The Building Operation and Maintenance Manual, is a document which is developed and compiled during the construction phase of a project and is handed over to the Client, or End User on completion. The Building Manual contains information regarding the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and subsequent demolition of a building or structure.
The Building Manual is usually compiled by the Principal Contractor and requires the input from the Project Team, including Designers and Sub Contractors. The specific requirements are normally outlined in the Tender Documentation or the Contract Specification. Generally, the Electrical and Mechanical Contractor(s) have a significant contribution to make and are subject to additional information regarding the cleaning and maintenance of the electrical and mechanical installations.
The Building Manual is normally required for Practical Completion and forms part of the Handover Documentation. Quite often the Building Manual isn’t complete until sometime after completion, as commissioning information is not always available.
A hard copy version of the Building Manual is often prepared as a set of files and left on the premises. Sometimes additional copies may also be required; this is usually identified within the Contract Documentation or Building Specification. In addition, an electronic version is often prepared which mirrors the hard copy. The Building Manual should be kept up to date with new relevant information following any future building work or new installations.
Depending on the project, Practical Completion may not be accepted unless the Building Operation and Maintenance Manual has been complete. In such instances, the Principal Contractor, or the organisation assigned to compile the documentation, should liaise with the Client ensuring at the earliest opportunity that the format, layout and content of the Building Manual is agreed.
The content of a Building Manual may include: –
- Description of the Buildings Construction, or Installation
- As Built Drawings and Specifications
- Product Data Sheets
- Cleaning & Maintenance Instructions (including manufacturers health and safety information)
- Testing and Commissioning Certification
- Guarantees and Warranties
- Requirements for Demolition, Decommissioning and Disposal
From time to time, the Building Manual is referred to as the Health and Safety File, however, this terminology is incorrect. The Health and Safety File is a completely different document and is a statutory requirement under the CDM Regulations 2015. The Health and Safety File contains information on the health and safety issues to be considered when carrying out any future cleaning, repair, maintenance, construction or demolition work and will allow those undertaking such work to plan and manage their work without risk to their health or safety.
Should you require any assistance, or further information on Building Operation & Maintenance Manuals, please contact Paul Littlewood at [email protected] or telephone 01332 668877.