Finished construction project

Construction Handover Checklist

The handover stage of a project can often be problematic, with the client’s expectations often not being met either due to lack of communication, lack of organisation or a combination of the two.

For a successful handover to happen, it’s essential that the client and facility managers outline their preferences and expectations of the information they want to receive at the very start of the project.

To help both contractors and clients understand what makes a successful handover, we’ve put together this Construction Handover Checklist. To jump ahead, click here

Construction Handover Handshake

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What is a Construction Handover?

Usually, at the end of a project, the design and construction teams deliver a structured information handover package to their client.

This is to support the client in the operations and maintenance phase of the building’s life. The handover package should include all of the information about the building so that when the operations and maintenance team need to carry out and repairs or refurbishments, they have everything they need.

But often, the handover information isn’t specified clearly in the first place, or it is isn’t always checked for completeness or accuracy at the time of handover. These can cause huge complications further down the line which cost both time and money. Often the Facility Manager will have to spend time tracking down historical project information or, worst case scenario, carry out a new survey of the building.

To avoid this, it’s essential that the client specifies what the project teams need to provide at the very beginning of the project. When working with BIM, this is referred to as the Employers Information Requirements.

A well structured and informative Employers Information Requirements document will ensure that everyone is on the same page from the very beginning. To find out more about the information which should be included in this document, take a look at this example PDF from the IWFM.

Throughout the project phase, it’s important to keep track of the information needed at handover to avoid data getting lost or incorrectly filed.

Finally, when it is time for the handover to take place, it’s important that both the project teams and client check the information thoroughly.

Construction Handover documents

Construction Handover Checklist

The official handover of the site to the client takes place when the contract administrator confirms that the work outlined in the contract have been completed. Usually it takes place following an inspection of the site by the client.

To help you understand what to expect, or to simply help make things run more smoothly, we’ve put together this handover checklist. This is only to be used as an example and some adjustments may need to be made in order to suit it to your project or asset.

During the handover the client should receive:

  • Keys, fobs and transmitter controls for the asset
  • The draft building owner’s manual
    • Sometimes called the operations and maintenance manual. This contains the information needed for the operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of the building. The draft is prepared by the contractor with additional information from the designers. The final document is not usually completed until several months after completion.
  • The health and safety file
    • The client must be in possession of this information so that when any subsequent work is carried out, it’s done safely. It must include only relevant information with a level of detail proportionate to the risks. It must be in a clear, concise form and be easily understandable.
  • A building user’s guide
    • This is a detailed guide to how the building works and provides all of the information needed by the Operations and Maintenance team.
  • The building log book
    • This should be a more concise document than the owner’s manual, building user’s guide and health and safety file that gives an overview of the way the building was originally intended to operate and any changes that have been made. At the moment these are only required for new builds or buildings that have changed purpose.
  • Up to date testing and commissioning data
    • To show that all of the systems and components of the building have been designed, installed and tested so that asset is able to deliver on its purpose.
  • All certificates and warranties
    • As well as giving the operations and maintenance team assurance that all of the building’s components are of standard, it also informs them when things need checking or replacing. Warranties can also detail both party’s rights and obligations in the event of a dispute.
  • Copies of statutory approvals, waivers, consents and conditions
    • These include building regulations approval and condition surveys.
  • Equipment test certificates for lifts, escalators, lifting equipment, cradle systems, boilers and pressure vessels
    • These will inform the operations and management teams when equipment needs replacing or checking.
  • As-built drawings from consultants, specialist suppliers and contractors. Or a building information model (BIM model) that’s validated so it can be transferred from the common data environment to the asset information environment
    • If BIM is being used, the client should appoint an asset information manager to maintain the information.

Although ultimately, it’s the client who has to deal with the problems that can arise from a problematic handover, it’s important for construction companies too.

Construction companies who are able to deliver what they need to on-site whilst also organising, validating and preparing the necessary data for the client and operations and management team are much more likely to win contracts and gain future business.

We hope that you have found this Construction Handover Checklist handy! To find out more about how you can facilitate a success project handover as a contractor, get in touch with construction software specialist, REBIM®.