Phase 4: Operation

Handover documents

This activity looks at three documents that are vital to the safe, effective operation of a building.

  • Use Clear for everyone as a quick introduction and overview. This places the documents within the wider context of each party’s obligations under JCT 2005 and introduces the role of the facilities manager, which may be a third-party company.

Answers: Clear for everyone

Facilities management companies have a contract with the owner of the building. they therefore have a legal obligation to perform their duties properly in accordance to the needs of the building and its occupants. The OM manual provides the facilities manager with the technical information that they need to do their job properly, while the Logbook and H&S File provide them with schedules and procedures that they must follow in order to meet the requirements of their contract and of Health and safety legislation.

Logbooks, OM manuals and H&S files


  • Use Clear for everyone to introduce these documents and discuss who might need to see and use them during the life of a building.

Main activity

  • Split the class into three groups.
  • Assign each group a document and brief them that they must explain their document, and their answers, back to the class.
  • Groups work through their document’s web page and answer the questions.
  • Give each group 5 minutes to present back what they have learned.


  • Get the class to hide their notes. Under three headings, get the class to list what goes into each document and how it is used.
  • Compare your answers to the three pop-ups in Clear for everyone.


Easier/Level 1:
This content is suitable for Level 2 students. If possible, get a copy of these files for your own building, for each group to use.

Get students to imagine that they must create a logbook for their home. Who would use their logbook? What would they put in it?

Answers: Logbook, OM manual and H&S File


Major equipment that students could consider includes heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lifts, escalators, window-washing gantries and safety systems. Parts of the buildings they should consider include the roof, windows, drainage system, plumbing services, cladding and painted surfaces and testing of structural members.

Maintenance is important to maintain performance, minimise energy use and maintain safety. Recording the building’s planned and actual energy use helps the owners to ensure that it is operated as planned, to fine-tune how its systems are operated in order to improve its energy efficiency, and so minimise its carbon footprint. (You can link this to an exploration of the EPBD in 1.2 Sustainability, where you will also find relevant web links.) It is important to record future building work so that future users of the building know of alterations to the structure or systems. This helps fault finding in the event of a structural problem or other operational difficulty.

OM manual:

The OM manual writers must speak to all specialist designers that have contributed to the structure, systems and interior fit-out of the building, to gather plans, technical drawings and written specifications and instructions. Subcontractor firms and suppliers will need to provide information on the materials used, specifications and operating capacities of equipment installed, and their own technical information on maintenance and safety. The need to supply this information on time can be included within their contract.

H&S file:

The H&S file along with the OM manual allows facilities managers to maintain and operate systems and equipment safely, and to maintain the fabric of the building. It allows them to respond appropriately in the event of a fire or other incident. In turn, this allows them to provide safety guidance to the people who use the building, and to encourage general safe behaviour.

Many people provide the information required, from the designers of electrical, plumbing, safety and air conditioning systems, to structural engineers and the staff responsible for site surveys and ground preparation. Those responsible for installing equipment that may use dangerous substances will also need to contribute.




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