The ASHRAE BACnet committee has approved an update to BACnet/web services (WS) in an effort to better support more sophisticated needs such as smart grid and energy management.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2012, BACnet – A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks, allows building equipment and systems manufactured by different companies to work together.

The BACnet committee announced at ASHRAE’s 2014 Winter Conference that addendum 135 am is slated for public review in the first quarter of 2014. In order to drive a deeper review, the committee is conducting a "virtual plugfest" for prototype implementations.

An open source BACnet/WS server reference implementation has been developed to seed the plugfest. It can be used as a test subject for client development and a basis for server prototypes, according to Carl Neilson, chair of the Standard 135 committee. The committee is asking for implementations of both client and server prototypes.

The virtual plugfest will be conducted online and is expected to begin mid-March and run through early April.