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(Photo: BIG-EU) At the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt, representatives of the BIG-EU and the working group for mechanical and electrical engineering of state and municipal administrations (AMEV) met. From the joint working group "BACnet in German-speaking markets", the BACnet recommendations for public buildings were created.



Cornerstone of building automation


The BIG-EU looks back on 20 successful years


Dortmund, 16 March 2018. – For 20 years, it has been a cornerstone of building automation. The BACnet Interest Group Europe (BIG-EU) was founded on May 14th, 1998 and looks back on a 20-year career this year. During this time, with its power of integration, it has gathered over 130 members and has become the mouthpiece of providers, as well as planners, integrators and operators of open building management systems. The common standardization and dissemination of uniform device communication through the BACnet protocol (ISO 16484-5) was and still is a success that is second to none.


"The strong interest in BACnet has never subsided until today," reports BIG-EU President Klaus Wächter, Siemens Switzerland AG, "on the contrary, the demand for training is currently increasing." This growing demand throughout Europe led to the founding of the BACnet Academy in 2009. From Birmingham to Warsaw, Stockholm to Madrid, the academy teaches the fundamentals of BACnet first-hand.

The BACnet Standard has achieved a global market share of over 60 percent, according to the latest analysis by British BSRIA, which also forecasts further growth for the next five years. The BIG-EU and its 130 members, who come from 20 different European countries and North America, are promoters of this development. Following a wave of internationalization of its own direction, the BIG-EU has launched regional BACnet groups in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. It has also supported the BACnet application in Asia with BACnet conferences in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.


Entry into independence, expandability, and investment security


A groundbreaking moment for the use of BACnet in Europe was when the German Reichstag and government district was outfitted with interoperable building technology. As numerous as the participating manufacturers were, the device communication was uniform thanks to BACnet. This made the planners, integrators and building operators sit up and take notice. After the time of proprietary systems, BACnet signaled to them the entry into independence, expandability, and investment security.

The BIG-EU founded a joint working group with the AMEV, the working group for mechanical engineering and electrical engineering of state and local administrations, which is now part of the Federal Environment Ministry. Their objective is to provide neutral public information on the use of BACnet in administrative and educational buildings as well as cultural institutions. The BACnet recommendation of the AMEV appeared in 2017 in its second edition.

A BACnet forum of the BIG-EU in Berlin also triggered engagement between BACnet and the Austrian army. The Military Real Estate Management Center initiated its own BACnet conference on secure and interoperable building automation in shared properties. The BIG-EU was also asked for support from Switzerland. Again it was about neutral information for state building planners and operators. In 2017, the 88-page "Recommendations for BACnet application" of the Swiss Confederation was published. The publisher was the KBOB, the coordination conference of the construction and real estate bodies of the public builders of Switzerland.


"As an organization, the BIG-EU has become both a meeting place for building automation specialists and an information forum," says BIG-EU President Klaus Wächter, summarizing the association's history, "operators are increasingly choosing to become a member of the BIG-EU." It is they who particularly benefit from the open exchange. STRABAG, FRAPORT AG, DEUTSCHE BUNDESBANK are all companies that have already decided on the latest BACnet first-hand information.