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NEWS ARCHIVE
 
This section contains news items from 1999 for your information. They are arranged with the most recent at the top, the oldest at the bottom.
 
Old BACnet News - 1999
 
  • BIG-AustralAsia (BIG-AA) to form! Earlier on this page it was announced that a BACnet Interest Group was to be formed in Australia.

    Now the organizers have decided to aim even higher and include interested parties from across Asia. For more details about BIG-AA, click here!
     
  • ENR: BACnet in the Top 125 Innovations of the Last 125 Years! Check out the October 18 issue of Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine. In celebration of their 125th year of publishing, ENR has selected what they consider the top 125 innovations in the construction industry. To be included, an item "had to be used extensively within the industry, advance methods of design and construction, overcome major challenges, cut costs and time, or improve job-site safety." In the "Buildings" category they selected "Integrated Systems" with the following description:

    "Interoperability has calmed the chatter of the Tower of Babble so that fire protection, security, lighting, power and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems can "talk" to each other. Integrated building systems, which rely on electronic controls, facilitate a smoother functioning, safer, more energy-efficient and even healthier indoor environment. Building system integration got a big boost in the 1990s with the introduction of the open protocol for building automation communications, called BACnet. The standard facilitates interoperability of the control of pumps, fans, boilers, air-handling units, fire detection systems and locks from different manufacturers." Thanks, ENR!
     

  • North Jersey ASHRAE Chapter Sponsors Seminar. Edison, NJ. A seminar entitled "BACnet: Freeing the End-User from Proprietary Building Control Systems" was held on March 15 and attended by about 40 engineers, owners, operators, vendors, and contractors. Hosted by PSEG Energy Technologies, the seminar featured talks by Mike Newman, SSPC 135 Chairman; Doug Mitchell, Director of Facilities at Fordham University; and Bill Miller, Facilities Manager at NYU. Mark McNeil, Manager of Network Services at Fordham, also contributed to the discussions. Newman gave an overview of BACnet and described current committee work. Mitchell, McNeil and Miller described why their respective universities have reached the conclusion that "BACnet is the way to go" and related some of their experiences. The afternoon session centered on a live demo of BACnet equipment from ABB, ALC, Alerton and Simplex.
     
  • Australians to form a BACnet Interest Group! Sydney, Australia. One result of the BACnet symposium held in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, September 30, 1999, is that those present have decided to embark on the formation of a BACnet Interest Group in Australia. The effort will be led by Jim Henry of Doust and Henry, one of the principal organizers of the symposium, the goal of which was to "raise awareness of BACnet in the Australian Mechanical and Electrical Services industries..." The sponsors of the seminar included Alerton Australia, Doust & Henry (distributor for Delta Controls), Kirby Refrigeration (distributor for Automated Logic Corporation), and Simplex International. Four SSPC 135 members, Steve Bushby, Carl Neilson, Mike Newman, and Bill Swan, participated in the symposium which featured prepared talks on various aspects of BACnet, an interoperability demonstration, and a roundtable panel discussion. For more information on the nascent BIG-Australia, contact Jim Henry via e-mail, telephone 61 2 4323 4800 or FAX 61 2 4323 4801!
     
  • BIG-NA Fall Meeting a Great Success! The fall meeting of the BACnet Interest Group - North America (BIG-NA) was held Tuesday, September 21, 1999, at Purdue University. Attended by about 30 enthusiastic people from around the country and as far away as Japan, the meeting featured a status report by Mike Newman, SSPC Chairman, a user discussion, and the adoption of a set of by-laws which will guide the operations of the group in the future. For details, refer to the BIG-NA website!
     
  • Vendor IDs Hit the 50 Mark! H I Solutions of Kennesaw, Georgia, has become the fiftieth organization to be awarded a BACnet Vendor ID. These numeric identifiers allow vendor-proprietary messages to be distinguished and are also an indication of the growing interest in implementing BACnet in commercial products. Click here for the complete listing of IDs.
     
  • Addendum 135b to be Publicly Reviewed. Addendum 135b will begin a 60-day public review on September 8, 1999. The addendum proposes 17 "Independent Substantive Changes" to BACnet which include new Multi-state Value, Trend Log, and Averaging object types and two new services, ReadRange and UTCTimeSynchronization. The addendum also refines and enhances several other BACnet features pertinent to alarm processing and scheduling.
     
  • Region XII CRC Featured BACnet Tech Session. The Region XII Chapters Regional Council, held in Tampa, Florida, featured a half-day presentation on BACnet. The speakers were Mike Newman, SSPC Chairman; Steve Bushby, SSPC Vice-Chairman; and Bob Lutz, Alerton Technologies. Attended by about 50 people, the seminar covered a wide range of information including the current state of BACnet and its on-going development, news about the companion conformance testing standard (see below), and descriptions of a number of "high profile" BACnet projects.
     
  • BIG-NA Website Adds New Features. The website www.big-na.org hosted by BACnet Interest Group - North America (BIG-NA) has added several new features to improve communications between BACnet users. These include a "chat room", "user forum", and a "newsgroup". There is also a placeholder for the eventual display of various BACnet system control diagrams. And don't forget the BIG-NA fall meeting! Details at the bottom of this page.
     
  • The Automator - A New E-pub - Debuts. The Automator, a new web periodical, has just begun publishing at www.automatedbuildings.com. Edited by Ken Sinclair, of Vancouver Island-based Internet Building Automation Resources, the new e-magazine will feature articles and information on all aspects of automated building technology including, of course, BACnet. The current issue, for example, features two BACnet "success stories" dealing with installations at the Field Museum in Chicago and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "K-Division" headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta.
     
