HVCA welcomes building logbooks

Published:  16 January, 2005

The Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association has welcomed the requirement in revised terms of Part L2 of the Building Regulations that a building logbook must be provided for every new and refurbished building in England and Wales. They must also be prepared when ‘controlled services’ such as heating and air-conditioning equipment is upgraded or replaced.

Malcolm Linsley, chairman of HVCA’s service and facilities group and regional manager of Bailey Maintenance Services, comments, ‘Historically, facilities managers have had great difficulty finding the information they need, but all building systems should be backed up with clear technical records — not unwieldy and, frankly, unhelpful O&M manuals.’

O&M manuals are notorious for being weighty tomes that are almost impossible to digest and of very little use to facilities managers. In contrast, logbooks are intended to be much shorter documents to improve the information available to managers about the energy-consuming systems in their buildings and improve the long-term running of those systems.

Malcolm Linsley perceives logbooks that are well prepared and simply laid out bridging the communications gap between the design and operational teams of a building. — a gap that undermines their efficient operation and use.

He says, ‘If facilities managers are able easily to refer to the commissioning records before and during every material change to the building, they will be able to check whether they are in danger of compromising the services design. Logbooks should also play a vital role in helping them sort out the poor performance of their buildings.’

HVCA believes that in the longer term, logbooks will prevent building users making random alterations that could unbalance the running of a building. They should also simplify methods for monitoring and recording energy performance in line with ever-tightening guidelines on energy management, leading to a better energy record and improved comfort for occupants.

• Guidance on preparing logbooks and customisable templates have been developed by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). More details on www.cibse.org

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