Making manuals that work

Denaploy Digital O&M Manuals

About Denaploy and our processes, Mar 01, 2021

Who we are: celebrating our thirty + years in business, Denaploy is arguably the Construction Industry’s leading provider of digital O&M documentation. So much so that, over the past decade, we’ve documented in excess of £3.5 Billion of projects for a diverse spectrum of clients including Kier, Wates, Vinci, Network Rail, Cisco, British Airways, and hundreds of similar organisations. We have also completed highly specified projects for the MoD and MoJ. Our projects have ranged from, at one end of the scale,  a £40K public toilet refurbishment through to the prestigious £1BN Tottenham Hotspur FC stadium redevelopment project so there is very little, if anything, we’ve not experienced!

What we do: we compile robust digital O&M manuals exclusively, that’s all we do. We have a panel of Technical Authors complementing this core activity as well as BIM expertise, but O&M is our core offering. Consequently, we know what we're doing, always deliver on-time, and we’re cost-effective – as you’d expect from dedicated specialists utilising our own, unique, custom-developed software and processes.

Our team: equipped with all the tools necessary to operate effectively, Denaploy employs fifteen specialists with a vast spectrum of experience and our team have never missed a handover date. This is due to being able to devote the relevant resources required to ensure a project is completed on time – something “one-man bands” invariably struggle with, as they cannot effectively liaise with numerous sub-contractors as handover dates loom!

The Denaploy Process: On engagement, a dedicated O&M specialist/s (dependant on project size) is assigned to your project offering a single point of contact, although our system is such that any of our team can engage on a project if required, for whatever reason.

Whenever possible – a recommendation on our part - we attend an initial meeting with our client and their sub-contractors to explain what’s required, offer an overview of the Denaploy process, and champion the benefits of a collaborative approach. We understand that occasionally some sub-contractors are resistant to supplying the documentation required but often this is due to a lack of understanding on their part of how easy the process is, and that it needn’t impact greatly on their other responsibilities. We work with them to help them meet their obligations.

Throughout the compilation process of the O&M manual we constantly review the information internally, progressing to the Final Handover version including, but not limited to, the following checks being carried out one month before Final Handover.


  1. Contact the Project Manager to confirm the Final Handover date is still accurate, amending calendars as appropriate.
  2. If the Final Handover date remains firm, we then:
    • Notify project manager of any sub-contractor that has not yet supplied adequate manuals.
    • Confirm we have full contact details for the client team.
    • Discuss the progress of Commissioning certificates, As Built drawings etc. and who will provide.
    • Check if there are any final surveys requiring inclusion – drain survey, sound test, etc.
    • Review the Residual Hazards for the whole project.
    • Reviews of draft – CDMC, M&E and Fabric.
  3. Consult with Architects and Consultants in regard:
    • As Built drawing or Final Rev Drawings.
    • Checking for Fire Strategy documents, disabled access documents etc.
    • Obtain copies of any calculations for floor loading or steel works.
    • If appropriate; have piling certificates, ground clearance certificates, asbestos disposal certificates been provided?
    • Planning consent documentation
  4. We use our collaboration website to collect information and provide an audit trail of everything provided; as well as managing the version control and feedback processes that are at the heart of what we do and providing project managers with progress updates.

Experience Denaploy’s O&M manual for Data Centres:

We have undertaken O&M for our clients working to the specifications of Zenium/ Sirus One, Telefonica, Global switch, Equenix etc. Each of which have their own requirements, but with a broadly similar (very demanding ) specification regarding the content required.

Data centres are large projects that are technically demanding and are normally delivered to clients that expect a high standard of IT literacy in the way in which the results are presented. We have successfully completed many O&M manuals in this sector and have developed the knowledge, experience and expertise to offer this service with confidence, not only in the UK but anywhere in the world.

Data centres are the key infrastructure development of the 21st Century and as such require features such as high levels of security, technical complexity and multiple levels of design and build supervision and sign off. 

