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BACnet Basics

Ben H. Dorsey III VP, Marketing & Communications KMC Controls, Inc.

Preview
BACnetthe standard BACnetthe community BACnetand you

Caution
BACnet is BIG

Part 1
BACnetthe standard

What is BACnet?
A book An open standard A data communications protocol An acronym: Building Automation and Control Networks A means of integrating building systems A way of life!

So . . .
BACnet is a data communications protocol and an agreed-upon set of rules for creating interoperable networks of building systems.

Encompassing . . .
Building Automation Systems (BAS) HVAC Central Plant (Chillers, Boilers, Large Air Handlers) Lighting Perimeter and Object Security Fire and LifeSafety Elevators The integration of all of the above.
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Who did it?


A working group (standard project committee) of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Began work in 1987 under tremendous opposition (some said it would NEVER be done). Published as a standard in 1995. Supported and maintained by ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 135.
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Its Alive!!!
By design, the standard is under continual revision. First published in 1995. In recent times, most manufacturers products have been designed to the 2004 and 2008 versions of standard.

Not a Reactive Process


Addenda are issued as the committee works. Public review and comments are mandatory and common. So, for example, when 2008 was issued, it consisted of 2004 + previously issued addenda. (No surprises.)

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What the Standard Defines


In essence, the standard defines the messages that devices exchange and how they are delivered.

message

transport
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Further . . .
The rules of the protocol apply to
Electrical signaling Addressing Network access (master/slave, peer-to-peer) Error checking Flow control Message sequencing, segmentation, checkpointing Presentation format (compression, encryption) Message format
Source: Mike Newman, BACnet pioneer

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Another Pyramid?
The protocol can be viewed as a matrix of layers.
BIBBS

Services

Devices

Objects

Properties

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Properties
The nucleus to the BACnet atomthe smallest piece of BACnet information Properties can be read and written. Properties can provide command control. They consist of names and values.

BIBBS

Services

Devices

Objects

Properties

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Properties
Example: high_limit = 78.0 The standard requires some properties; other properties are optional; still others can be proprietary. Required properties must be implemented for each object type. Optional properties do not have to be implemented, but if they are, they must conform to the specification.
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Property Identifiers
Property types 0 511 are reserved as standard. 166 of these are currently defined in the BACnet specification. Property types above 511 are proprietary and unique to the vendor. The Vendor ID property is used to identify the manufacturer.

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Objects
Objects are the fundamental building blocks (atoms) of the standard. Objects represent data that originates in physical inputs, physical outputs, or software processes. Each BACnet Object possesses a number of properties.

BIBBS

Services

Devices

Objects
Properties

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Object Types
The standard specifies 25 types of objects:
Binary Input Binary Output Binary Value Analog Input Analog Output

Analog Value

Multi-state Input
Trend Log

Multi-state Output
Command

Multi-state Value
Calendar

Averaging

PID Loop

Schedule

Life Safety Zone File

Life Safety Point Group

Notification Class Device

Event Enrollment Pulse Converter

Program

Accumulator

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Objects
Vendors can implement proprietary object types. When they do so, they use standard data types to promote interoperability.

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Object IDs
Numerical identifier that combines object type and instance number. Object types 0 127 are reserved to identify standard BACnet objects. Object types 128 1023 are used to identify proprietary objects.

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Object IDs
BACnet devices will support any mixture of object types up to a limit of 4,194,303 instances. Object IDs are typically referred to in this manner: Analog Input, 5

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ObjectsSummary
Objects standardize the organization of data to facilitate the exchange of data between different vendors products.

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Devices
There are six device types or profiles specified by the standard:
Operator Workstation (B-OWS) Building Controller (B-BC) Advanced Application Controller (B-AAC) Application Specific Controller (B-ASC) Smart Actuator (B-SA) Smart Sensor (B-SS)
BIBBS
Services

Devices
Objects

Properties

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Services
Think of BACnet services as the messages that BACnet devices send to each other. Some services read and write properties of one or more objects. Other services send notification of alarms or special events. Still other services read and write files.

