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BACnet – Global standard for open

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building management solutions

Christian Mueller
Honeywell Building Solutions
About the speaker...
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• Christian Mueller
- Honeywell Building
Solutions Germany since
- Leader Marketing
Communication within
Honeywell Building
Solution Germany
- Leader of Working Group
Marketing and Advisory
Board member of the
BACnet Interest Group
(B.I.G.-EU) since 1999
- Member of CEN TC247
WG5 (Integrated Building
Management Systems)
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The BACnet history
He has a real problem ...

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The BACnet history
He has got a solution ...

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Increasing demand for integration
Percentage of construction projects in Germany
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that demand integration

10 1992
Number (% ) 8
ht i
ng e o ss Fir
e en ms
L ig Vid A cce S m ge
m ys t e
a na her s
g yM Ot

I&I Limited
The European Market 2000-2005
Intelligent Controls in Buildings
Heterogeneous System Integration
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functionality System A

Cost for
three systems

System B System C
CEN/TC247 & ISO/TC205 norms
Protocol Norm
Management layer BACnet EN V 1805-1
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ISO 16484-5

Protocol Norm
BACnet EN V 13321-1
Automation layer WorldFIP EN V 13321-1 and EN 50170
Profibus FMS EN V 13321-1 and EN 50170
EIBnet EN V 13321-2

Protocol Norm
EIB EN V 13154-2, DIN VDE 0829
Field layer BatiBus EN V 13154-2
EHS EN V 13154-2
LonTalk EN V 13154-2

AS-i Actuator Sensor-Interface Safety-Bus EN 50295

BACnet, ISO Norm 16484-5
Communication layer Protocol: BACnet
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Management layer and

between Management
and Automation layer BACnet –
BACnet DIN EN ISO 16484-5
on all
functional Includes references to
layers EIA-709.1 LonTalk
Automation EN 50090 EIB/KNX

Field layer and

between Field and
Automation layer
ISO Building Automation model
Common Communication protocol
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Service Messages (APDUs)

BACS network

Applic. Obj. Applic. Obj. Applic. Obj. Applic. Obj.

BACnetOS BACnetMS Manage- BACnet Automation

Operator Station ment-/ Server Station Station

Local Automation

Field device Field device Field device Field device


Applic. BMS Application programs

APDUs Application protocol data units
BACnet Building automation and control network
BACnetASC BACnet application specific controller
BACnetMS BACnet management station
BACnetOS BACnet operator station
BACnetSFD BACnet smart field device
BACS Building automation and control system
F Filtering function
Obj. BACnet objects
BACnet history ...
• 1987 • Foundation of the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating
Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineering)
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committee SPC135. Team charter: Development of a

communication protocol which would be neutral and
allow monitoring, control and energy management
within buildings.
• 1991 • First draft version of the new protocol available
• 1995 • BACnet was published as ASHRAE 135-1995 standard.
BACnet also becomes ANSI standard
• BACnet becomes EN 1805-1 and ENV13321 by CEN
• 1998 TC247
• FND withdrawn by CEN as ENV
• 2001 • ANSI/ASHRAE 135-2001 published
• 2002 • BACnet becomes worldwide ISO norm as the only BMS-
• 2003 protocol
• The first BACnet devices are conformance tested in
• 2004 Europe
What is BACnet?
• BACnet ist a communication standard that allows
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for data exchange (including complex data)

 between systems from various vendors
• BACnet allows for interoperability of devices and
systems from various vendors
• BACnet is most suited for
- HVAC control applications (in Europe integrations on
management and automation layer) but also
- Integration of life safety systems (fire panels)
Was can BACnet provide?
• BACnet does standardize transactions like:
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- Alarm/event handling supporting alarm/event priority
- Historical data
- Data access control
- Command priority
- File transfer
- Save/Restore of programs
- Calendar and Scheduling functionality
• BACnet is independent from any specific hardware,
operating system or software platform
BACnet terminology
• Objects
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- Devices and systems are seen as black boxes consisting

of a number of objects
- BACnet objects only define the outside behaviour of the
devices and systems – no internal functionality is
• Object properties
- Each object has got a number of mandatory (required)
 and optional properties.
- The properties can be read by other devices and
systems and some can be written to. Vendors may
define vendor specific properties (interoperability?)
• Services
- Communication between BACnet devices and systems
is done using specific services.
BACnet Networking Options
• Ethernet
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• BACnet over IP
• Serial (RS232/RS485)
• ARCnet
• MS/TP Layer in
• LonTalk (is not equal to LonMark!) Reference model

