ATLANTA - New tests for features of BACnet® and refinements to existing tests will be available under an addendum approved for publication at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineer's (ASHRAE's) 2005 Annual Meeting.

Addendum a to ASHRAE Standard 135.1-2003, "Method of Test For Conformance to BACnet," defines new tests for features of BACnet that have been added since publication of the testing standard as well as refinements based on experience testing BACnet products.

Standard 135.1 defines the steps to test whether a product or application conforms to the BACnet standard and correctly provides the features claimed by the supplier.

"This addendum is notable because it is the beginning of an ongoing process. As the committee adds new features to BACnet, we will develop tests for those features," BACnet committee chair Bill Swan said.

Addendum b to ANSI/ASHRAE 135-2004, "BACnet - A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks," also completed public review shortly before the meeting. The BACnet committee is studying and responding to the 14 comments received.

The proposed addendum contains new BACnet features related to advanced trend logging capabilities and specialized alarm handling capabilities important in Asian markets.

The BACnet committee also approved the last of its responses to the 53 comments received from the public review of BACnet/WS, the BACnet Web services proposal. BACnet Web services are intended to integrate building automation systems with various enterprise applications.

"Experts from around the world submitted these comments," Mike Newman, XML Working Group chair, said. "We have adopted a number of the suggestions and are working on an improved revision of the BACnet Web services capability."

Representatives from three manufacturers of variable frequency drives (VFDs) joined the Applications Working Group to cooperatively develop a standard BACnet profile for VFDs.

This will be the first application-oriented profile developed by the Working Group and will provide the model for others to come.

The Internet Protocol Working Group, disbanded years ago when "Annex J" BACnet/IP was added to the BACnet standard, has been reformed to address and take advantage of new aspects of Internet communications developed and deployed in the intervening time.

During the meeting, it was announced that a BACnet Interest Group – Russia (BIG-RU) has been formed under the auspices of ABOK, ASHRAE's sister society in Russia. BIG-RU will sponsor BACnet promotional and educational activities in Russia.

Other topics the BACnet committee is working on include standardized communications between energy utilities and BACnet systems, CCTV and access control data models, BACnet network security, and BACnet support for lighting controls.

BACnet will be featured in an upcoming conference held by the BACnet Interest Group of North America and the BACnet Manufacturers Association. The conference will be held Oct. 23-25 in Nashville, Tenn.

"The conference will provide users of BACnet with an opportunity to see the latest applications and products," Swan said.

Publication date: 08/01/2005