BIBBS

Services
Devices

Objects

Properties

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Services
BACnet services follow a Client-Server model.
A BACnet client is a device that requests a service A BACnet server is a device that performs a service

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Categories of Services
Alarm and Event
Routing & event notification

File Access
Accessing & manipulating files contained in devices

Object Access
Read and write properties Create and delete objects Manipulate lists of data

Remote Device Management


Remote monitoring and control of devices

Virtual Terminal
Used by a client user to establish a connection to an application program server in another BACnet device.

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ServicesReadProperty
We wish to read the present value for an analog input called SPACE_TEMP
Service= ReadProperty ObjectIdentifier = (Analog Input, Instance 5) PropertyIdentifier = Present_Value

Operator Workstation (client)

MS/TP AAC (server)

Assuming the target machine can locate the object with this ID and the requested properties, the result would be:
Service= ReadProperty ObjectIdentifier = (Analog Input, Instance 5) PropertyIdentifier = Present_Value Value = 72.3

The result indicates that the present value of SPACE_TEMP is 72.3


Source: ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2004, page 494

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BIBBS
BACnet Interoperability Building Blocks BIBBS are collections of services BIBBS define 5 areas of interoperability:
Data Sharing Alarm and Event Management Scheduling Trending Device and Network Management

BIBBS
Services

Devices

Objects

Properties

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Data Sharing BIBBS


Description DS-RP-A (read property) B-OWS B-BC B-AAC B-ASC B-SA B-SS

DS-RP-B
DS-RPM-A (read property multiple) DS-RPM-B DS-RPC-A (read property conditional) DS-RPC-B DS-WP-A (write property) DS-WP-B DS-WPM-A (write property multiple) DS-WPM-B DS-COV-A DS-COV-B

DS-COVP-A
DS-COVP-B DS-COVU-A (COV, unsolicited) DS-COVU-B
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Alarm & Event Management BIBBS


Description AE-N-A (notification) B-OWS B-BC B-AAC BASC B-SA B-SS

AE-N-I-B (notification, internal)


AE-N-E-B (notification, external) AE-ACK-A AE-ACK-B AE-ASUM-A (summary) AE-ASUM-B AE-ESUM-A (enrollment summary) AE-ESUM-B AE-INFO-A AE-INFO-B AE-LS-A (life safety) AE-LS-B

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Scheduling & Trending BIBBS


Description SCHED-A B-OWS B-BC B-AAC BASC B-SA B-SS

SCHED-I-B (internal)
SCHED-E-B (external)

Description

B-OWS

B-BC

B-AAC

B-ASC

B-SA

B-SS

T-VMT-A (viewing & modifying)


T-VMT-I-B T-VMT-E-B T-ATR-A (automated trend retrieval) T-ATR-B

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Device & Network Management BIBBS


(1 of 2) Description DM-DDB-A (dynamic device binding) DM-DDB-B DM-DOB-A (dynamic device object) DM-DOB-B DM-DCC-A (device communication control) DM-DCC-B DM-PT-A (private transfer) DM-PT-B DM-TM-A (text message) DM-TM-B DM-TS-A (time synchronization) DM-TS-B DM-UTC-A (UTC time synchronization) DM-UTC-B (UTC time synchronization) DM-RD-A (reinitialize device)
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BOWS

B-BC

B-AAC

BASC

B-SA

B-SS

or or

Device & Network Management BIBBS


(2 of 2) Description DM-RD-B B-OWS B-BC B-AAC BASC B-SA B-SS

DM-BR-A (backup & restore)


DM-BR-B DM-R-A (restart) DM-R-B DM-LM-A (list manipulation) DM-LM-B DM-OCD-A (object creation & deletion) DM-OCD-B DM-VT-A (virtual terminal) DM-VT-B NM-CE-A (connection establishment) NM-CE-B NM-RC-A (router configuration) NM-RC-B

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BIBBs Summary Example: B-BC


Data Sharing
Ability to provide the values of any of its BACnet objects Ability to retrieve the values of BACnet objects from other devices Ability to allow modification of some or all of its BACnet objects by another device Ability to modify some BACnet objects in other devices Generation of alarm/event notifications and the ability to direct them to recipients Maintain a list of unacknowledged alarms/events Notifying other recipients that the acknowledgement has been received Adjustment of alarm/event parameters

