organizational skills; ability to respond to customer emails immediately and follow-up when necessary; and being a self-starter that can handle doing multiple types of tasks at the same time. Further information can be found here.
- New Building Automation Integration Book Available! (7/09) Upper Marlboro, MD. The American Technical Publishers (ATP) in partnership with the National Joint Apprenticeship Training Center (NJATC) have released a new book titled "Building Automation Integration with Open Protocols". This book offers a comprehensive education in principles of data communications in general with specific focus on both BACnet and LonWorks in theory and practice. Although intended primarily for Network Technicians, the text is suitable as a primer for Technical Support, Product Management and Product Developers to gain a broad background in these technologies. The BACnet chapters and much of the foundation material was authored by David Fisher, President of PolarSoft Inc., a long time champion of BACnet, and an ongoing contributor to the development of the BACnet standard.
The book may be ordered directly from the ATP website.
- Louisville Meeting Focuses on Smart Grid (6/09) Louisville, KY. The "Smart Grid" was one of the hot topics at the ASHRAE Annual Meeting in June. At its five-day meeting, the BACnet committee considered, among many other things, the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 and how BACnet technologies can be employed to aid this important national effort which is being led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The SSPC's Utilities Integration Working Group has, for years, been engaging utility companies and working with national labs on grid-related technologies such as real-time pricing and automated demand response. This working group is well positioned to lead BACnet's efforts as the nation works toward the creation of an interoperable Smart Grid. With this new responsibility, the group is being re-chartered as the Smart Grid Working Group (SG-WG). The convener of the SG-WG is also the leader of NIST's Building to Grid (B2G) Domain Expert Working Group, and the SSPC expects to continue to work closely with NIST, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and other public and private industry organizations as the working group expands its focus to include all aspects of Smart Grid, which reaches not only outward to the utilities but also inward to buildings and homes.
Aiding this effort is an update to BACnet's network security specifications. After four public review cycles, the SSPC finally recommended for publication Addendum-135-2008g. This addendum adds state-of-the-art digital signatures and encryption (SHA-256/HMAC and AES) to enable the creation of FIPS-compliant secure communications. This technology will be available on all BACnet media types and joins the capabilities of the certificate-based SSL/TLS that can be employed when using BACnet Web Services (BACnet/WS). Together, these technologies will serve the high security needs of the Smart Grid initiatives.
BACnet has been communicating on standard IP networks for more than ten years now. To ensure that BACnet continues to integrate well into corporate infrastructures and to expand it into the emerging market areas enabled by ubiquitous IP networking, the committee has formed a new working group to investigate the opportunities for adopting more key capabilities and best practices from the Information Technology industry. This group will be working to facilitate the continued convergence of the IT and Building Automation infrastructures.
Also at this meeting the committee advanced ten addenda to final publication stage, created four new addenda for first public review, and revised six addenda for additional public review. See the Addenda link for more details.
With these activities, BACnet is showing its key strengths. It is both a mature technology and an ever-changing one. Driven by an open consensus-driven industry effort, BACnet always adapts to changing needs without losing the stable core that has ensured interoperability since 1995.
- SSPC Meeting Wraps Up in Germantown! (5/09) Germantown, MD. Twenty SSPC BACneteers from Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. met in the new Goldenrod Building on the Montgomery College campus. One goal of the meeting was to catch up on the dozens of proposals that have been moved forward from the working groups to the full SSPC. Another was to deal with the hundreds of comments received during the last round of public reviews, 11 of which closed on May 4. Chairman Dave Robin has also announced that the SSPC will have 2 full days of plenary meetings at the committee's June meeting in Louisville, KY.
- SSPC Meets for 7th Time in Germantown! (4/09) Germantown, MD. Mike Whitcomb and Montgomery College will again host the SSPC on its scenic Germantown campus, this time in a new facility, directly across from the hotel. The meeting begins on Monday, May 4 and concludes on Friday, May 8. The following links provide the Meeting Info and Meeting Schedule.
- Number of BACnet Vendor IDs Continues to Climb! (3/09) Ithaca, NY.
A recent feedback question asked how the number of BACnet Vendor IDs had been growing year by year. While the database showed the identity of the ID holder, there was no indication of when the ID was actually issued. This information was, however, in the original correspondence between ASHRAE and the applicant. An hour or so of data entry later and - voila! - this chart emerged. Interest in BACnet is clearly on the rise! Starting from the original 22 IDs issued in September, 1995, to the present 350 IDs, as of March, 2009, the rate of growth has been impressive. Now if only the world economy looked like this...
- BIG-EU / VDI BACnet Training Scheduled for 2009. (2/09) Berlin, Germany.
BIG-EU and VDI (the Association of German Engineers) have been conducting BACnet training seminars since the year 2000! In the past 10 years approximately 350 project designers, developers, facility managers, product managers and decision makers have been trained in the technical basics of BACnet and the methods used to specify BACnet projects. Training sessions are held 2 or 3 times a year in Germany. The photo shows instructor Frank Schubert, MBS Software, at the February seminar in Berlin. Instructor Hans Kranz, Haustechnik Automation Kranz, was the photographer.
