The BACnet Interest Group Europe (BIG-EU) is a user and industry association that promotes the successful use of the BACnet protocol in building automation and control systems through interoperability testing, educational programs and promotional activities in Europe.
The BIG-EU was founded on May 14, 1998, in Frankfurt am Main by 17 member companies. Today, the BIG-EU has over 130 members from all over Europe. The BACnet standard was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and made publicly available to enable manufacturers to develop interoperable product systems. The BIG-EU complements the work of the ASHRAE Standards Committee with European requirements.
BIG-EU members include building owners, consulting engineers and facility managers as well as companies involved in the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of control equipment that uses BACnet for communications.
We work with existing organizations to promote and enhance BACnet. These include:
- ASHRAE BACnet-Ausschuss (SSPC 135)
- BACnet International
- BACnet France
- CEN TC247 (Comité Européen de Normalisation)
- Building G100
- OPC Foundation Group
- FDS Facility Data Standard
- ISO TC205
Promoting the development of the BACnet standard, enabling open data exchange and ensuring interoperability of different building automation components – these are the objectives of the BIG-EU. It is because systems that communicate with each other in a single language are far superior to isolated solutions, that we demand the prevalence of the BACnet standard in Europe. We represent European interests in the development of the norm and coordinate the European BACnet activities. Our tasks are:
- Best Practice:
The BIG-EU promotes the spread of best practice solutions. Reference projects are published in the BACnet Europe Journal and the Internet. Experts share their experiences at the BACnet Forum, on joint stands at exhibitions, in the Marketing and Technology Work Groups and at the members’ General Meeting.
- European Coordination:
The BIG-EU coordinates the European BACnet activities and globally represents the interests of the European members and countries in close co-operation with ASHRAE, BACnet International and all existing and prospective BACnet Interest Groups. The co-operation prevents the emergence of a European BACnet dialect.
Interoperability is the ability of different systems to work together. This is usually achieved by conforming to common standards. By promoting compliance with the BACnet standard, the BIG-EU promotes interoperability in building automation. Annual BIG-EU Plugfests are held to confirm interoperability of devices from various manufacturers. The manufacturers meet in pairing and plenary sessions. The BIG-EU Plugfests are open to members and non-members.
In Europe there is a growing demand for proof of a product’s conformity. In agreement with BACnet International, the BIG-EU has developed a procedure for certifying conformance according to the BACnet standard ISO 16484-5. The BIG-EU has developed an automated testing procedure. Manufacturers of successfully tested products receive permission for their products to carry the BTL trademark and/or gain the BACnet Certificate that is granted by the European certification body. The BIG-EU provides the listing of certified products. A PICS document (Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement) obliges manufacturers to label their products with information on the device profiles, the supported functions, objects, and data link options.
The market expects independent reports on the benefits, economic efficiency and application of the BACnet protocol. The BIG-EU informs investors, planners and BACnet users with the “BACnet Journals”, which are published in different European editions. Press releases, social media activities, exhibitions, institutional and community booths at trade fairs and the homepage provide up-to-date information about the application of the BACnet standard in Europe. The BIG-EU coordinates the marketing in Europe and represents the interests of its members in the international market.
The BIG-EU is represented by two voting members in the permanent BACnet committee SSPC 135 of ASHRAE that controls the requirements of the conformity tests and the use of the BACnet trademark.
The BACnet protocol can always be extended. When developing the standard, the BIG-EU respects the interests of its members. It represents European interests in the SSPC 135 and informs members of the results.
The use of the BACnet protocol presupposes specialist knowledge. The BIG-EU cares for the BACnet Academy Europe and the training courses of the VDI-Wissensforum. The trainings focus on fundamentals and methodology of planning, implementation, and operation.