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September 2016
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The Future of Interoperable Systems

Seems like just yesterday, it is now 21 years since the BACnet standard, ASHRAE 135, was approved and published. Since then much has happened.

Paul Ehrlich, Ira Goldschmidt & Angela Lewis
Building Intelligence Group

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Engineered Systems 
September Issue - BAS Column

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While it seems like just yesterday, it is now 21 years since the BACnet standard, ASHRAE 135, was approved and published. Since then much has happened.  We had a brief, but furious industry debate over the need for open protocols, and battles over which protocol to use.  Over the years, it has largely settled out, with essentially all HVAC controls suppliers offering systems that use BACnet, while also fairly strong support for other protocols, such as LonWorks, Modbus, and various uses of XML and other web standards.  In many ways, it feels like this is an issue that has been settled and no further work is needed. 

Control Solutions, Inc This really could not be further from the truth.  While it should be expected that robust open protocols like BACnet will continue to be widely used, readily supported, and continually enhanced, we should also expect that new protocols will be needed for markets, applications, and use cases that are not readily supported by a control protocol such as what was originally defined in BACnet. Here are some examples of what will need to be supported in future protocol implementations:

There is ongoing work from a number of groups to evaluate and develop new and expanded open protocols.  ASHRAE is very active in expanding BACnet, but work is also ongoing from groups including NIST and the DOE to help define standards for expanded capabilities and functionality for open and interoperable systems.








About the Authors

Paul and IraPaul and IraPaul and Ira first worked together on a series of ASHRAE projects including the BACnet committee and Guideline 13 – Specifying DDC Controls. The formation of Building Intelligence Group provided them the ability to work together professionally providing assistance to owners with the planning, design and development of Intelligent Building Systems. Building Intelligence Group provides services for clients worldwide including leading Universities, Corporations, and Developers. More information can be found at www.buildingintelligencegroup.com  We also invite you to contact us directly at Paul@buildingintelligencegroup.com or ira@buildingintelligencegroup.com






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