Alarm & Event Management


Scheduling

Ability to schedule output actions, both in the local device and in other devices, both binary and analog, based on date and time
Collection and delivery of (time, value) pairs Ability to respond to queries about its status Ability to respond to requests for information about any of its objects Ability to respond to communication control messages Ability to synchronize its internal clock upon request Ability to perform re-initialization upon request Ability to upload its configuration and allow it to be subsequently restored Ability to command half-routers to establish and terminate connections

Trending Device & Network Management

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Transport Options
BACnet IP BACnet Ethernet (8802-3) Master Slave/Token Passing (MSTP) ARCnet LonTalk Point-To-Point (PTP)

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Transport Comparison
Popular, fast. No real performance difference between this and 8802-3. Use BBMD or PAD router to get across an IP router.

BACnet IP

Broadcast issues.

BACnet 8802-3

Popular, fast. No real performance difference between this and IP.


Very popular, especially as a low-level bus technology for AACs and ASCs. Uses EIA485 signaling over twisted pair wiring.

Cannot get across IP routers.

MSTP

Lower performance.

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BACnet Layers vs OSI Layers


Standard OSI Reference Model

Application Presentation Session Transport Network Data Link Physical

BACnet Layers

Equivalent OSI Layer

BACnet Application Layer BACnet Network Layer


ISO8802-2 (IEE 8802.3) Type 1 ISO8802-3 (IEE 802.3) ARCNET MS/TP PTP LonTalk EIA-485 EIA-232

Application Network Data Link Physical

Source: ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2004, page 9

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Auxiliary Devices
Routers
Useful when networks using different BACnet transport options need to exchange data.*
Router

Operator Workstation on BACnet IP network

BACnet MSTP Controller Network

*This concept is referred to as Internetworking.

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Auxiliary Devices
Gateways
Useful when devices on a BACnet network must exchange data with devices on a nonBACnet network.*
Gateway

*This is also Internetworking.

BACnet network

Proprietary Network
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So, whats the difference?


A router is really a pass-through device. It doesnt change the form or content of the message but just the packagingmuch like repackaging a standard USPS letter for sending via Fedex. A gateway has to translate and is inherently more complex. It opens the letter, translates it into a second language, and puts it back into some sort of envelope and sends it on.
Source: Mike Newman, BACnet pioneer 40

How Does BACnet Work?


Application Language

Representing Information

Objects

Making Requests and Interoperating

Services

Transport System

LANs Internetworking
Source: David Fisher, PolarSoft

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Typical System View


Management Level
Operator Workstation Ethernet or IP LAN Router Gateway

Integration Level

MSTP LAN

Proprietary LAN

Field Controller Level


ASCs & AACs Proprietary Controllers

Application Level
BACnet-enabled Applications & other apps
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Part 2

BACnetthe community

Engineers & Educators


Members of ASHRAE
12 standard regions with 7-16 chapters in each Beyond America, ASHRAE reaches into Canada and South America. Beyond the Americas, ASHRAE reaches into
Hong Kong Malaysia Philippines Singapore Taiwan Thailand Middle East India Africa Europe Scandinavia England Scotland Wales Ireland

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SSPC 135
Consists of 7 working groups:
Applications Lighting Applications Life Safety & Security Network Security Objects & Services Utility Integration XML & Web Services

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Manufacturers, Integrators, Owners


BACnet International
Formed in January 2000 to "encourage the successful use of the data communication protocol, "BACnet", in building automation and control systems, through interoperability and compliance testing, educational programs, and promotional activities."

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Corporate BI Members

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Plugfests
Among the many initiatives undertaken by BACnet International are interoperability workshops or plugfests. Dozens of member compnaies routinely take part in these 3-day events for validating product interoperability.

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Interests Groups
BIGs consist of users, integrators, manufacturers, contractors, and other interested parties.

BIG-SU

BIG-FI

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BTL
BACnet Testing Laboratories
Established under direction and continued supervision of BACnet International in Feb 2000 Our goal is to improve interoperability between BACnet products through a combination of BTL lab testing, multi-vendor interoperability testing, and adherence to the BTL's device implementation guidelines. (Jim Butler, BTL Manager) Lists products by issuing mark
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BTL
Has freedom to make requirements above and beyond the minimum requirements specified in the standard. Manufacturers are given pretest guidelines. Requires an extended engineering commitment of manufacturers.

