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A Simulation Analysis of BACnet Local Area Networks



W Song, S Hong, Steven T. Bushby


Cnet is a standard data communication protocol for building automation and control systems. BACnet defines an object-base model of the information that is exchanged between components of the building automation system and an application layer protocol that is used to access and manipulate this information. It also provides a way to convey the information across a variety of local and wide-area networks that may be interconnected to form an internetwork. In this study, the performance of three BACnet local area networking options is investigated using simulation models developed using AREA, a tool for simulation discrete event dynamic systems. This study evaluated the delay characteristics of Master-Slave/Token-Passing (MS/TP), Attached Resource Computer Network (ARCNET), and ISO-8802-3 (Ethernet) networks being used to deliver BACnet application services. Analysis of the simulation results was used to identify the network parameters that influence the performance of BACnet application services and to develop recommendations that should be considered when designing and operating BACnet systems
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7038
Report Number


ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135, ARENA, BACnet, building automation and control, communication protocol, direct digital control, discrete, energy management systems, event dynamic systems


Song, W. , Hong, S. and Bushby, S. (2003), A Simulation Analysis of BACnet Local Area Networks, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed July 17, 2024)


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Created October 14, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021