O&M MANUALS | Guide, Format, Documents, File, and Template

December 9, 2022 |

Once a facility has been constructed or fitted out, the general/main contractor will have an obligation within the contract and, in some instances, legally, to write and issue ‘Operating and Maintenance’ Manuals.

The purpose of the O&M Manual is to provide the facilities manager, owner, operator, users, and occupants with a single, reliable document for all matters related to the management, operation, and maintenance of the facility during its lifecycle.

The manuals will provide detailed information on environmental conditions, record drawings, commissioning data, occupancy times, plant/asset schedules, safety, specific plant, equipment, and systems.

🟩 O&M Manual Meaning?

The phrase O&M has two meanings:

  • OperATION and Maintenance Manual and,
  • OperATING and Maintenance Manual

The phrase ‘OPERATION’ seems to be used in the USA/UK/Europe, and ‘OPERATING’ relates mainly to the UK market.

πŸš€ Ultimately, they mean the same thing.

🟩 Why Create them?

The manuals are created for two reasons:

O&M Manuals are designed to exchange information on the equipment and systems that have been installed for maintenance and,

to provide a document for future reference incase any works are to be done such as refurbishments and updating of plant and equipment.

🟩 Other names

We have seen the manual being referred to many different ways including:

  • O&M Manual
  • Operating and Maintenance Manual
  • O and M Manual
  • Building O&M Manual
  • Construction O&M Manual
  • O+M Manual
  • OM Manuals
  • O/M Manual
  • OnM Manual

🟩 O&M Manuals and the Legal Requirements [UK]

Whilst the legal requirements do not specifically note ‘operating and maintenance manuals’, we have found within the UK that there are a couple of conditions that need to be met within the πŸ”—Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 [sometimes abbreviated HSWA], for the following:

🟧 Paragraph [2][1] | It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of all his employees:

◻️ Paragraph [2][2] | Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular:

◻️ Paragraph [2][2][a] | the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;

◻️ Paragraph [2][2][b] | arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage, and transport of articles and substances;

◻️ Paragraph [2][2][c] | the provision of such information, instruction, training, and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;

◻️ Paragraph [2][2][d] | so far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health, and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;

🟧 Paragraph [6][1] | It shall be the duty of any person who designs, manufactures, imports, or supplies any article for use at work

◻️ Paragraph [6][1][a] | to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the article is so designed and constructed that it will be safe and without risks to health at all times when it is being set, used, cleaned or maintained by a person at work;

◻️ Paragraph [6][1][b] | to carry out or arrange for the carrying out of such testing and examination as may be necessary for the performance of the duty imposed on him by the preceding paragraph;

◻️ Paragraph [6][1][c] | to take such steps as are necessary to secure that persons supplied by that person with the article are provided with adequate information about the use for which the article is designed or has been tested and about any conditions necessary to ensure that it will be safe and without risks to health at all such times as are mentioned in paragraph (a) above and when it is being dismantled or disposed of; and

◻️ Paragraph [6][1][d] | to take such steps as are necessary to secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons so supplied are provided with all such revisions of information provided to them by the preceding paragraph as are necessary because of its becoming known that anything gives rise to a severe risk to health or safety.

🟧 There are also other requirements to provide information for staff and operatives relating to the equipment and systems that have been installed under new/refurbishment works:

🟩 When are they Developed and Issued?

Some people are quite surprised as to when, within the project process, the manuals are to be developed and issued, but if the process is managed correctly and started when it should be, there will not be so much complication and confusion as can be seen on many projects.

The πŸ”—commissioning process notes that the O&M format and structure will be developed during ‘Stage 2k | Design’. This will be where the client, owner, and consultants will develop and agree on the format, ensuring it is included in the πŸ”—tender process.

During πŸ”— Stage, 3bg | Construction, the general/main contractor should write and issue a draft O&M document for the client team to review and comment upon. This will allow any issues to be picked up early and problems ironed out.

At this point, the general/main contractor should manage the process, updating and reissuing the document as comments are made.

By πŸ”—Stage 3c | Commissioning, the manuals should have been entirely issued, reviewed, and updated. With this issue, the final for approval.

It seems this is quite early in the process, but it’s good to get them out of the way and approved, ready for the final handover stage of the project.

🟩 Who manages and creates the O&M manuals?

Creating the O&M Manuals is not generally a one-person mission. Instead, writing and producing a superb manual will require the input and work of multiple people from most disciplines across the project.

