A conformance test standard that would verify a manufacturers’ claims that its products are compatible with BACnet® has been drafted, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE, Atlanta) announced. The draft standard, entitled proposed ASHRAE Standard 135.1P, Testing Conformance to BACnet, would describe a set of procedures and tests to simulate the actual performance of systems and components with the BACnet protocol, said H. Michael Newman, chair of the BACnet committee. The proposed standard would be a companion to BACnet, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-1995. ASHRAE is seeking comment on the standard now through June 6. Committee members are also being sought.

“With the tremendous growth and acceptance of BACnet around the world, there is a need to quickly establish conformance and interoperability tests to ensure that BACnet products will work together. The tests will reliably assess the performance of manufacturers’ systems and ensure the operation of those systems and their ability to communicate with other systems when installed in buildings.” Proposed Standard 135.1P would specify tests to be conducted by a testing laboratory, Newman said.

To support BACnet, the independent BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA) was formed to develop a conformance testing and product-listing program for buildings automation equipment, and develop a BACnet Testing Laboratory (BTL). Products that pass the laboratory test would receive a BTL logo to signify conformance with BACnet. The laboratory would use the tests prescribed in the proposed ASHRAE conformance standards 135.1P.

In other BACnet news, Addendum b, which includes 17 individual changes to the standard, was approved for publication subject to a 45-day appeal period. Addendum c, which 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, was approved for public review this spring.

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