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(also building automation and control networks)

BACnet definition

BACnet, an acronym for building automation and control networks, is an open protocol standard for communications in building automation and control systems. It is designed to facilitate interoperability among devices from different manufacturers, enabling various components like heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting control, and security systems to communicate and function cohesively.

See also: SSL encryption, wireless network security, firewall

BACnet examples

  • Smart buildings: BACnet is commonly used in smart buildings where different control systems need to interact. For instance, HVAC, lighting, fire detection, and security systems can seamlessly communicate to improve energy efficiency and security.
  • Campus facilities: Large facilities like universities or corporate campuses use BACnet to control and monitor multiple buildings' interconnected systems from a central location.

Advantages and disadvantages of BACnet


  • Interoperability: BACnet promotes communication among devices from various manufacturers, preventing vendor lock-in.
  • Flexibility: BACnet supports a wide range of systems and devices, offering great flexibility in system design.


  • Complexity: Implementing a BACnet system can be complex due to the wide variety of devices and system types it supports.
  • Security concerns: BACnet was designed with a focus on functionality, not security. Extra measures must be taken to secure BACnet systems, such as firewalls or network design.

Using BACnet

  • Ensure your system integrator understands BACnet well enough to design and implement your control system effectively
  • Use additional security measures, like VPNs, to protect the network where your BACnet system operates.