ASHRAE Publishes BACnet Testing Standard

The compatibility of systems and equipment with BACnet can now be tested with a standard approved for publication by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). ASHRAE Standard 135.1, Method of Test For Conformance to BACnet, defines the steps to test whether a product or application conforms to the BACnet standard and correctly provides the features claimed by the supplier. To achieve this, the standard contains tests for each BACnet message type, function and networking technology, according to Steven Bushby, chair of the BACnet committee. The standard will serve as the basis for BACnet testing, certification and product listing programs, he said. The first such program in North America has been developed by the BACnet Manufacturers Association whose member firms have formed the BACnet Testing Laboratory (BTL) to carry out the tests and administer a BACnet product listing program. The BTL is conducting testing of BACnet products. The BACnet Interest Group Europe (BIG-EU) also is establishing a testing and certification program that should be in operation by the end of the year, according to Bushby. The BTL and BIG-EU are working cooperatively so that products tested by either organization can carry a common mark that will be recognized worldwide. The BACnet committee also announced the completion of public reviews for three proposed addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2001, BACnet -- A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks. The committee plans to recommend the addenda for publication at ASHRAE's 2004 Winter Meeting. Addendum a contains nine new BACnet features, the most significant of which enhances BACnet's capabilities to schedule the use of equipment. Addendum c contains new features that include enhancements to the life safety objects and services and the ability to represent utility meters and other measuring devices that provide pulsed outputs. Addendum d contains information on interconnecting BACnet devices with devices that use the European Installation Bus (EIB)/Konnex protocol. In Europe there is a large installed base of EIB/Konnex products and defining a way to carry out this interconnection was one of the keys to the recent adoption of BACnet as an ISO standard. ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of 55,000 persons. Its sole objective is to advance through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve the evolving needs of the public.

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