The BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA) recently held the first BACnet interoperability workshop at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) building and fire research laboratory in Gaithersburg, MD, to provide an opportunity for member companies to test products for interoperability. In addition, the BMA collected valuable data that will be incorporated into its developing product testing procedures and listing requirements. Participating companies include Siemens, Johnson Controls, American Auto-Matrix, Teletrol, Alerton, Delta Controls, Automated Logic, Lithonia Lighting, Simplex, and Cimetrics.

The participating BMA member companies brought a wide range of building automation products that use BACnet for communication, including operator workstations, controllers of various types, intelligent I/O devices, routers, and gateways. The participants tested the BACnet interoperability of their products in five functional areas: data sharing, alarming, scheduling, trending, and device management.

“The interoperability tests were very successful,” said Jim Lee, president, BMA. “This success further demonstrates the viability of BACnet for daily operation in a multivendor environment.”

BACnet is an ASHRAE and ANSI standard protocol for achieving interoperability in building systems. Nonproprietary interoperability provides flexibility for the design and configuration of systems, and promotes competitive bidding. BACnet is designed for use with medium- to large-sized systems, in multibuilding sites, to implement integration with central plant equipment, and for integration between different building systems. The BACnet standard was developed by ASHRAE with the cooperation of nearly every major manufacturer of building automation and controls.