HVAC Breaking News

Feb. 23, 2007: BACnet Access Control, Lighting, Network Addenda Approved for Review

ATLANTA - Six proposed addenda to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE’s) BACnet® standards have been recommended for public review.

The addenda are expected to be released for public review March 16, 2007. If approved, they would become part of Standard 135, BACnet - a Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks, and Standard 135.1, Method of Test Conformance to BACnet.

“This was a barnstormer session," said BACnet chairman Bill Swan. “The committee has been working hard to expand BACnet’s coverage of building systems, and several items came out together.”

Proposed addendum j to BACnet-2004 will add physical access control to BACnet’s support for building automation.

“Our committee has worked on these proposals for four years to ensure that we address the state-of-the-art practices of the security industry while building on the proven BACnet platform,” said David Ritter, convener of the BACnet Life-Safety and Security Working Group, which is comprised of representatives from both the HVAC and physical security industries from around the globe.

Addendum j rounds out the working group access control extensions to BACnet, which began with the Access Door object presented in addendum f. The committee is actively soliciting comments on these extensions from the access control industry.

Proposed addendum g to 135-2004, a new means for securing BACnet network communications, provides part of the base on which proposed addendum j is built. Developed by the Network Security Working Group, addendum g draws on significant advances in encryption and authentication technologies since BACnet became a standard.

“This system is very flexible,” said Dave Robin, BACnet Network Security Working Group convener. "You can scale it up for high security or way down for simplicity. It provides multiple levels of access, with a general key for read/write access to basic system data, and application-specific keys plus authentication for critical systems including access control and fire."

Robin also noted that “with addendum g going out for its second public review, with little changed from first public review, trial implementations are underway.”

Proposed addendum 135-2004 i presents several extensions to the BACnet standard to support lighting control systems. Said Steve Karg, Lighting Application Working Group convener, “These extensions are aimed at supporting both sophisticated and simple lighting systems." The working group, comprised of representatives from lighting controls manufacturers and BACnet experts, has been working for several years on developing lighting extensions to BACnet.

The BACnet committee continues its work on a broad range of items including developing profiles for VAV controllers and VFDs, incorporating wireless capabilities, accommodating and adopting new IP technologies, and extending conformance testing to cover new BACnet capabilities.

Also recommended for review are 135h, which would include miscellaneous changes to the standard; 135.1b, involving new and revised tests; and 135.1c, updating references in 135.1 from 135-2001 to 135-2004.

Publication date: 02/19/2007

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