Last edited 03 Aug 2022

Building owner's manual - O and M manual

The building owner's manual, or operation and maintenance manual (O&M manual), contains the information required for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of a building.

The building owner's manual is prepared by the contractor or the sub-contractor with additional information from the designers (in particular, the services engineer) and suppliers. It is a requirement that is generally defined in the preliminaries section of the tender documentation where its contents will be described, although there may be additional requirements regarding mechanical and electrical services in the mechanical and electrical specification.

A draft version of the document should be provided for the client as part of the handover procedure prior to certifying practical completion. The final document is not usually available in full form until several months after practical completion, as commissioning information often needs to include summer and winter readings taken in the fully occupied building. The preliminaries may require several copies of the building owner's manual and might require an electronic version.

The building owner's manual might include:

Much of this information will already exist in one form or another, so preparing the building owner's manual might simply be a matter of compiling and assembling its components.

Over the life of the buildings, the building owner's manual may be developed to reflect changes that take place to the fabric of the building or its systems, along with details of maintenance that has taken place .

The building owner's manual is different from the health and safety file which only needs to include information important to health and safety and does not need to include information about the construction process, contractual information or information about the normal operation of the completed structure.

The building owner's manual may also include a non-technical 'building user's guide' with information for users about environmental controls, access, security and safety systems, etc.

NB - Building owner's manuals might now be referred to as building manuals. For more information see: Building manual.

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