  • BACnet Conformance Testing Standard Recommended for Public Review. SSPC 135 voted unanimously on June 20, 1999, in Seattle to recommend public review of a companion standard to BACnet entitled "Testing Conformance to BACnet." The proposed new standard, to be known as Standard 135.1, describes in detail how to test devices to make sure that their claimed BACnet functionality has been correctly implemented. It is expected that the proposed standard will be used both by BACnet manufacturers seeking to verify their own implementations and by third party testers as part of a BACnet certification program. "The completion of the public review draft of the testing standard represents a huge step toward creating a viable certification program for BACnet, something that has been desired by both suppliers and users of BACnet equipment since the beginning, especially in Europe," said Steven T. Bushby of NIST, Vice-Chairman of the SSPC.
     
  • Life Safety and Security Capabilities also Recommended for Public Review. The SSPC also voted in Seattle to recommend public review of two new BACnet objects and one new service that will facilitate the use of BACnet with fire, life safety, and security systems. One of the new objects models the functionality of life safety devices such as fire alarm panels, pull stations, and smoke detectors. The second object allows for consolidating groups of such devices into "zones." The new service will allow users to interact with both devices and zones to the extent desired or permitted by fire and life safety regulations and codes. "The effect of these enhancements should be to further improve the acceptance of BACnet as the protocol of choice for integrating fire, life safety, and security systems with HVAC and other building systems such as lighting," said SSPC member Pat Sheridan of Simplex.

    The SSPC also approved a new procedure for backing up and restoring BACnet devices in an interoperable way so that users will be able to maintain a set of backup files for all their devices, independent of manufacturer. According to H. Michael Newman of Cornell University, Chairman of the SSPC, "the new procedures will become part of BACnet Addendum 135c. We expect it to enter public review later this year together with some long-awaited enhancements that that we hope will help the many designers who want to specify interoperable, multivendor BACnet systems."
     

  • ASHRAE Region X CRC Features BACnet Technical Seminar. A day-long BACnet seminar was held on April 29, 1999, in Stockton, CA, as part of the Region X Chapters Regional Conference. The presenters were H. Michael Newman, Cornell University; Mike DeNamur, Trane; Marty Applebaum, ESS Engineering; and Gerry Hull, Automated Logic Corporation.
     
  • BIG-Europe's Website Nears Completion. BIG-Europe has launched its website at www.big-eu.org. The website is presently bilingual with information presented in both English and German. The German portion of the site is complete and only a few pages of the English portion are still "under construction." Congratulations to our European colleagues!
     
  • ISH 1999 is in the Books. The International Trade Fair Sanitation Heating Air Conditioning (ISH), held as always in Frankfurt, Germany, is now history. The largest exhibition of its kind in the world, this year's fair featured, among other things, a BACnet booth organized by BIG-Europe and a booth jointly sponsored by Alerton and ISC featuring a variety of BACnet offerings. By all reports, both booths were well attended. In the photo, Nils Meinert, Siemens L&S Division and President of BIG-Europe, discusses the show with a booth staffer.
     
  • January 23-25, 1999. SSPC 135 Meets in Chicago.
    Amidst the frenzy of the ASHRAE Winter Meeting, SSPC 135 met for 2½ days of intensive deliberations. The first achievement of the meeting was the unanimous vote to recommend to the Standards Project Liaison Subcommittee (SPLS) the publication of Addendum 135a (BACnet/IP) as an ASHRAE standard. The second significant achievement of the meeting was the unanimous vote to recommend to SPLS that Addendum 135b (17 Independent Substantive Changes to BACnet) be made available for public review. The document, which includes new Multi-state Value, Trend Log, and Averaging object types and two new services, ReadRange and UTCTimeSynchronization, also refines and enhances several other BACnet features. A final accomplishment was the unanimous vote of the SSPC to officially approve the title, purpose, and scope of our proposed companion standard for testing conformance to BACnet.
     
    Of course, the meeting was not all drudgery. Here some BACneteers meet the Press! Shown wearing their BACnet caps (generously provided by Automated Logic Corporation to the attendees at the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) are, left to right, Steve Bushby, SSPC Vice-Chairman; BJ Spanos, ASHRAE Communications Specialist; Mike Newman, SSPC Chairman; Bill Swan, SSPC Secretary; and Tony Giometti, ASHRAE Manager of Communications and Programs.
     
  • Chicago, January 1999. BACnet Interest Group - North America (BIG-NA) Officially Launched!
    With the distribution of 3000 invitations to "Come join a revolution...", BIG-NA was officially launched during the ASHRAE meeting and exposition in Chicago. The purpose of the group is to provide BACnet users a forum to exchange information, discuss system design decisions, get questions answered, and network with peers. Among the "founding fathers" who attended the Chicago meeting were Tom Ertsgaard and Glenn Lelko of Penn State and Carl Ruther and Chia Han of the University of Cincinnati.
     
  • January 18-19, 1999. BIG-Europe's Multilingual BACnet Symposium a Success! BIG-Europe hosted a two-day BACnet symposium in Frankfurt, Germany, the site of BIG's founding last May. The first day's presentations were in German, the second day's in English. A number of technical BACnet topics were covered along with updates on the Parliament and Treptowers projects in Berlin and issues concerning the design of BACnet systems. Speakers included Nils Meinert, Volker Röhl, René Quirighetti, Peter Fischer, Christian Müller, Hans Symanczik, Wolfgang Winkler-Sümnick, Karl Leber, and Siegfried Weikmann.
For news from previous years, click here: [1998 News]