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Leading Technology Alliances Unite Behind IP as Secure Backbone for Building Automation

BACnet International, KNX Association, OCF, Thread Group and Zigbee Alliance join forces in the new IP-BLiS initiative

BRUSSELS, 25 JUNE 2020BACnetInternational, KNX Association, OCF, Thread Group and the Zigbee Alliance today announced they are working together to better align commercial buildings with users' connectivity needs and to improve the integration of smart building products. The organisations behind the leading technology standards in the field of building automation are collaborating on this new initiative: "IP Building and Lighting Standards" (IP-BLiS). Together they are promoting a secure multi-standard IP-based infrastructure as a backbone in building automation to replace the inefficient, still-widespread use of siloed solutions. For this purpose, the operation of leading technology standards is to be harmonised, the fragmentation in smart building connectivity reduced and a broad acceptance of coexistent solutions promoted.

Silo solutions as costly barriers

Currently, there is no automation technology available that covers all of the use-cases required to fully automate a commercial building. 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 future is IP

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 harmonising 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.

There are several advantages to this approach. Hardware-based gateways become unnecessary, as various devices across some of the most diverse systems can communicate via a single secure IP connection, and it will be much easier to seamlessly integrate IoT products into existing smart buildings. Furthermore, an IP-based approach will significantly reduce effort and costs while increasing security, allowing smart building projects to become more scalable.

Worldwide commitment to IP

Through worldwide marketing and communication measures, IP-BLiS will 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. Companies wishing to support the goals of IP-BLiS can participate by becoming a member in one of the participating organisations.

“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.

“Collaboration and cooperation are key to allowing the IoT to reach its full potential,” said David McCall, president, Open Connectivity Foundation™. “IP-BLiS is the perfect platform for OCF and other key industry players to join forces and address the issues that face light and building automation today by removing connectivity roadblocks to create truly smart buildings.”

“Thread Group is excited to be a part of such a prestigious initiative. Our low-power wireless mesh networking protocol is based on IP because it allows for so many disparate applications to work together seamlessly,” said Grant Erickson, President of Thread Group. “We believe that IP-BLiS will provide a crucial standard that smart buildings need to improve interoperability and reduce costs, improving the efficiency, functionality, automation and safety of buildings such as offices, healthcare facilities, hotels and schools.”

“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, 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.”

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About BACnet International

BACnet is the global data communications standard for integration of devices and systems in building automation. It is an ISO standard (ISO 16484-5) and is also a European standard, an American national standard, and a national standard in more than 30 countries. BACnet is supported and maintained in a public, open process by ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 135 and is freely available for use by all manufacturers and users. BACnet International facilitates the successful use of BACnet in building information, automation and control systems through product certification, interoperability testing, educational programs and promotional activities. BACnet International complements the work of the ASHRAE standards committee and BACnet-related interest groups around the world. BACnet International includes building owners, consulting engineers and facility managers, as well as companies involved in the design, manufacturing, installation, and operation of BACnet products and systems.

About KNX

KNX Association is the creator and owner of the KNX technology – the worldwide STANDARD for all applications in home and building control, ranging from lighting and blind control to various security systems, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, monitoring, alarming, water control, energy management, smart metering as well as household appliances, audio/video and many more. KNX provides a single, manufacturer independent design and commissioning tool (ETS), with a complete set of supported communication media (TP, PL, RF and IP) as well as a complete set of supported configuration modes (system and easy mode). KNX is approved as a European (CENELEC EN 50090 and EN ISO 22510) and an International standard (ISO/IEC 14543-3). This standard is based upon 30 years of experience in the market. Over 495 member companies worldwide from different application domains have more than 8,000 KNX certified product groups in their catalogues. The KNX Association has partnership agreements with nearly 100,000 installation companies in 190 countries.

About Open Connectivity Foundation

The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) is a standards organization that develops application-layer IoT protocols, based on the universally supported Internet Protocol (IP), using strong open standards. IoTivity is the open source reference implementation of the OCF specification. The OCF Core Framework describes device discovery, onboarding, security (and optionally, data models), for device-to-device, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud connectivity. The OCF Core Framework can be used to carry the data models of other application-layer protocols. OCF is published as an ISO/IEC JTC1 specification, and there is a comprehensive certification program in place. Join our 500+ membership and learn more at

About Thread Group

Formed in 2013, the non-profit Thread Group is focused on making Thread the foundation for the internet of things in homes and commercial buildings. Built on open standards, Thread is a low power wireless networking protocol that enables direct, end-to-end, secure and scalable connectivity between IoT devices, mobile devices, and the internet. And, because Thread is IP-based, it seamlessly integrates with many environments, apps, devices and clouds. The Thread Group provides a rigorous certification program to ensure device interoperability and a positive user experience. Thread is backed by industry-leading companies including Apple, Google/Nest, Lutron, Nordic Semiconductors, NXP Semiconductors, OSRAM, Qualcomm, Siemens, Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Yale Security.

About the Zigbee Alliance

The Zigbee Alliance is the foundation and future of the Internet of Things. Established in 2002, our wide-ranging global membership collaborates to create and evolve universal open standards for the products transforming the way we live, work, and play. With our members’ deep and diverse expertise, robust certification programs, and a full suite of open IoT solutions – including the recently announced Project Connected Home over IP – we are leading the movement toward a more intuitive, imaginative, and useful world. The Zigbee Alliance board of directors is comprised of executives from Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google, IKEA, The Kroger Co., LEEDARSON, Legrand, Lutron Electronics, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, SmartThings, Somfy,STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Tuya, and Wulian.

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