How to write a Building User Guide
See also: Building User's Guide.
The guide should be designed for the following user groups (where relevant):
- The building’s staff.
- The non-technical facilities management team/building manager.
- Other building users, such as visitors and community users.
- Just visiting (usually a separate section at the front of the guide).
- At a glance.
- In depth.
This enables information to be presented in a way which allows the reader to pick and choose what is relevant to them.
 Contents page
This should confirm the topics which have been included and on which pages.
 Introduction / How to use the guide
 Overview of the building and its environmental strategy
This should be kept reasonably short but should include details of how the building works in terms of layout and use. It should also briefly cover information on the buildings environmental strategy (energy, water, waste) and how users should engage deliver this.
 Building services overview and access to controls
- For building users and visitors it should be limited to what they need to know, i.e. how to control the lighting, temperature, ventilation on a local scale, how to operate systems such as dual flush toilets, etc. and, if appropriate, some simple tips for using the building ‘out of hours’.
- For building and facilities management, the guide should go into slightly more depth and should cover issues such as simple maintenance/replacement issues and the control of lighting, temperature and ventilation on a wider scale (i.e. for the whole building, etc.). However, it is important to remember that this is a non-technical guide and so it should not go into too much technical detail.
This section is predominately for visitors, but it is also useful for building users and or managers to know how to deal with visitors. It should include brief details about the visitor management strategy including:
- Transport: directions, parking and public transport policies.
- Access: any access issues and signing in.
- Facilities: details of toilets, showers, canteens, etc.
- Shared facilities (see below).
- How to book.
- What is available, to who and when.
- Access arrangement (in and out of hours).
- Any other information (costs, available equipment, etc.).
 Safety and emergency information/instructions
This section should be split into user groups and should cover what to do in an emergency (i.e. location of fire muster points, etc.) and also confirm if and when alarms are to be tested. For building managers, it should also include information about fire marshalling, testing and maintenance regimes for emergency systems and emergency contact numbers.
 Operational procedures specific to building type
This section should provide details of what building training is available, who delivers it and when. In terms of the building/facilities management, this might include links to specialist outside companies (i.e. for building services operation, etc.).
 Provision of and access to transport facilities
- Car or motorbike parking spaces, including information for disabled or car share only spaces.
- Cyclist facilities, including details of any showers, lockers, etc.
- Provision of public transport, including details of the nearest stops, stations, destinations and timetables.
- Contact details for taxi firms.
- Details of any green travel initiatives.
This section should provide details of local businesses and services relevant to the building users, such as; cash machines, post boxes, grocery stores, chemists, medical centres etc and details of how find them (location maps, etc.).
 Re-fit, refurbishment and maintenance arrangements / considerations
This section is predominately for building management and should include details about the maintenance and replacement of building services or fabric and also considerations for re-fitting and refurbishment of the development (e.g. the location of services and load bearing walls, etc. as well as access and fire considerations). Again, this section should not be too technical and should refer back to the maintenance guides and O&M manuals.
 Building user guide – do’s and don’t’s
The following are some do’s and don’t’s to consider when preparing a guide:
- Do keep it simple and to the point.
- Do ensure that all the required topics are covered.
- Do use headings to differentiate between sections/topics.
- Do make it relevant to the intended users.
- Do present it in a way which is accessible to the intended users.
- Don’t copy large sections of manufacturers’ information from the O&M manuals.
- Don’t include too much block text.
- Don’t try and cover too much.
- Don’t assume that something is obvious, but equally don’t patronise.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Health and safety file.
- Building log book.
- Building owner's manual.
- Building user's guide.
- How to write a method statement.
- Soft landings.
- Technical guide.
 External references
Issue support documents
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Issue support documents are written for named BREEAM Issues or sub-issues. More info. (ac) = awaiting content
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- BREEAM Sustainability champion
- BREEAM Environmental management
- BREEAM Considerate construction
- BREEAM Monitoring of construction site impacts
- BREEAM Aftercare support
- BREEAM Seasonal commissioning
- BREEAM Testing and inspecting building fabric
- BREEAM Life cycle cost and service life planning
- BREEAM Stakeholder consultation (ac)
- BREEAM Commissioning (ac)
- BREEAM Handover (ac)
- BREEAM Inclusive and accessible design (ac)
- BREEAM Post occupancy evaluation
 Health and Wellbeing
- BREEAM Visual comfort Daylighting (partly ac)
- BREEAM Visual comfort View out
- BREEAM Visual comfort Glare control
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation
- BREEAM Thermal comfort
- BREEAM Internal and external lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs (ac)
- BREEAM Potential for natural ventilation (ac)
- BREEAM Safe containment in laboratories (ac)
- BREEAM Acoustic performance
- BREEAM Safety and security (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions
- BREEAM Energy monitoring
- BREEAM External lighting
- BREEAM Low carbon design
- BREEAM Passive design
- BREEAM Free cooling
- BREEAM LZC technologies
- BREEAM Energy efficient cold storage (partly ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient transportation systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient laboratory systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient equipment (partly ac)
- BREEAM Drying space
- BREEAM Transport assessment and travel plan
- BREEAM Public transport accessibility
- BREEAM Sustainable transport measures
- BREEAM Proximity to amenities
- BREEAM Cyclist facilities
- BREEAM Alternative modes of transport (ac)
- BREEAM Maximum car parking capacity
- BREEAM Travel plan
- BREEAM Home office (ac)
- BREEAM Water consumption
- BREEAM Water efficient equipment
- BREEAM Water monitoring
- BREEAM Water leak detection (ac)
- BREEAM Hard landscaping and boundary protection
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials
- BREEAM Insulation
- BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience
- BREEAM Life cycle impacts
- BREEAM Material efficiency (ac)
- BREEAM Construction waste management
- BREEAM Recycled aggregates
- BREEAM Speculative floor & ceiling finishes
- BREEAM Adaptation to climate change
- BREEAM Operational waste
- BREEAM Functional adaptability (ac)
 Land Use and Ecology
- BREEAM Site Selection
- BREEAM Ecological value of site
- BREEAM Protection of ecological features
- BREEAM Minimising impact on existing site ecology
- BREEAM Enhancing site ecology
- BREEAM Long term impact on biodiversity (ac)
- BREEAM Impact of refrigerants
- BREEAM NOx emissions
- BREEAM Flood risk management (ac)
- BREEAM Surface water run-off (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of night time light pollution (partly ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of noise pollution
Once an ISD has been initially created the '(ac)' marker can be removed
This particular index is based around the structure of the New Construction and RFO schemes.