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What is an operation and maintenance manual?

An operation and maintenance (O&M) manual is a valuable tool. It defines the requirements and procedures for the effective operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of the building, and includes details of the building's construction, history and maintenance, instructions for its operation and maintenance, and guarantees and warranties.

The manual, relating to the services installation, must be read in conjunction with other related documentation, which forms part of the overall Health and Safety File. The purpose of the Operating and Maintenance Manuals are to provide suitable, adequate and relevant information to the owner / operation to operate, manage and run the services and provides:

  • A description of the systems installed together with drawings.
  • Information for safe, efficient and correct operation of services and equipment
  • To operate and maintain the plant and services in line with manufacturers recommendations.
  • To comply with relevant Health and Safety Regulations, Statutory and Local Regulations.
  • To maximize the economic life of the plant and keep running costs to a minimum
  • Minimise energy consumption
  • Provide guidance on waste disposal of plant and equipment

Who should do this?

The owner/developer, the design team, the contractor and the property manager.

What should be done?

  • Identify key design elements, systems and materials that are critical to long term quality and performance of your project: e.g. exterior wall and roof materials, windows, exterior doors, landscaping, key mechanical equipment.
  • Develop or collect any available operation and maintenance information/manuals on each of these components. (Much of this information will already exist and simply needs to be assembled.)
  • Ensure that all materials - as-built drawings, final finish schedules and plans, and all warranties, guarantees and certifications - that are contractually owed to you are collected from your design team and your contractor before final payments are made.
  • Aggregate this information into a single resource that can be used by residents and management personnel to guide overall O&M activities.
  • If possible, create one or more "to do" checklists that synthesize key recommendations in the collected material; i.e. what to do and when.
  • Print out the Operation and Maintenance Manual Checklist Form and list all the O&M materials and manuals that you have collected. Add the list to the Project Book and include it in the O&M manual.

How will doing this help move my project forward?

  • Effective operation and ongoing maintenance are critical to the long term viability of any project.
  • By making these activities easier to understand - especially by outlining what to do when - an operations manual can help ensure that your project is efficiently operated and well maintained long into the future.

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