BACnetApplicationLayer Application

BACnet Network Layer (allows Routing) Network

BACnet/IP ISO 8802-2 Data-Link

Type 1 MS/TP PTP LonTalk
„Ethernet“ RS 485 RS 232 Physical
BACnet Client/Server architecture
• A BACnet device may trigger a service or can react on a
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service request:
- Client: Requests services (Service user)
- Server: Offers services (Service provider)


 Execute

• A DDC-system for example may act as a

- client for various field devices in an automation system,
- server for other DDC-systems or for a BMS (Building
Management System) that requests specific data or alarms
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BACnet Objects
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BACnet Objects
Functional list, EN ISO 16484-3
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Object properties

• Standard Objects have required and optional

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properties defined
• Vendors may add proprietary object properties or
vendor specific objects to a device

Object_Name ROOM_TEMP
required Present_Value 20.3
Unit 62 = °C
High_Limit 30.0
Low_Limit 15.0
BACnet Services
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• BACnet currently includes 38 services on the

application layer which are subdivided into 5
- Object Access
- Device Management
- Alarm and Event
- File Transfer
- Virtual Terminal
Services - Object Access
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• Object access services include services like:

- Read and write data (object properties)
- Request a specific data range (e. g. to retrieve trend log
- Services to create other objects at runtime or delete them
(like notification class objects or schedule objects)
- Services to add data to lists or remove data from lists
(data point and events to/from notification class objects)
Services - Device Management
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• Network start-up
- Who-Is, I-Am
- Who-Has, I-Have
• Time Synchronization
• Request device start-up (via network) …
BACnet Broadcast Management Device
• The BACnet Broadcast Management Device
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(BBMD) handles broadcast telegrams (Who-Is, Who-Has, I-

Am, I-Have, …) through routers that connect different IP-

• The BBMD can be an external device or be integrated in

another BACnet device like B-BC,


IP-Segment A IP-Segment B
BBMD Function
Services - Alarm- and Event
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• Services include
- Alarm- and event handling and
- COV/COS (Change of Value/State)
• Request alarm summary list
(e. g. after a communication restart)
• Services to acknowledge alarms
Alarm- and Event handling
• BACnet allows for three different methods for alarm and event
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- COV Events
w One or more recipients subscribe specific changes to state or value
from a COV-server using SubscribeCOV(Property) service.
w The COV-Server sends changes to the receivers that have subscribed
for the event using (Un)ConfirmedCOVNotification
- Intrinsic Event Reporting
w The recipient list of alarms and events from specific objects will statically
or dynamically be managed using NotificationClass objects
w The objects to support intrinsic alarming will have to support various
optional properties like the EventEnable property
- Algorithmic Change Events
w In order to support algorithmic change events, the EventEnrollment
object needs to be supported. The EventEnrollment object list
contains stages and valuesof datapoints that need to be monitored.
w In case of a limit violation, the distribution of alarms/events can either be
handled by the EventEnrollment object itself (if recipients are defined)
or via a Notification Class object list if a NC object is defined with the
object in alarm.0
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• PICS: Protocol Implementation Conformance

• The PICS is a standard way of describing the
BACnet functionality of a specific solution in a kind
of table format and contains information about
- BACnet services supported
- BACnet standard objects supported including information
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• PICS continued ...

- Data Link Layer Options

- Special functionality
- Restrictions to properties, if exist

• The BACnet PICS is an important means for end

customers and consultants to understand the
functionality provided by a BACnet solution.
• This is achieved through
- BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks (BIBBs)
- Standard device profiles
BACnet PICS (Extract)
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BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks

• BIBBs – Define a set of BACnet services to provide

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a specific function. BIBBs are either client (A) or

server (B) related.
• There are BIBBs for the following areas of
- Data Sharing (DS)
- Alarm and Event Notification (AE)
- Scheduling (SCHED)
- Trending (T)
- Device Management (DM)
- Network Management (NM)
- Virtual Terminal Management (VT)
BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks
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• BIBBs example:
- DS-RP-A (Data Sharing-ReadProperty-A)

BACnet Service Initiate Execute

ReadProperty X
BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks
• BIBBs example:
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- DS-COVP-B (Data Sharing-COVP-B)

BACnet Service Initiate Execute

SubscribeCOVProperty X
ConfirmedCOVNotification X
UnconfirmedCOVNotification X
Standard BACnet device profiles

• B-OWS BACnet Operator Workstation, GLT

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• B-BC BACnet Building Controller

