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Last edited 11 Sep 2020
Handover construction site to the client
The handover of the site to the client takes place once the contract administrator has confirmed that the works defined in the contract are complete. However, it should be planned well in advance, and any special requirements included in appointment documents and contracts.
- Keys, fobs and transmitter controls for the development.
- The health and safety file.
- The draft building owner's manual.
- The building log book.
- A building user's guide.
- Up to date testing and commissioning data.
- All certificates and warranties in respect of the works.
- As-built drawings from consultants and specialist suppliers and contractors (or as manufactured and installed). Or an as-constructed building information model.
- Copies of statutory approvals, waivers, consents and conditions.
- Equipment test certificates for lifts, escalators, lifting equipment, cradle systems, boilers and pressure vessels.
- Licences such as licences to store chemicals and gases and to extract groundwater from an artesian well.
If building information modelling (BIM) is being used, the common data environment may be transferred to the employer, including the final published information and the archive which provides a record of all activities in the common data environment during the project. If they have not already done so, the employer should appoint an asset information manager to maintain the information.
- A defects reporting procedure should be agreed.
- Access arrangements should be arranged for the contractor to remedy defects.
- The contractor’s insurance cover ceases upon practical completion so a new policy for full cover needs to be in place.
- The contractor will no longer be responsible for security and so the client's own security arrangements need to be implemented.
- As the client's facilities management team takes over the running of plant and equipment, meters and fuel should be checked and recorded and tools and spares issued or sourced.
- Legal agreements such as adoption of roads or lease agreements should be signed.
- Outsourced contracts for maintenance should be signed.
If the soft landings framework is adopted, there may be additional requirements to ensure a smooth transition from construction to occupation, such as aftercare services and the provision of a technical guide. These additional services should be included in appointment documents and contracts. See Soft landings for more information.
NB The RIBA Plan of Work 2020 renamed stage 6 'handover and close out' as 'handover. The Plan of Work suggest that: 'In addition to the core contractual obligations to rectify defects, certify Practical Completion and close out the Building Contract, other tasks need to be undertaken. A Project Performance session needs be facilitated, so that the project team can share their experiences for the benefit of future projects... Initial Aftercare tasks need to be initiated and completed.'
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Base construction.
- BREEAM Handover.
- BSRIA updates Handover and O&M manuals.
- Building completion.
- Building owner's manual.
- Building log book.
- Building manager.
- Client commissioning.
- Defects liability period.
- Difference between practical completion and partial possession.
- Early use.
- Extended aftercare.
- Handover and close out.
- Handover strategy
- Health and safety file.
- Initial aftercare.
- Migration strategy.
- Post occupancy evaluation.
- Performance in use.
- Practical completion.
- Soft landings.
- Soft Landings for owners.
- Whole life costs.
 External references
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