- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 Mar 2018
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:
- It can ensure quality and consistent delivery.
- 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)
 Find out more
 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.
Featured articles and news
The first US building to achieve BREEAM Outstanding In-Use.
70 buildings from 70 years of Concrete Quarterly. Book review.
Conserving the iron roof at the Albert Dock.
Delivering an infrastructure revolution.
The admissibility of evidence.
How many can you name? 37 anyone?
CIOB respond to the points-based system.
When is the weather considered 'exceptionally adverse'?
ECA backs call for a rolling programme of rail electrification.
What does 'curtilage' mean and why does it matter?
Our duty to prevent harm and protect each other.