Building Manuals

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Building Manuals

There are numerous different types of building manuals available today. While there is a distinct difference between Operations and Maintenance Manuals developed and delivered through the Construction and Turn-Over Processes, there are several cross references and subtle nuances between O&M Manuals and Building Systems Manuals, Facility Guides or the various other titles and contents that can be provided as part of the commissioning process to assist with the operations, maintenance, and performance of your facility. One commonality is certainly that each manual is uniquely created to capture a specific project. Whether developing new or replacement documentation for a facility, under new construction, renovations, modernizations, or upgrades etc.; these manuals are customized with information on the design, operation, maintenance, and performance of your facility for ongoing operations, maintenance and/or to better understand your building systems with information and guides to maintain optimal systems performance.

Operations & Maintenance Manuals

Architectural, Electrical, Mechanical and Controls documents typically compiled in a specified format, that include clear systems descriptions, general operating and maintenance tasks and scheduled instructions, as well as the various other construction submittals such as equipment submittals, start-up, testing and certification reports, warranty information, and as-built documentation pertinent to the operations and maintenance of your facility. ASHRAE Guideline 4-2019 also overs the format, content, delivery, and updating of operations and maintenance (O&M) documentation for HVAC & R systems.

Building Systems Manuals

Systems Manuals provide a means for the current and future operating staff to understand and optimally operate and monitor each building system. These manuals also promote a deeper understanding and knowledge transfer of the building’s systems and equipment for the building operations team, and any subsequent operators not yet trained on the systems to operate, monitor and maintain the facility in optimal conditions. This manual is in addition, and a companion document to the O&M Manuals typically submitted by the construction team. Production of a Systems Manual encompasses gathering the information related to the facility, equipment, systems, and assemblies from the planning, design, construction, testing, commissioning and training activities, along with facility operational and performance requirements and incorporating it into a usable information resource. This typically includes final project documentation including the Owners Project Requirements (OPR), Basis of Design (BOD), a Commissioning (Cx) Plan and Progress Reports if included, submittals, and references to manufacturer installation operation and maintenance manuals, building O&M manuals, system schematics, record drawings, performance testing results, and training or any other relevant materials. These manuals typically focus on the key energy consuming or producing systems in the facility such as heating, cooling, ventilation, heat recovery, solar voltaics, lighting, etc. and can further include roofing and envelope items. Systems manuals are typically specified with construction projects or through new construction or existing building commissioning processes with documentation readily available but can be prepared for any facility or system.

Facility or Building Operation Guides

These facility guides are often a component of a Systems Manual or developed through Ongoing Commissioning and make an essential facility companion document on their own. A Building Operating Guide is generally a basic composite of building systems descriptions and an operating plan with general procedures to align required facility operating conditions (or current facility requirements) with the necessary set points, schedules, and operating procedures for how the facility is required to work. These guides assist with reconciling operating plans, building and equipment operating schedules, set points and ranges, sequences of operation, systems and equipment limitations to optimize performance.

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