This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of ASHRAE Standard 135 — better known as “BACnet.” Over the past two decades, the building automation industry has largely been transformed from a business based upon proprietary communications to one where customers have options for open protocols including BACnet, LonTalk, Modbus, and others. Vendors now offer broad support for open protocol based systems, and standards such as BACnet are continuously being updated and improved.
As an industry then, have we “solved” the issue of interoperability? While we now have good choices in terms of robust protocols for use in commercial buildings, areas remain where more effort is needed. Here are a few key areas to look for continued improvements.