Making manuals that work

Digital O&M Manuals

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Denaploy have recently produced the O&M manuals for five major educational developments in East Anglia for a leading provider for the education sector who have designed and delivered over £900m worth of government projects in the last ten years.

Samuel Ward Academy, Coplestone High School, Orminster Endeavour Academy and Stowmarket High School were all successful applicants for the government’s Priority School Building Programme, a project designed to address the needs of community state-funded schools in most need of urgent repair. All four schools have benefitted from a new 3-storey building and new playing fields.

We have also been working on the manuals for a new 1700 place 6th form college in Bury, complete with 300-space car park, cricket pitch & MUGA pitch.

Standards for Schools

The School Premises (England) Regulations 2012 stipulate that all maintained schools and academies must provide a certain standard of accommodation. This legislation covers general provision of facilities, energy use and sustainability. It also sets out minimum standards for systems of heating, lighting and ventilation systems, and acoustics.

The Equality Act 2010 requires all schools to promote equality for disabled children, by improving access to buildings and services. Consequently, schools to make new provisions to accommodate a greater variety of students.  As with all public buildings, the control of asbestos, fire safety, and security remain a key concern.

 Denaploy O&Ms

Where do we come in? Manuals are an important part of handover. While documentation may be seen by some as a simple box-ticking exercise, a poor handover can have a huge impact on client satisfaction.

Here are just a few ways a high-quality O&M can benefit contractor and client, immediately and in the long run: 

1.    Expediency A leading priority for work on schools is that the project is carried out as quickly as possible so as to cause the least disruption, so it is important to have a minimum number of snags. Our collation process begins as early as possible in the project. All sub-contractor info is gathered on a project specific site accessible to all parties, and we will provide an easy-to-follow progress tracking system.

2.    Maintenance O&Ms provide essential maintenance and health & safety info for the user of the building. In a school this could be Estate Staff, a Business Manager, Headteacher or Caretaker. Our finished product is highly usable, and can be navigated quickly and easily. We can even offer manual training on request.

3.    Further Building Work Even a brand-new school building will be subject to wear and tear. When this time comes for refurbishment, demolition or rebuilding, it is important that contractor and client can effectively assess the hazards and risks associated with the work. The better the existing documentation, the easier the construction phase is for everyone involved.