When the BACnet protocol received approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1995, manufacturers of building automation systems knew they would need support in educating their end-user customers about this important advance in building technology.
By 1999, the industry had established the BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA), a non-profit organization comprised of companies that design, market, and install building automation products. The association provides a forum in which manufacturers as a group can promote the benefits of using BACnet to end-users - their customers - through testing, educational programming, and other ongoing promotional efforts.
Association objectives include:
• Developing a BACnet conformance certification and listing program that
will award the BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) logo after successful completion.
• Establishing a test laboratory to support compliance and interoperability testing.
• Promoting interoperability and compliance with the BACnet Standard by developing conformance-testing software and organizing multi-vendor interoperability testing.
• Providing the latest information about BACnet technology and products through educational events and a website that displays listed products.
• Marketing and promoting the use of BACnet to consulting engineers, end-users of building automation equipment, and the building automation community at large.
• Working with existing organizations to promote and improve BACnet.
Current corporate members include Alerton Technologies, American Auto-Matrix, Automated Logic, Belimo Aircontrols, Cimetrics, Delta Controls, Field- Server Technologies, Honeywell, Invensys Building Systems, Johnson Controls, Lithonia Lighting, McQuay International, Nara Controls, Reliable Controls, Siemens Building Technologies, SimplexGrinnell, Teletrol Systems, Trane, and Tridium. All BMA members offer BACnet products and are committed to assuring that their BACnet products will interoperate.
The BMA recently formed the BACnet Testing Laboratories to perform compliance and interoperability testing of building automation products that use BACnet. This testing will result in a product-listing program similar to that used by Underwriters Laboratories. Products passing BTL tests will bear a special logo and be listed on the BMA website as approved products.
Robin Suttell, based in Cleveland, is a frequent contributing editor to Buildings magazine.