The people usually involved and their responsibilities will be:

RoleTask
Client/Ownera. detail the format of the O&M manual.
b. review and comment on the draft, revised, and final manuals.
c. approve the overall manual.
Commissioning Agenta. support the owners in detailing the format of the O&M manual
b. oversee the general/main contractors' management of the process
c. review and comment on the draft, revised, and final manuals.
Architecta. support the owners in detailing the format of the O&M manual
b. review and comment on the draft, revised, and final manuals.
Designera. support the owners in detailing the format of the O&M manual
b. review and comment on the draft, revised, and final manuals.
Building Operators/Facilitiesa. support the owners in detailing the format of the O&M manual
b. review and comment on the draft, revised, and final manuals.
General/Main Contractora. to fully manage the process.
b. write and consolidate the information.
c. ensure programme dates are met, by issuing documents.
d. update the manuals in line with any comments received.
Sub Contractora. report to general/main contractor regarding own requirement for the manuals.
b. write, consolidate and issue the required information to the general/main contractor.

Vendorsa. report to general/main contractor regarding own requirement for the manuals.
b. write, consolidate and issue the required information to the general/main contractor.

🟩 Can they be Contracted Out to a 3rd Party?

Yes, if the project budget allows, specialist authoring companies provide a service where they write and manage part of the process or the whole O&M process from start to finish, depending upon the requirement and budget.

They can provide different levels of service, as can be seen here at πŸ”—O&M I.T. Ltd:

  • Level 1 – From the specification, drawings, procurement timeline, list of installed equipment, and other details provided by the project, the authoring company writes and issue the complete project manual, providing a complete service.
  • Level 2 – From the subcontractor info-gathering templates provided. The authoring company writes and completes the manuals. If anything is outstanding or needs to be chased from the contractors, they do that as well.
  • Level 3 – Similar to Level 2, but the client issues the templates and chases for all information; the client will also complete some basic checking before forwarding to the authoring company for inclusion in the overall manual.
  • Level 4 – The authoring company issues the main template to the client, who manages and completes them before sending them through for checking and converting to an electronic format.
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🟩 Presentation Format

The project specification will describe the who the manuals will be distributed to, their format and how they should be presented; a hard copy file/s or digital.

🟧 Hard Copy O&M File

If there is a requirement to present the manual in hard copy format using folders or binders, the materials used should be highly durable and designed to withstand the aging and dusty/dirty environments to ensure they last for the time required.

Within each folder/binder, each section should be clearly labeled, segregated using a stepped divider, user-friendly, and cross-referenced back to an index.

The index should itemize the stepped segregation dividers, be numbered and displayed at the beginning of the first binder, if using multiple ones, or within the front section of a single-binder manual.

In today’s age, this type of format should be avoided as it uses a lot of paperwork, and the information can get lost or easily damaged over time.

🟧 Digital O&M Manual

Digital manuals are becoming more common in today’s market, especially since clients, end users, and facilities operators see their benefits in how cost-effective and efficient they are to use, update, maintain and integrate with other systems such as BIM.

Stored in the cloud, the formats will be similar to the ‘hard copy’ manual incorporating the same information, but hyperlinks will be utilized instead of using stepped dividers.

πŸš€ Where digital manuals are stored on a server or in the cloud, ensure that all users can access them from their computers and mobile devices. Also that the document is backed up off of site.

🟧 Hard Copy Vs. Digital Manuals

Manual FormatPro'sCon's
Hard Copya. quick and easy access, especially if stored in an accessible location.
b. can still gain access during power failures.
a. no search function like would have with PDF.
b. challenging to keep up to date.
c. can easily lose information if it is removed from the manual.
d. documents can be damaged or marked easily.
e. no access right management.
e. manuals can sometimes need a large amount of storage space.
f. not very environmentally friendly as use a lot of paper and sometimes need more than one copy.
Digital Copya. easy to access.
b. can access remotely from multiple locations.
c. information can be searched.
d. easy to update information and keep records.
e. not able to lose information unless physically deleted.
f. can provide and manage access rights.
g. not printing lots of paper
a. secondary power sources needed to ensure during power failures, access can still be gained to the system.
b. information needs to be backed up, incase files are corrupted.
c. ongoing costs of licences and data storage.
d. client/owner needs to manage and own the system incase the building operator is removed from site, or leaves.

🟩 Updating of Manuals

Like the operating and maintenance manuals, the same goes for the plant, equipment, and systems that need to be maintained and serviced.

πŸš€ If there are any changes within the facility to the equipment, plant, and systems, then at the same time, the manuals should be updated to reflect those changes, ensuring that all information is current and entirely up to date for future reference.

