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BACnet Eyes Tipping Point in Building Automation

Jan. 16, 2019
At AHR Expo, industry technology facilitator reviews basics, adds board members, launches new courses, tools.

Atlanta, GA – January 14, 2019 – Technology facilitator BACnet International took to the stage at AHR Expo to remind a packed room of attendees, including facility managers and building engineers, that the industry is actively trying to get a handle on proliferating building automated systems that are changing their jobs every day.

"Our goal is to find what works for everyone, from small single-family homes to large universities," said Edward Tom, keynote presenter and product manager for Yaskawa, a BACnet International member. Interoperability and input from a wide swath of players is the key, he added.

 "If we leave it all up to the manufacturers, it will become the Wild West," he cautioned. "So if we have problems with interoperability then, who will we be able to go to fix them?"

Tom added that he was encouraged by the current climate of measured, thoughtful adoption that he believed was underway now.

New Testing Tool

Toward that end, BACnet International announced this week that it has signed an agreement with BACnet Interoperability Testing Services, Inc. (BITS) to provide substantial discounts for its members. BITS offers a powerful tool for pre-conformance testing of products implementing the BACnet protocol.

Under the agreement, BACnet International members in good standing will receive special pricing on the BACnet Test Client, a software tool developed specifically for testing compliance, reliability and interoperability of BACnet products. BACnet International and BITS will also work together in the continued development of the BACnet Test Client.

“We’re excited to be able to bring this tool to our members,” said Andy McMillan, president and managing director of BACnet International. He added, “Effective pre-testing can save BACnet product implementers thousands of dollars in conformance testing costs. It can also greatly reduce the risk of product launch delays. We expect this tool to help our members be more successful.”

Use of the BITS BACnet Test Client testing tool can expedite the BACnet product Certification process since manufacturers have an opportunity to reveal and fix conformance and interoperability issues prior to submitting their product for certification. In addition, the BACnet Test Client can be used during development of products, to speed development and save money by revealing issues early, when they are cheapest and easiest to fix. This is more cost effective than finding issues through the BACnet conformance testing process, and clearly preferable over discovery during commissioning or live operation after deployment in the field.

New Board of Directors Elected

The group also announced the results of its recent Board of Directors elections. The new board consists of 10 members, including two executives new to the BACnet International board. The new members are Paul L. Bartunek, III, vice president of commercial sales and marketing, ABB Drives USA, and James Burke, vice president and general manager of building automation systems, Johnson Controls. The board of BACnet International will continue to focus on expanding the successful use of the BACnet building automation protocol. 

Paul Bartunek

With over 25+ years of experience in the electronic manufacturing industry and a demonstrated history of successful relationship building, Bartunek is a skilled development professional.  In his role, Bartunek leads sales and marketing initiatives for the commercial family of variable frequency drive products.  He has impact with mergers and acquisitions, new product development, team building, and creating energy efficient solutions for customers.  

James Burke

Burke has been with Johnson Controls for more than 15 years, establishing a strong track record of success with positions of increasing responsibility throughout his tenure. In his current role as vice president and general manager of building automation systems, Burke is responsible for growing the building automation systems business globally. He oversees the product lifecycle through the development of a comprehensive product roadmap and execution of the product strategy for the Metasys, Facility Explorer, BCPro and Verasys platforms.

The pair join the following individuals who will serve on the 2019 BACnet International Board of Directors: 

  • Andy McMillan, president & managing director, BACnet International;
  • Brad Hill, global project management office leader, Honeywell Building Technologies;
  • Raj Jayaraman, president, Burton Medical (Chairman);
  • Erica Johnson, chief operating officer, QA Cafe;
  • Raymond Rae, co-founder and active principal, CopperTree Analytics;
  • Nancy Stein, business excellence manager, Siemens Industry Inc.; 
  • Dennis Swoboda, vice president, sales and marketing, Blue Ridge Technologies;
  • Michael R. Wilson, product marketing and sales operations manager, Automated Logic.

New Course Announced

BACnet International also announced the launch of its newest course on The BACnet Institute (TBI), entitled "The Facility Manager’s Guide to Building Automation Systems (BAS)". This new course provides insight on how facility managers can effectively participate in and contribute to a BACnet-based BAS integration. The course is positioned from a facility manager’s perspective but it is also a valuable resource for other key professionals in the BAS integration process, including building owners, contractors, project consultants, and even IT professionals. 

In this course you’ll gain an understanding of the key principles of BACnet-based BAS design and procurement, the importance of collaboration between Facility Management and IT, and how the Networked Controls BAS design model enables streamlined facilities management. 

“Our research showed a gap in information for facility mangers in regards to Open Systems BAS implementation, and so we created this course in response to that need,” stated BACnet President McMillan. “This new course provides an easy way for facility mangers, or anyone involved in a BACnet project, to learn about implementing networked control systems. It is a good complement to the comprehensive resources already available on the TBI site.”

Visit www.thebacnetinstitute.org to access this course and many other resources, including the BACnet International AHR 2019 education sessions that will be available in early March. Site registration is free.

About BACnet Interoperability Testing Services

BITS provides a variety of sophisticated software tools, consulting services, and a Perpetual PlugFest® to developers of BACnet products to aid in development and performance optimization. Interoperability remains one of the key challenges to device developers and integrators. BITS products and services allow for early detection and remediation, enabling more seamless BTL testing as well as increased confidence during use in the field. Contact BTS at www.bac-test.com, or write [email protected] for more information. 

About BACnet International

BACnet International is an industry association that facilitates the successful use of the BACnet protocol in building automation and control systems through interoperability testing, educational programs and promotional activities. BACnet International oversees operation of the BACnet Testing Labs (BTL) and maintains a global listing of tested products. The BACnet standard was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and has been made publicly available so that manufacturers can create interoperable systems of products. BACnet International complements the work of the ASHRAE standards committee and BACnet-related interest groups around the world. BACnet International members include building owners, consulting engineers and facility managers, as well as companies involved in the design, manufacturing, installation, commissioning and maintenance of control equipment that uses BACnet for communication.