New BACnet Standard Lowers Energy Use on Demand

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2008, BACnet® -- A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks allows building equipment and systems manufactured by different companies to work together, according to a Jan. 21 press release.

It is the only open, consensus-developed standard in the building controls industry. The new standard contains seven addenda approved since the 2004 standard was published. "The 2008 version of the standard incorporates many years of work by the BACnet committee," said immediate past chair Bill Swan. "This includes material first published a couple of months ago. It replaces the 2004 version as the standard for BACnet technical and specification efforts."

The standard contains new guidance related to the Load Control object, an extension to reduce a building's energy consumption on demand -- a key element of the integration of energy utilities and buildings to reduce or eliminate brownouts and blackouts from energy grid overload.

It also covers:

• the Access Door object, the first of the extensions to fully support physical access control

• improvements in requirements on BACnet devices

• new capabilities such as BACnet Web Services which, among other things, are being considered for energy utility-building communications

• a standardized and interoperable means to record alarms

The cost of the standard is $119 ($99 ASHRAE members). To order, call 1.800.527.4723 (United States and Canada) or 404.636.8400 (worldwide), or visit