• B-AAC BACnet Advanced Application Controller
• B-ASC BACnet Application Specific Controller
• B-SA BACnet Smart Actuator
• B-SS BACnet Smart Sensor
• B-GW BACnet Gateway
Standard BACnet device profiles
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BACnet Interest Group Europe e. V.
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• The BACnet Interest Group Europe e. V. (B.I.G.-EU)

supports BACnet in Europe:
- Web:
- 45 members

- Working groups Marketing and Technology

- B.I.G.-EU targets
Further BACnet organisations

• BACnet Interest Group – North America

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• BACnet Interest Group – AustralAsia

• BACnet Interest Group Middle-East

• BMA - BACnet Manufacturers Association

- Founded in 2000, USA
- Open for all vendors of BACnet products
- Develop ways to test/certify BACnet products (BTL-Logo),
Marketing, Training in USA
- Intensive contact between B.I.G.-EU and BMA in order to
guarantee mutual acknowledgment of BACnet
BACnet Tests and Certification
• BMA and BIG-EU develop a common test and
certification system
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• The target is to allow for a common, reproducible

handling of conformance tests
• Mutual certification in EU and NA
• First tests available in EU through accredited test
lab (WSP-Lab)
• Common Logo
BACnet Tests and Certification

• Today extent of the BACnet conformance tests

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- In USA tests are done based on the BACnet device

(B-SA, B-ASC, ..)
- BIBBS, that can be tested in Europe today

- Conformance tests are no BACnet certificates!

- What would a BACnet certification be like?
BIBBS, tested in Europe today
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- (B) provides data upon request from (A)

- (B) allows a value to be changed by (A)
- (B) accepts subscription requests from (A) and replies with
- (B) provides information about itself to (A)
- (B) provides information about its objects upon request from (A)
- (B) responds to comm. control request from (A)
• DM-TS-B / DM-UTC-B (UTC – Greenwich Mean Time)
- (B) accepts time sync. request from (A)
B-BC Example: Honeywell Excel Web
• LINUX operating system
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• 10/100MBit/s network interface

• Integrated Web-Server with
HTML-pages installed for
parameter setting, local
operation via browser
• No need for ActiveX controls
• Trend capacity can be expanded
using standard CF memory
• Up to 1.000 BACnet objects
• I/O modules based on LonTalk
(78kbps, Free topology
• DIN rail or direct mounting
Upcoming BACnet extensions
• BACnet Web Services
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• Web-Pages
- Are designed for humans and are used through Web-
• Web-Services
- Automated services through Internet/Intranet used by
- Services to supply other applications with data in a
standard way independent from the underlying hard-
or software or operating system.
• XML used as the data format and SOAP as the
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is based on http
which allows data to be exchanged through firewalls
Upcoming BACnet extensions
• BACnet/XML Working-Group target
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- To link BACnet systems to ERP-applications via Web-

• Annex N – BACnet/WS currently in Public Review

BACnet Web Service via SOAP


Application Server ERP-Client Application

BACnet/Web Services Makes use of Web Services
via SOAP via SOAP
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Some BACnet Projects

Technology compound at the German
Parliamentary Buildings Paul-Löbe-
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Technology compound at the German
Parliamentary Buildings
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Ethernet (TCP/IP)
Supervisorx BMS

Supervisory BMS of the Energy compound


Paul-Löbe Unter den Linden 71 Schadowstr. 12/13

Reichstag und Dorotheenstr. 88
Haus Wilhelmstraße 60

Jakob-KaiserHaus Dorotheenstraße 88
Unter den Linden 50
Technology compound at the German
Parliamentary Buildings
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Building Vendor System No. of dp

Reichstaggebäude Kieback & Peter BACnet Gwy 30.000
Paul-Löbe-Haus Honeywell Excel 500 10.000
Paul-Löbe-Haus Honeywell IRC 3.000
Paul-Löbe-Haus Honeywell BACnet 500
Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus JCI BACnet 20.000
Jakob-Kaiser-Haus ABB Tridium/BACnet 30.000
Wilhelmstraße 60/
Unter den Linden Siemens (Landis & Staefa) BACnet 7.000
Schadowstraße 12/13 AutomatedLogic BACnet 200
Dorothenstraße 88 Saia BACnet 200

Supervisory BMS at the

Reichstag Honeywell BACnet 100.900
Technology compound at the German
Parliamentary Buildings
• Access to BACnet objects like schedule, calendar
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and loop
Building Management with BACnet
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BACnet/OPC comparison
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The birth of OPC ...

