skip to Main Content
O&M Manuals, Why Do They Suck?

O&M Manuals, why do they suck?

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:

  1. The owner does not demand it.
  2. The design team do not specify it.
  3. The project manager does not manage it.
  4. 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?


#131 Reflections on Horrific MEP Spec’s

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer



DCM Inc Advisor

BlueRithm Brand Ambassador

Edifice Complex Podcast

Podcast on YouTube

Podcast on Spotify

Podcast Website 

#edificecomplexpodcast #ProjectManagement #makingbuildingswork #podcast #CxM #drawings
#bluerithm #echoknowsyourbuilding #drawingsfound  #facilitiesmanaged #Cx #Cxnomad #RICS #property

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top