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Part 3
BACnetand you

BACnet & You


Why go BACnet? Engineer & owner considerations Is it really interoperable? Whats next?

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BACnet Benefits
It is an accepted standard domestically (ASHRAE/ANSI 135-2004), in Europe (CEN TC 247), and worldwide (ISO 16484-5). It was developed specifically for building systems. While HVAC is at its roots, the standard nicely incorporates other integrated functions.

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BACnet Benefits
It can be implemented on low-cost networks (dedicated or shared) and is extremely flexible in LAN types. BACnet devices are cost-competitive with long-standing proprietary devices. The standard specifically provides for scheduling, trending, and alarming.

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BACnet Benefits
It is easily scalable at all levels for any size job. It is completely open and not dependent on specific hardware. It provides for automatic device discovery (saving installation costs).

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BACnet Challenges
It does not specify hardware configuration. Therefore, configuration tools (required for initial device setup) vary by manufacturer. No standard application types are defined; therefore, its not yet plug-n-play.

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Considerations
Become familiar with PICS
Protocol Implementation Conformance Statements Defined format Specify device type, BIBBS supported, Object Types supported, and Data Link layer transport options. Required for each BACnet device Available to you

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Considerations
Become familiar with PICS. Look for native BACnet.
Native BACnet typically refers to a device that inherently represents data in BACnet format and communicates utilizing BACnet messaging. Native BACnet devices can be connected to a BACnet system without requiring a gateway device or software driver to translate to and from any proprietary protocols. (Source: Delta Controls
website)

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Considerations
Become familiar with PICS. Look for native BACnet. Specify BTL listed products.
This is the BACnet communitys seal of approval. Note exception for operator workstations (no testing yet provided).

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Considerations
Become familiar with PICS. Look for native BACnet. Specify BTL listed products. Need spec writing assistance?
Do not go to the standard (at least for this purpose). Use your manufacturers reps. Try www.ctrlspecbuilder.com.

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Considerations
Become familiar with PICS. Look for native BACnet. Specify BTL listed products. Get spec writing assistance if needed. Use protocol analyzers.

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Considerations
Become familiar with PICS. Look for native BACnet. Specify BTL listed products. Get spec writing assistance if needed. Use protocol analyzers. Demand training.

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Is it really Interoperable?

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Sample Interoperability
450 Golden Gate, San Francisco Phillip Burton Federal Building Landmark BACnet installation using two vendor systems (Alerton BACtalk and Trane Tracer Summit) on BACnet network. 9000 points, over 1000 VAV terminal units, 8 large AHUs, 13 single-zone AHUs

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Sample Interoperability
Paducah Community College, Kentucky BACnet installation using two vendor systems (Alerton and Reliable Controls) on BACnet network. 6 buildings, 1000 points

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Sample Interoperability
NY Metropolitan Hospital, Manhattan BACnet installation using two vendor systems (Delta Controls and KMC Controls) on BACnet network. Recent isolation wing renovation brought KMC AACs onto the Delta ORCAview network.

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Sample Interoperability/Integration
University of Arizona 435 total buildings. BACnet IP campus WAN Numerous vendor systems featuring BMA members Automated Logic Corporation and FieldServer Technologies ALCs WebCTRL manages the front end. FieldServer integrates numerous devices and systems (including Modbus, LonWorks, and Simplex) into the BACnet network.

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Where is BACnet Going?


BACnet support of IP communications lays the necessary groundwork for enterprisewide challenges. To meet these challenges, however, will require greater utilization of Internet protocols developed in the IT realm.

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XML & Web Services


Not really applicable to field-level controllers but highlevel communications. XML provides for examining high-level data while not being dependent on the communication protocol of the BAS, such as BACnet. So, BACnet manufacturers need to support XML in the operator workstation, for example. Further, web services, such as .NET, provide for greater possibilities in information exchange. The SSPC 135 XML Working Group is defining how data can be exchanged consistently between building automation systems and other enterprise management systems.

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Further Resources
www.bacnet.org www.bacnetinternational.org

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So, what are you waiting for?

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