OPC Introduction

• The task:
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- Get data from a PLC (Programmable logic controller) into

 an Microsoft based application within a PC-based

- Target:
OPC History
• 1995
- A task force composed of Fisher-Rosemount, Rockwell
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Software, Opto 22, Intellution, and Intuitive Technology

developed a basic, workable, OPC specification.
- OPC = Object linking and embedding for process control
• 1996
- A simplified, stage-one solution was released in August 1996.
OPC foundation group started up.
• 1998
- OPC becomes an industry standard
• 1998
- OPC Data Access 2.0 published
• 2001
- Compliance Testing and Certification program available
• 2004
- The OPC Foundation has got more than 300 members.
Honeywell is also a member of the OPC Foundation.
OPC Introduction

• OPC (OLE for Process Control) is a Client-/Server

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Software Interface, based on the Microsoft COM /

DCOM component technology. It is used to
exchange data between different applications on
one machine (COM) or between different
applications on a network (DCOM).
• OPC is not a new bus standard, no norm
- It may be compared with a printer driver available with a
printer which is the interface between the hardware and
the office application
• OPC is best suited for
- Simple I/O type of information which need to be integrated
into office applications
- Data exchange between software applications
OPC data types, object model
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• OPC only supports simple data objects

(so called OPC Items). OPC Items consist of
- Value, state
- Time stamp
- Information about the quality of data
• OPC Object model
- OPC Groups are defined on an OPC server. OPC groups
contain OPC Items that are handles in a similar way. E.

- Each OPC Item may have properties defined like

OPC Specifications

• OPC Data Access

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- Used to move real-time data from PLCs and other control

devices to HMIs and other display clients. Standard on
the market is OPC DA 2.04. The Data Access 3
specification is now a Release Candidate.
• OPC Alarms & Events
- Provides alarm and event notifications on demand
(in contrast to the continuous data flow of Data Access).
- OPC Clients can subscribe for alarms and events from the
OPC server (OPC-AE 1.10).
• OPC Data eXchange
- This specification takes OPC from client/server to
 server-to-server with communication across Ethernet
field bus networks.
OPC Specifications
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• OPC Historical Data Access

- Where OPC Data Access provides access to real-time,
continually changing data, OPC Historical Data Access
provides access to data already stored. (OPC DX 1.0)
• OPC Security
- OPC Security specifies how to control client access to
 these servers in order to protect this sensitive
information and to guard against unauthorized
modification of process parameters (OPC Security 1.0)
- OPC XML-DA is developed to expose plant floor data
using XML and SOAP. Specification still under
Need more information?
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• OPC Foundation web pages

• OPC European membebr web pages
OPC/BACnet Comparison
• BACnet • OPC
- Vendor independence - Vendor independence
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w ISO Standard, w De-facto-Industry

independent from OS, Standard,
hardware or vendor based on Microsoft


- Best suited for

w Automation and
- Best suited for
management level w Move real-time data
from PLC to
w Peer-to-Peer
visualisation and
communication for business applications
HVAC control and
safety controls w Peer-to-Peer
possible if OPC data
eXchange extension
becomes available
- Communication
OPC/BACnet Comparison
• BACnet • OPC
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- Specifications/Profiles - Specifications/Profiles
w Data Sharing (with priority) w Data Access (DA)
w Alarms and Events w Alarm & Events (AE)
w Historical Trends w Historical Trends
w Scheduling • only few implementations
w Device and Network
• Normally done on SCADA
Management level
w Access Control mechanisms w Scheduling
build in • needs to be done on
SCADA level

w BACnet via XML w Access Control

• available. Only a few
• Specification in public
implementations make
use of OPC Security
• • spec. under development)
 

- Conformance tests - Conformance tests

w BACnet Test Lab at Stuttgart w Compliance Tests available
is capable to provide first through the OPC
OPC/BACnet Comparison
• BACnet • OPC
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- Planning and Start-up - Planning and Start-up

w BACnet is not Plug & w OPC allows for Plug &
Play Play if the network is
f. e. due to optional correctly been set up.
object properties w No optional object
w A in depth comparison properties
of the PICS is w Configuration of DCOM
required in complex network
w Test installation environment can be
recommended tricky.
w Many times firewalls do
not allow for port 15
(OPC/DCOM) to be
w Binding: open as several virus
attacks (like
• Data documentation
can be exchanged W32Lovsan) came
via standard EDE- through this port
BACnet and OPC complement each other
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• BACnet is most suitable if it comes to ...

- Building Management applications (alarming with
acknowledgement, scheduling, save and restore of
application programs, command priority, Peer-to-Peer
data communication)
- Data exchange between devices (e. g. an energy manage-
ment application requires data from various DDC
systems on the LAN for peak load control)
• OPC is best suited if it comes to ...
- Simple data exchange between a SCADA system and a
PLC or integration of a fire panels into a Visualisation
- Data exchange with IT- or ERP (Business) applications