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SYSTEMS MANUALS . A Systematic Approach. Craig Hawkins, CxA. SESSION OVERVIEW. Looking at the here and now…. What is a Systems Manual? What is a “Systematic” approach? Difference between a Systems Manual and O&M’s? Who develops a Systems Manual? When is it produced and distributed?

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A Systematic Approach

Craig Hawkins, CxA

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  • Looking at the here and now….

    • What is a Systems Manual?

    • What is a “Systematic” approach?

    • Difference between a Systems Manual and O&M’s?

    • Who develops a Systems Manual?

    • When is it produced and distributed?

    • Keys to success

  • Looking at the future….

    • Taking Systems Manuals to the next level.

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What is a Systems Manual?

  • Everything You Always Wanted To Know About A System (but didn’t know where to go find the info).

    • Systems description

    • List of equipment/components within the specific system

    • Sequence of operation for system and all equipment

    • List of control setpoints, alarms, and trends

    • Procedures for loss of power/return to normal power restart

    • Description of sustainability targets and policies

    • System flow charts (space and delivery relationships)

    • O&M information for all equipment/components within system

  • Organized in a logical fashion, presented in binder (hard-copy) as well as electronic (searchable-pdf) formats.

  • Information is verified by independent (3rd party) CA.

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What is a “Systematic” Approach?


sys⋅tem⋅at⋅ic [sis-tuh-mat-ik] – adjective

  • having, showing, or involving a system, method, or plan: a systematic course of reading; systematic efforts.

  • given to or using a system or method; methodical: a systematic person.

  • arranged in or comprising an ordered system: systematic theology.

    A “systematic approach” simply means to develop an organized plan before the project has started. Know (before you start):

    • What is required to be in your systems manual.

    • Where the information is to come from.

    • Who is responsible for developing/producing the information.

    • When the information is available.

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Systems Manual vs. O&M’s?

System Manuals

O & M’s

Manufacturer’s installation, operation and maintenance information for each component.

Organized by CSI number as determined by the Engineer of Record during the design phase of the project.

May not always be first generation material (copies, sometimes copies of faxes).

No information on control points, sequence of operation, distribution systems and any other “system” information.

  • All relevant information about the system.

  • Organized by how system is installed and/or operates.

  • Includes control information, points, alarms, setpoints, and sequence of operation.

  • Includes flow charts for space/service relationships that assist in troubleshooting.

  • Includes O&M info presented in a logical /usable order.

  • All first generation material.

  • All material is independently verified by CA prior to inclusion.

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Who Develops Systems Manuals?

  • Commissioning Authority is in the best position to verify and collate the data, due to independence (3rd party) and ability to oversee all trades.

  • Not a solo effort, CA should request data from many sources, then verify and collate into final product.

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When are System Manuals Produced and Distributed?

  • CA should develop the Systems Manual Plan as soon as possible.

  • Include requirements of others (Engineer of Record, Vendors, Installing Contractor, Controls Contractor, TAB, etc) in Spec and Cx Plan. Be specific on what is needed, what formats are acceptable, and timeline milestones.

  • It’s never too early to begin to collect, verify and collate materials. It’s easier to revise and update existing material than to wait till the last minute and have to go back to find something.

  • O&M materials are available AS SOON AS EQUIPMENT IS ORDERED. You DO NOT have to wait until the end of the project to get these!!

  • Distribute and use the Systems Manuals at Facilities Staff Training Sessions.

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Keys to Success

  • Understand a “Systematic” approach.

  • Organize and collate as the project develops and info becomes available.

  • Ask for info early on, before you need it, not after.

  • Include info requirements in specifications and Commissioning Plan with hard delivery dates.

  • Be pro-active, not re-active.

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Taking Systems Manuals to the Next Level

  • Additions that could take your manual from “so-so” to “spectacular”:

    • Preventive Maintenance Schedule.

    • Warranty dates schedule and requirements.

    • A Systems Troubleshooting Guide.

    • Benchmarking trend logs.

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Thank You !!

Craig Hawkins, CxA

VP of Commissioning Operations