Changes to the facility would usually require the following to be updated:

  • specifications
  • material submissions
  • schedules and asset registers
  • bms points list
  • control logics
  • drawings [schematics/layouts]
  • schedules
  • manufacturers information
  • safety procedures
  • risk assessments
  • COSHH data
  • commissioning data
  • spare parts list
  • service level agreements
  • final testing and commissioning report

🟩 O&M Manual Format and Table of Contents

There are many, many different formats for an O&M manual to take.

Generally, we like to keep them as simple as possible, people do not like to read reams and reams of information. In our experience, when we have referred to O&M information to find something out on a project, we look straight at the index, then move to the specific heading for what we are looking for.

So whatever format is used, keep the information on the point, short, and cover all requirements.

As they say, a ‘picture is worth 1,000 words’.

The below gives a format that we use on our projects:

SectionDescriptionDetails
-Front PageTitle of the project, the particular element of the project covered by the manual, the relevant manual reference, and the date of issue of the manual.
-Contents PageA fully detailed index of the O&M Manual. Title/Page number etc.
1IntroductionDescription of the manual content and structure. How to use it and why it is being issued.

[could be standardized across all your projects]
2Project InformationInclude detailed information on the project.

[can take information from the OPR, BOD, Specifications, Cx Plan]
3Project SpecificationsInclude a register of Specifications that were utilized on the project.
3.1BMS Systems SpecificationInclude BMS Systems Specification.
3.2ELV Systems SpecificationInclude ELV Systems Specification.
3.3Electrical Systems SpecificationInclude Electrical Systems Specification.
3.4Fire Systems SpecificationInclude Fire Systems Specification.
3.5Mechanical/HVAC Systems SpecificationInclude Mechanical/HVAC Systems Specification.
3.6Plumbing and Drainage Systems SpecificationInclude Plumbing & Drainage Systems Specification.
4As-Built Drawings
4.1BMS System As-Built DrawingsInclude a register of BMS Systems As-Built drawings.
4.1.1Schematics/Single LineInclude a set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the BMS Systems.
4.1.2LayoutsInclude a set of as-built layouts for the BMS Systems.
4.2Controls System As-Built DrawingsInclude a register of Control Logics As-Built drawings.
4.2.1Control LogicsInclude a set of as-built Control Logics.
4.3ELV System As-Built DrawingsInclude a register of ELV Systems As-Built drawings.
4.3.1Schematics/Single LineInclude a set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the ELV Systems.
4.3.2LayoutsInclude a set of as-built layouts for the ELV Systems.
4.4Electrical System As-Built DrawingsInclude a register of Electrical Systems As-Built drawings.
4.4.1Schematics/Single LineInclude a set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Electrical Systems.
4.4.2LayoutsInclude a set of as-built layouts for the Electrical Systems.
4.5Fire System As-Built DrawingsInclude a register of Fire Systems As-Built drawings.
4.5.1Schematics/Single LineInclude a set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Fire Systems.
4.5.2LayoutsInclude a set of as-built layouts for the Fire Systems.
4.6Mechanical/HVAC System As-Built DrawingsInclude a register of Mechanical/HVAC Systems As-Built drawings.
4.6.1Schematics/Single LineInclude a set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Mechanical/HVAC Systems.
4.6.2LayoutsInclude a set of as-built layouts for the Mechanical/HVAC Systems.
4.7Plumbing and Drainage Systems As-Built DrawingsInclude a register of Plumbing Systems As-Built drawings.
4.7.1Schematics/Single LineInclude a set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Plumbing and Drainage Systems.
4.7.2LayoutsInclude a set of as-built layouts for the Plumbing & Drainage Systems.
5Electrical Discrimination StudyInclude the approved discrimination study report for the electrical systems.
6BMS Graphic DocumentInclude the approved BMS Graphic document.
7BMS Access/Messaging As-Built InformationInclude the approved information relating to access to the BMS/Control Systems and messaging.
8Summary of Systems InstalledProvide a summary of each systemΒ’s components, location, and how they are designed to operate.

[can take from specifications, drawings, control logics]
9Asset RegisterInclude a detailed list of equipment for each type of system that has been installed.

