ACnet International, KNX Association, OCF, Thread Group and the Zigbee Alliance have joined forces in an effort to better align commercial buildings with users’ connectivity needs and to improve the integration of smart building products.
These organizations behind the leading technology standards in the field of building automation are collaborating on this new initiative: “IP Building and Lighting Standards” (IP-BLiS). Under this initiative, they are promoting a secure multi-standard IP-based infrastructure as a backbone in building automation to replace the still-widespread use of siloed solutions. For this purpose, the operation of leading technology standards is to be harmonized, the fragmentation in smart building connectivity reduced and a broad acceptance of coexistent solutions promoted.
Currently, there is no automation technology available that covers all of the use-cases required to fully automate a commercial building, the partners said. The groups went on to note that from elevators and energy management, to lighting, water supply and air conditioning, to access control and surveillance systems, there are countless application scenarios for technologies in smart buildings. However, some individual building systems still use a wide variety of proprietary solutions that often require separate hardware-based gateways and infrastructures. This fragmentation results in higher costs for planning, installation, maintenance and administration of smart building projects. In addition, synergistic opportunities over the long-term remain unused, the organizations added.
In order to overcome these barriers, the members of IP-BLiS intend to combine light control and building management systems with IT networks by using a secure all IP-based configuration while harmonizing the operation of their technical standards accordingly. This will allow data from a wide variety of building systems to be accessible via a single IP address, the groups said.
Through worldwide marketing and communication measures, IP-BLiS aims to enlighten the building automation market about the use of IP-based solutions, identify the security requirements that will be necessary for different regions and further influence legislation to increase adoption.
“The BACnet community is collaborative by nature and we welcome the opportunity to promote fully integrated building systems through IP-BLiS,” said Andy McMillan, president of BACnet International. He continued, “IP-BLiS is a powerful platform for communicating the value of IP in addressing the complexity and dynamic requirements of building information and control systems.”
“We are proud to be a part of IP-BLiS. This initiative is a real game changer for building automation that will further accelerate the growth of the market thanks to its added values in terms of integration, scalability and security,” said Franz Kammerl, president at KNX Association International.
“The advent of the Internet of Things has progressively required more and more collaboration between manufacturers, ecosystems and global standards organizations to unlock the evolving potential offered by connected devices,” said Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of Zigbee Alliance. “Through IP-BLiS, we’re looking forward to helping facilitate more efficiencies for users across commercial settings through secure, all-IP-based standards for better lighting control and building management.”