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Format of Operation and Maintenance Manuals

O & M manuals have a vital role to play as a reference source for the new Owner or Client of a Project. The life of a building and its engineering services will exceed the period of service if well operated and maintained. It is therefore essential for the new Owner or Operator to rapidly acquire a clear understanding of the proper operational and maintenance needs involved. Only in this way will safety and economy of operation be maintained.

The preparation and presentation of a well-prepared O&M manual is therefore an essential part of any building services installation contract.

The final format of any O & M manual will be influenced by a number of factors. The type of manual required must be adapted to meet Project specific requirements. The Format will, however, also be influenced by the specific installation and the categories of manual user involved.

Also important is that the requirements of more than one level of reader need to be taken into consideration during the compilation of a manual. Generally users of O & M manuals fall into three broad categories:

  • the building owner/occupier;
  • those responsible for managing operation and maintenance;
  • those who maintain.

Different parts of the manual are likely to be addressed to these different categories of user, the contents should be appropriately subdivided and assembled to meet their needs. The non-technical building owner/occupier requires a very general overview of the systems installed and is therefore only likely to refer to those sections of the manual which will provide him with;

  • an introduction to the building systems installed;
  • an outline of the overall purpose of the installation;
  • general information on the operation of the installation.

The maintenance manager, however, will require a much more detailed brief including;

  • contractual and legal details;
  • a detailed description of the systems installed;
  • equipment schedules;
  • parts identification and recommended spares;
  • spares policy;
  • system commissioning/test data;
  • system operation (specific);
  • maintenance (general);
  • names and addresses of manufacturers;
  • index of drawings;
  • emergency information.

Maintenance technicians and specialists who are engaged in keeping the system operational from a practical point of view have even more specific requirements of the manual:

  • detailed operating and performance data
  • commissioning/test data;
  • maintenance instructions (plant-specific);
  • manufacturers' literature.

The contents of the manual can either be assembled appropriately to take into account the requirements outlined above or can be organised into a series of manuals. It is likely that, particularly for large and complex installations, there will be a need to create separate documents for the following

  • equipment schedules;
  • commissioning/test data;
  • operation;
  • maintenance;
  • names and addresses of manufacturers;
  • manufacturers' literature.

In every case, however, the type(s) of manual required and the most appropriate layout should be identified early in the planning procedures and the appropriate details given in the specification.

 

 

 

 

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