1. Equipment ID
2. Type
3. Manufacturer
4. Model
5. Size/Rating
6. Building/Floor/Room

[usually taken from the progress trackers that were created through the project]
10System OperationExpand on the way in which each of the systems operates:

1. Start-Up, interfaces/interlocks
2. Setpoints
3. Running
4. Shut down, interfaces/interlocks
5. Fault finding/problem solving

[Use specifications, drawings, control logics, manufacturers data, and information].
11Manufacturers Literature/InformationInclude all the manufacturerΒ’s information relating to the equipment, ancillaries, and systems.

[Use the asset register for reference of what would be needed]
11.1[Add each type]
11.2[Add each type]
11.3[Add each type]
12Health and Safety
12.1Safety ProceduresInclude all safety processes and procedures related to the operation, access, and maintenance of the equipment and systems.

Don't forget a register/index to show what is included.

[Use the project health and safety file for examples and reference]
12.2Control of Substances Hazardous to Health [COSHH]Include all COSHH data sheets for items related to the maintenance, cleaning, and disposal of chemicals [paint, adhesives, gases, and chemicals].

Don't forget a register/index to show what is included.

[Use the project health and safety file for examples and reference]
12.3Risk AssessmentsInclude all risk assessments related to the operation, access, and maintenance of the equipment and systems.

Don't forget a register/index to show what is included.

[Use the project health and safety file for examples and reference]
12.4Arc Flash StudyInclude the approved Arc Flash Study for the electrical systems.
13Disposal of Equipment/ProductsProvide information on how equipment and products should be disposed of.
14Maintenance
14.1Planned Maintenance Instructions and SchedulesProvide instructions and schedules on how to maintain each piece of equipment, systems, and ancillaries of the installation.

Cover: monthly, half-yearly, yearly program on items such as lubrication, adjustment, replacement, routine maintenance, cleaning, filter changing, access, safety, etc.

[most should be provided by the manufacturers]
15Equipment/System Spares
15.1Handover Spares ListProvide the list of spares that have been provided under the contract.
15.2Recommended Spares & Purchase InformationProvide a list of spares that are recommended to be held by the operator/facilities department and also provide any purchasing information needed
16Service Level AgreementsInclude information from the suppliers, vendors, and contractors relating to any Service Agreements/Warranties that are to be included for the operation of the building and systems after handover
17Final Testing and Commissioning ReportInclude the Final Commissioning Report that is usually to be written and issued by the Commissioning Agent/Authority.

🟩 O&M Manual Checklist:

If your role needs you to review an O&M Manual, the below provides a good checklist that can be used:

SectionCheck
Front Page1. Project Title
2. Document Number
3. Document Revision
4. Document Date
5. Author
Contents PageThere is a clear index included
IntroductionThere is a clear Introduction, describing the content and structure of the manual, how to use it and why it is being issued.
Project InformationA section that provides detailed information on the project has been included.
Project SpecificationsA register of Specifications that were utilized on the project has been included
BMS Systems SpecificationBMS Systems Specification included, note that this could also be included within the Final Commissioning Report
ELV Systems SpecificationELV Systems Specification included, note that this could also be included within the Final Commissioning Report
Electrical Systems SpecificationElectrical Systems Specification included, note that this could also be included within the Final Commissioning Report
Fire Systems SpecificationFire Systems Specification included, note that this could also be included within the Final Commissioning Report
Mechanical/HVAC Systems SpecificationMechanical/HVAC Systems Specification included; note that this could also be included within the Final Commissioning Report
Plumbing and Drainage Systems SpecificationPlumbing & Drainage Systems Specification included; note that this could also be included within the Final Commissioning Report
As-Built DrawingsA section has been included for As-Built drawings.
BMS System As-Built DrawingsA register of BMS Systems As-Built drawings has been included.
Schematics/Single LineA set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the BMS Systems have been included
LayoutsA set of as-built layouts for the BMS Systems have been included
Controls System As-Built DrawingsA register of Control Systems As-Built drawings has been included.
Control LogicsA set of as-built logic diagrams for the Control Systems have been included
ELV System As-Built DrawingsA register of ELV Systems As-Built drawings has been included.
Schematics/Single LineA set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the ELV Systems have been included
LayoutsA set of as-built layouts for the ELV Systems have been included
Electrical System As-Built DrawingsA register of Electrical Systems As-Built drawings has been included.
Schematics/Single LineA set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Electrical Systems have been included
LayoutsA set of as-built layouts for the Electrical Systems have been included
Fire System As-Built DrawingsA register of Fire Systems As-Built drawings has been included.
Schematics/Single LineA set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Fire Systems have been included
LayoutsA set of as-built layouts for the Fire Systems have been included
Mechanical/HVAC System As-Built DrawingsA register of Mechanical/HVAC Systems As-Built drawings has been included.
Schematics/Single LineA set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Mechanical/HVAC Systems have been included
LayoutsA set of as-built layouts for the Mechanical/HVAC Systems have been included
Plumbing and Drainage Systems As-Built DrawingsA register of Plumbing & Drainage Systems As-Built drawings has been included.
Schematics/Single LineA set of as-built schematics/single line diagrams for the Plumbing and Drainage Systems have been included
LayoutsA set of as-built layouts for the Plumbing and Drainage Systems have been included
Electrical Discrimination StudyThe approved discrimination study report for the electrical systems has been included.
BMS Graphic DocumentThe approved BMS Graphic document has been included.
BMS Access/Messaging As-Built InformationThe approved information relating to access to the BMS/Control Systems and messaging has been included.
Summary of Systems InstalledA concise summary of each system including all components, ancillaries, locations, and how they are designed to operate has been included.
Asset RegisterA detailed list of equipment for each type of system that has been installed is included.