It is not unusual for there to be multiple construction projects going on at the same time on a single site which is where our RIDR system makes searching or retrieving any project information easy by having the ability to search across multiple manuals from a single location.

The Finished Denaploy O&M Manual

The final digital O&M manual is produced in Word, not PDF, format which recognises that an O&M manual should be a living reference work, capable of being updated on an ongoing basis by the eventual recipient, such as Facilities Management or other. The PDF format does not readily allow this. In digital format, the manual is normally supplied on USB, CD/DVD, or installed on a Network whereby it is accessible instantly by the end-user via a whole host of methods from PC and laptop, to smartphone and tablet.

RIDR (Rapid intelligent Data Retrieval)

The vast amount of data that is accumulated through a thorough O&M compilation process, represents a valuable data resource to the eventual client and should not be just a tick box bureaucratic accommodation.  To this end we have developed RiDR, a unique component within our O&M manuals that sets us apart even further from other providers.

It is a sophisticated search mechanism in which every word of every document within the O&M is pre-indexed so it can be rapidly retrieved using full Boolean logic as well as the fuzzy logic needed to capture misspelt words. It enables different users to retrieve O&M information virtually instantaneously according to their requirements – a significant step forward in making manuals useful on a day to day basis and at no significant extra cost.

For example:

  • A group with multiple buildings is able to manage its entire portfolio of property assets from a single point of access.
  • At the same time the manager of a single property within that group can have a comprehensive document for managing just the one property that they are looking after.
  • Imagine the power of being able to instantly track the use of any product that is withdrawn from circulation (such as a fire cladding panels that are no longer considered safe) within the whole portfolio of projects.
  • A perfect resource that bridges the gap between the documentation of the Main Contractor at handover and their clients’ facilities management provider.
  • It has built-in filters that enables filtering by: Individual construction projects / document types / category – e.g. manufacturers’ literature, asset registers, as-built drawings, certificates etc.
  • The search returns a list of all documents that meet the search criteria, divided into each of the projects from which it was found, with a snippet from the document and a link that enables you to instantly download that specific file from our server.

A Quick Word about Printing

Increasingly, clients are set up to rely on digital versions of their manuals with all their advantages of easy and fast retrieval and the convenience of ubiquitous availability. However, if a paper copy is required (perhaps for archival purposes) we have developed a conversion process that replaces the hyperlink connections that are standard in the digital version, to a set of indexed TAB references that are more appropriate for print.

The printing costs are not included in our quotation as standard. Firstly, it is virtually impossible to predict in advance how many documents will actually make up the final manual and therefore equally impossible to provide a quotation for printing of same. Furthermore, apart from a solitary Final Handout library copy, we question the need for producing vast volumes of paper documentation requiring valuable storage space, and that is expensive to produce. (Why would anyone want thousands of As-Built drawings printed off, the vast majority of which will never be viewed?) In the past, many requests we’ve received to have copies of manuals printed emanate from inherited, legacy specifications “cut and pasted” from previous project scopes yet, when queried, aren’t actually required. However, all our manuals can be produced “print-ready” whereby our client can arrange with the printer of their choice, production of same, for that solitary Final Handover library version!

Based in Hastings, yet operating nationwide with an additional fledgling base in Manchester, Denaploy are arguably the Construction Industry’s leading provider of digital O&M documentation Denaploy is: accredited within the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) having demonstrated compliance with, and sound management of, current basic health and safety legislation; ISO 9001 Registered for utilising an approved quality management system in developing, designing, and construction O&M manuals solutions; ISO 14001 Registered for utilising an approved environmental management system in developing, designing, and construction O&M manuals solutions. Whilst the Denaploy O&M format could be regarded as the Industry Standard, we are also fully conversant and experienced with other variants including the MoD and MoJ’s special, demanding specifications from projects that we have undertaken.

Kevin Hill

Business Development Manager

07812 038975

01424 430414

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