O&M Manuals, it’s time to get smarter | Macro

O&M Manuals, it’s time to get smarter


O&M Manuals – it’s time to get smarter

Building owners, operators and facilities managers often complain that O&M (operation and maintenance) manuals aren’t provided to an acceptable standard.  The problem can start at the contract stage, where not enough instruction is given on the required content and format.  Budget can also be a factor, affecting the quality of the final product that’s supplied at Practical Completion.

Whether you’re embracing Soft Landings (BSRIA’s process for recognising and overcoming problems beyond building handover) or not, there are substantial benefits to be gained by insisting on improving the standards of O&Ms.  Using the 13 Section BSRIA compliant O&M manual format will ensure manuals are more structured and thorough; the format outlined in the 4 Section NBS, Clause A37 is often not interpreted as it should and sub-standard manuals are produced too often and sometimes too late.  This often leads to problems for building operators who don’t get clear concise asset information and who then waste time and money resolving maintenance and servicing issues.

If contractors can’t or won’t produce manuals to the standards required then use specialists; they’ll produce a thorough quality product more quickly and probably for a lower cost.

The key do’s and don’ts for O&Ms are:

  • Don’t skimp – O&Ms are too important to be done ‘on the cheap’.
  • Ensure you agree the process, format and timescales well in advance.
  • Decide on whether you need hard copy, electronic and/or browser system manuals – although today most people prefer the browser system.
  • Do a thorough check for completeness and quality – don’t accept second best.
  • Adopt a clear client approval process and make whatever changes are necessary before the documents are issued in final form.

And while we’re talking about Soft Landings, O&Ms are just the beginning – what about the TM31, BREEAM User Guide, Building Manuals, H&S files, Asset Registers, As-built Drawings, Testing and Commissioning documents  – that’s for another day!

If you need help with your O&M manuals contact David Laverty for more information.