Covering:
1. Equipment ID
2. Type
3. Manufacturer
4. Model
5. Size/Rating
6. Building/Floor/Room
System OperationHow the systems operate has been expanded for more detail.

Covering:
1. Start-Up, interfaces/interlocks
2. Setpoints
3. Running
4. Shut down, interfaces/interlocks
5. Fault finding/problem solving
Manufacturers Literature/InformationAll the manufacturerΒ’s information relating to the equipment, ancillaries, and systems has been attached and is clear to read. Ensure not a bad photocopy or scan, use the asset register for reference.
Health and Safety
Safety ProceduresAll safety processes and procedures related to the operation, access, and maintenance of the equipment and systems have been included.

Don't forget to check for the register/index to detail what has been included.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health [COSHH]All COSHH data sheets for items related to the maintenance, cleaning, and disposal of chemicals [paint, adhesives, gases, and chemicals] have been included.

Don't forget to check for the register/index to detail what has been included.
Risk AssessmentsAll risk assessments related to the operation, access, and maintenance of the equipment and systems have been included.

Don't forget to check for the register/index to detail what has been included.
Arc Flash StudyThe approved Arc Flash Study for the electrical systems has been included.
Disposal of Equipment/ProductsInformation on how equipment and products should be disposed of has been included.
Maintenance
Planned Maintenance Instructions and SchedulesInstructions and schedules on how to maintain each piece of equipment, systems, and ancillaries of the installation have been included.

Covering: monthly, half-yearly, yearly program on items such as lubrication, adjustment, replacement, routine maintenance, cleaning, filter changing, access, safety, etc.
Equipment/System Spares
Handover Spares ListThe list of spares that have been provided under the contract is included.
Recommended Spares & Purchase InformationA list of spares that are recommended to be held by the operator/facilities department and also any purchasing information needed has been included.
Service Level AgreementsInformation from the suppliers, vendors, and contractors relating to any Service Agreements/warranties have been included for the operation of the building and systems after handover
Final Testing and Commissioning ReportThe Final Commissioning Report has been included.
Designer ChecksEnsure that the designer has checked, commented, and approved the Manuals
Commissioning Authority ChecksEnsure that the commissioning authority has checked, commented, and approved the Manuals
Client/Owner ChecksEnsure that the client/owner has checked, commented, and approved the Manuals
Facilities/Building Operator ChecksEnsure that the facilities department/building operator has checked, commented, and approved the Manuals
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🟩 What is an O&M Cover Page?

A cover page will usually be an official letter or document accompanying the manuals when issued to the client/owner.

🟩 How to use an O&M manual…

Along with the onsite system training completed with the General/Main Contractor, the O&M Manuals should be referred to and fully understood by each facility Engineer/Operator before working on the systems.

The manuals, if created and completed correctly – are what the document is… a Manual for the building.

Any new engineers that are to be employed and will interact with any systems should spend time reading and understanding.

We often see operators who don’t even know where the O&M manuals are stored or how to access them, this creates significant issues with ensuring the building is operated efficiently and understanding the initial design principles and owners’ requirements, etc.

🟧 Frequently Asked Questions


◻️ Operating & Maintenance Manual Template & Checklist Download [MS Word]

To help us expand the site and create more resources, we created the documentation below in [Microsoft Word] for download.

Click the ‘Buy Here‘ button to purchase the fully editable copy of the document below, which can be used immediately.

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011-OM-Template-PDF

◻️ O&M Manual Checklist & Report PDF Template

011-OM-Checklist-PDF



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