January 2014


BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
BACnet Testing Laboratories

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EMAIL INTERVIEWAndy McMillan and Ken Sinclair

Andy McMillan, President, BACnet International

BACnet International and the Connections Community

The more engaged the building community is, from engineers and architects to facility managers and owners, the faster standards and solutions will evolve to meet their needs.

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SinclairWhat is the status of the BACnet International community? 

McMillan:  The BACnet International community is a dynamic, global group of companies and individuals that continues to grow and evolve.  BACnet International was created through the consolidation of BACnet Interest Group North America (BIG-NA) and the BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA) in 2006. The far-sighted leaders of those organizations recognized that both users and suppliers have a strong interest in a vibrant BACnet market based on interoperable products.  To date, ASHRAE has issued over 600 BACnet Vendor IDs and BACnet International has over 80 member companies that are a “who’s who” of global controls manufacturers.  BACnet International also has an individual member community in excess of 7,000 professionals.

SinclairWas the sole purpose of creating BACnet International to create the BACnet Test Lab (BTL)?

McMillan:  Product testing is the bedrock on which interoperability is built so the BACnet Test Lab has been a clear focus of BACnet International from the beginning.  However, our goal of ensuring users get maximum value from BACnet requires a lot more.  That is why BACnet International also serves as an information resource and a growing focal point for BACnet education.   

We actively disseminate the latest information about BACnet technology, trends, projects and products through eZine and print publications.  We produce three publications to meet the various needs of our growing community. The “BACnet International Journal” for general BACnet information, stories and activities; “Foundations” which is a technical, educational publication and; “Cornerstones” which serves as a monthly touchstone to keep our community appraised of the latest news.   We also promote the use of BACnet to consulting engineers, end users of building automation equipment and the building automation community at large. Our latest educational event was incorporated in NMFT Vegas in October 2013 and we will offer additional educations sessions at the AHR ASHRAE conference in January, 2014.  To recognize the successful BACnet implementations and community leaders, we annually announce our “Leader of the Pack” awards. 

SinclairWhat is the BTL Mark?  

McMillan:  The BTL Mark is awarded to products that successfully pass the globally recognized BTL conformance tests at an independent lab.  Suppliers can use the Mark on the product itself as well as on appropriate product collateral.  The Mark provides users with a clear indication that the supplier has utilized the best available resources for ensuring their product complies with the standard and is committed to BACnet product interoperability. 

Control Solutions, Inc SinclairHow is a BTL Mark different from BTL Listing?  

McMillan:  The BTL Mark is a visual indicator that a product has successfully completed the BTL-designated tests.  The BTL listing is an online compilation of products which have been awarded a BTL Mark.

Sinclair:  How is this good for the building industry?

McMillan:  Published, continuously refined, non-proprietary, tested standards are critical to improving the bid process and integration effort by mitigating integration uncertainty. The facility manager wins, the building owner wins, and the industry as a whole, wins.

SinclairDo you see a new Connection Community emerging?

McMillan:  It certainly looks that way to me.  The coming together of new building technologies will require more integrated systems and the only way to achieve that is with broader and more effective Connection Communities that engage the whole building community including owners, architects, engineers, facility managers, suppliers and building occupants.   


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