The BACnet® standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is expanding beyond hvac controls and into lighting applications and life safety systems.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-1995, “BACnet – A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks,” is the only open, consensus-developed standard in the building controls industry.

During the society’s 2001 winter meeting held in Atlanta, Jan. 27-31, a new working group for lighting control applications was formed. The group will work with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Lighting Controls Council and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North American (IESNA) to address lighting control needs, such as efficient operation.

In addition, a working group to develop enhancements for building/utility communications was formed, according to Steve Bushby, chair of the committee maintaining the standard.

“This effort will build on the results of an ASHRAE research project recently completed on this topic (RP-1011) and will address applications such as metering, load management, and price negotiation,” he said.

The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating (AHR) Exposition held concurrently with the ASHRAE winter meeting featured the largest interoperability demonstration of BACnet products ever held. Eighty-four products from 36 companies from North America, Europe, and Asia were interconnected, including a company from Korea where BACnet has become a national standard, according to Bushby.

Also attending meetings of the BACnet committee were delegations from the Institute of Electrical Installation Engineers of Japan (IEIEJ), CEN Technical Committee 247, the BACnet Interest Group – Europe (BIG-EU), the BACnet Interest Group – North America (BIG-NA), and the BACnet Interest Group – AustralAsia (BIG-AA).

This is the first time that the presidents of the three BACnet interest groups had met together, Bushby said.

In other business, the second public review for addendum c was approved. The addendum proposes refinements to BACnet’s alarm processing capabilities and adds features designed to facilitate the use of the protocol with fire, life safety, and security systems.

The committee discussed comments received during the recently closed public review of 135.1P, “Method of Test for Conformance to BACnet.”

“We previewed some of the public review comments, and we reached agreement on how to address the concerns that were raised,” Bushby said. “There were requests to add a few tests, delete one test, and change a few details of the others. I expect that we will be able to act quickly to respond to all comments from the public review.”

Standard 135.1P will be the technical basis for BACnet listing and certification programs in Europe and U.S.

At the Expo, the BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA™) and BIG-EU announced an international testing and listing agreement for BACnet compliant products.

A memorandum of understanding defining common testing tools, submission procedures, test procedures, and product listing policies will be signed. The two groups also have agreed to use the BMA’s BACnet Testing Laboratories mark as the common international symbol for identifying BACnet compliant products in North America and Europe.