Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 283).
It is entirely realistic to complete O&M Manuals to the specified standard at or before practical (substantial) completion! Just saying.
So why are the O&M Manuals never completed on time to an acceptable standard? Short answer:
- The owner does not demand it.
- The design team do not specify it.
- The project manager does not manage it.
- There are zero consequences for not delivering.
It is amazing to me that in this digital age, O&M Manuals are still manufacturers catalogue cut sheets in a binder or a PDF with some links. Who still believes this is acceptable? How is this possible in a world where we are talking about producing digital twins for buildings?
Calm down you Brit’s out there. I know Springboard, Dome, End Systems and Glider in the UK are doing great work producing “real” O&M Manuals. But on a global basis these firms and demand for their products are exceptions not the norm.
What are “real” O&M Manuals? They are:
- Technically written on a systems basis to a specified standard such as BSRIA.
- They include all systems and as built records i.e. Architectural, MEP, ELV, renewables, specialist systems, Cx, As Built drawings, energy models, asset registers and COBie integrations.
- They are digital and accessible 24/7 via cloud technologies.
What to do?
- Owners must demand digital, technically written, COBie compatible, multidiscipline, systems based O&M Manuals.
- Project managers please note, design teams must specify clearly, in detail and leave zero room for a contractor to produce paper and PDF O&M Manuals.
- Make the main contractor (GC) responsible for all disciplines. Do not accept sub-trades producing and turning in O&M Manuals.
- Specify that an independent specialist O&M Manuals production firm be employed by the main contractor.
- Specify in the contract clear milestones with financial penalties for failure as follows:
- Draft to be submitted for review 6 months prior to practical (substantial) completion. YES, this is possible. Anyone that tells it is not, is gaslighting you.
- Final issue to be submitted as a condition of practical (substantial) completion.
- Updates to be completed, incorporating any deferred testing reports, 12 months post practical (substantial) completion.
Owners are paying for O&M Manuals on all projects, why not ensure they are on time, useful and accurate?
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