The first part of the training course, conducted by Frank, covers the BACnet Data Link Layers, Objects and Services, Alarming, Scheduling, Trending and Device- and Network management as well as functional specifications for projects to achieve the best possible interoperability (PICS, BIBBS and Device Profiles). The second part of the course (specifying BACnet projects) is presented by Hans and is based on the German translation of NISTIR 6392 ("GSA Guide to Specifying Interoperable Building Automation and Control Systems Using ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-1995") with additions related to the latest revisions of BACnet and the specifics of European laws and regulations.
Training sessions in 2009 are scheduled for:
June 23 -24 in Stuttgart
September 29-30 in Düsseldorf
For further information and registration visit http://www.vdi-wissensforum.de and in the "Suche nach Veranstaltungen" box search for "BACnet".
- 2009 BACnet European Plugfest Announced! (1/09) Helsinki, Finland. The 4th BIG-EU Interoperability Workshop, more commonly referred to as the BACnet European Plugfest, is being sponsored and organized this year by ABB and will be held at its drives factory in Helsinki, Finland.
The three-day BIG-EU event, from April 22 to 24, is intended to facilitate interoperation of BACnet products and conformance to the BACnet standard.
The 2009 BIG-EU Plugfest promotes the further improvement of BACnet devices' interoperability by bringing together some 30 manufacturers or vendors of a multitude of BACnet devices. The number of European and U.S. BACnet specialists, developers and engineers is expected to exceed 60. The Plugfest offers the participants an excellent forum for testing individual products and new functionalities with each other in a multi-vendor environment. The event also gives the participating companies the chance to obtain the latest information on the BACnet standard and conformance testing, ensuring that the members of the BACnet community are all working together towards a harmonized protocol.
"The BACnet protocol is dynamic and under continuous development. This generates challenges for developers of BACnet devices but, above all, opens up exciting new opportunities for creating innovative products and solutions in building automation. The BACnet community is open and the community's joint objective is to create awareness of BACnet and develop even more user-friendly products ," explains Teemu Heikkilä, one of ABB's BACnet experts.
For complete information about the Plugfest, including a registration form, please click here.
- BACnet-2008 is Published! (1/09) Chicago, IL. BACnet-2008 is published! Four years of addenda have been rolled up into a new complete version of the standard. This new publication includes seven addenda that add BACnet/Web Services and new objects for Event Log, Trend Log Multiple, Load Control, and Access Door. Never standing still, however, the committee has eleven more addenda in process for the 2008 version of 135 and an additional four for 135.1, our companion testing standard. "Many thinks to Bill Swan, the outgoing chair, for all his work to get this milestone version to publication," said Dave Robin, the new chair of the BACnet committee.
Some exciting news from Russia. The BACnet Interest Group - Russia (BIG-RU) was recently asked by the Moscow State Construction University to prepare a BACnet training course at the university which will become a required part of the curriculum. "We estimate that at least 100 students will go through the course every year, and we expect that at least 50 of those will go into the industry experienced with BACnet," said Andrey Golovin, leader of the BIG-RU.
BACnet is also very active in Japan. "The Green project of the graduate school/Faculty of the University of Tokyo will establish an intelligent facility management system with advanced ICT technologies , and is planning an integrated BACS to research how to reduce energy consumption to 30% by 2012 and 50% by 2030 at the University of Tokyo," reported Takeji Toyoda, liaison to the BACnet committee from the Institute of Electrical Installation Engineers of Japan (IEIEJ).
An important unification of testing methods will be forthcoming now that BACnet International's BACnet Testing Labs and BACnet Interest Group - Europe (BIG-EU)'s TGTC have created a common working group. They will be producing a single testing procedure, based on the tests in ASHRAE 135.1-2007, which both labs will work from in the future.
After an extended period to allow for some actual implementations to be prototyped, the BACnet Network Security architecture will be going out for its fourth public review as Addendum g, bringing state-of-the-art digital signatures and encryption to BACnet, enabling security-critical applications to use a standard protocol.
Developed in collaboration with the IEIEJ, the Global Group Object will be going out for its second public review in Addendum p. This extends the concept of the Group Object to monitor and report on changes in data collected from multiple external devices.
An enhanced Lighting Output Object will begin its third public review in Addendum i, and a few additions made to the XML Data Formats will cause it to go out for its second public review in Addendum t.
A new set of "Value Objects", proposed in Addendum w, complete the data representation capabilities of BACnet. New objects like String Value Object, and Unsigned Value Object, enable more opportunities to present data in a standard, rather than proprietary, manner. In addition, the new Time Value Object enables the definition of an extension to BACnet scheduling for non-absolute times, allowing schedules to reference calculated times like sunrise/sunset.
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