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Last edited 07 Dec 2020
Outsourcing operation and maintenance manuals
 What is an O&M manual?
Operation and maintenance manuals [O&Ms] provide the information required by end users for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of a building. The format and content are typically defined in the Employers Information Requirements [EIRs] of the contact preliminaries documents; typically, under clause A37.
The following is standard content that should be provided in an O&M manual:
- Details of building construction e.g. finishes, cladding, doors
- Requirements for demolition, decommissioning and disposal
- Asset register of plant and equipment
- Manufacturer’s instructions for efficient and proper operation
- Commissioning and testing results
- Guarantees, warranties and certificates
- As-built drawings and specifications
 Why are O&Ms a challenge for contractors?
O&Ms are a prerequisite for practical completion, yet the resource and time required to gather all relevant information is often underestimated or left too late. As a result, clients become disappointed with poor quality O&Ms at handover and will postpone sign off if they deem the O&M Manuals incomplete.
This reflects badly on the contractor and prevents valuable site staff from moving on to future projects as they rectify any problems. This also has a knock on effect for building managers and facilities maintenance teams who are unable to maintain their building efficiently and safely.
 Outsourcing O&Ms
Contractors can produce manuals in house but this may be a distraction from the core task of construction. The cost of outsourcing O&Ms to a specialist provider can be an initial deterrent, particularly if it’s not budgeted for it in the cost plan, but, there are many advantages:
- There may be fewer aftercare calls.
The service should Include:
- An agreed process for delivery.
- Chasing and collating project data.
- Structured site review process.
- Handover at practical completion.
- Aftercare hosting and client training.
 What to look for in an O&M specialist
Key questions to ask any potential provider include:
- Is project handover documentation the sole focus of the company? If not, why not?
- Do they have the relevant experience, skills and resources to handle the project?
- Is the service priced on the amount of work done? If it’s a percentage of construction value, question the relevance of this.
- Is a total management role offered including; site visits, a structured review process, visibility of project progress and so on?
- Can they integrate O&M and asset data with client systems?
- Do they provide an asset register of major plant items as standard?
A specialist provider should outline a fixed, managed process that underpins the way they deliver every project to ensure quality and consistency. This is a total management service to control the flow of information in accordance with your construction programme. It is best achieved through early appointment; chasing all subcontractors, designers and suppliers for information as and when they start on site.
--Createmaster 16:58, 12 Jun 2017 (BST)
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building log book.
- Building owner's manual - O and M manual.
- Building user's guide.
- Handover to client.
- Health and safety file.
- Operation and Maintenance Manuals - Cheap Options.
- Operation, maintenance and training (OMT).
- Practical completion.
- Technical guide.
- Tender documentation.
- Why hard copies of O&M manuals are obsolete.
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