The requirements for defining when the project is practically complete should be included in the contract requirements, including requirements for testing, commissioning and handing over the building. Prior to handover the Client should ensure that he is ready to take over and manage the facility with regard to such issues as:





Fitting out

Moving in furniture and equipment


Employing personnel


It is the responsibility of the Project Team that the building is ready for use. This includes checking that all equipment, systems and environmental services are in working order and meet the contractual specification. Sufficient time should be allowed for testing, commissioning, inspection and training of all personnel.

Operating and Maintenance

Prior to, or at handover, the Client should receive the owners manual. The construction design and management regulations now cover the production of the operating and maintenance manuals. It is the CDM Co-ordinators role to ensure that they are delivered as part of the Health & Safety file. These manuals should include all details of the completed building with input from the contractor, sub-contractors and designers. It should include such information as:

Test reports and certificates

Guarantees and warranties from suppliers and manufacturers

Maintenance information on materials and operating systems

Operating instructions

As built drawings


When the building is handed over at practical completion, the Client’s Design Team and Clerk of Works will have ensured that it is substantially defect free. Time will uncover defects though that were not apparent at handover and under most standard forms of contract, the contractor must rectify defects for which they are liable. This is normally limited to a period of time, usually 12 months, at the end of which the project will be inspected to certify final completion. The Project Manager will arrange for the Client to instigate a system of reporting defects and arranging access for the contractor to remedy the same.

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