Building Logbooks

Building Logbooks are a legal requirement in new buildings and in existing buildings where services are changed. They will improve access to information for Facilities Managers (FMs) or others responsible for managing buildings, enabling them to improve the operation of their building. Specifically they provide a place to record ongoing building energy performance, which should help improve energy efficiency.

Using logbooks should improve the understanding, management and operation of buildings resulting in lower costs and reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. This should also contribute to improved occupant comfort, satisfaction and productivity.

The log book should give FMs ready access to information on the design, commissioning and energy consumption of their building. It will enable fine tuning of the building with consequent improvements in energy efficiency. The log book will also provide explicit information about the metering strategy implemented about the building, and on the scope for monitoring and benchmarking energy consumption.

Logbooks and existing buildings

Log books are a legal requirement for new and refurbished buildings and for existing buildings where significant changes have been made. When significant work is carried out on existing non domestic buildings, Part L states "a log book should be prepared or updated as necessary to provide the appropriate details of the replacement controlled service or fitting."

For example, where boiler replacement is undertaken then a log book would need to be prepared covering the new plant and heating system. Where a log book already exists then it would simply need to be updated.

Although not required by Part L, all existing buildings would benefit from the preparation and use of a comprehensive building log book. Preparing the log book should help develop a better understanding of the design intent, improving building management. Ongoing use of the log book provides a means of recording building performance, which in turn gives the basis for action to improve energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

Benefits of building logbooks

Keeping the log book up to date will provide a range of ongoing benefits:

  • I will make managing the building easier
  • Logging alterations to the building and plant ensures a current picture of the design philosophy is always available
  • New FM's, their staff or external contractors will be fully aware of how the building is meant to work
  • Improving the FM's understanding of the building will enhance building management and operation
  • Building an historical record of alterations and performance should aid future management
  • It will help FM's avoid inappropriate alterations that go against the design intent
  • Logging energy performance against design estimates and typical benchmarks will help identify energy problems It provides a single place to keep key information about the building
  • It links documents and information that might otherwise be dispersed elsewhere e.g. O & M manuals, record drawings etc.
  • It should enhance occupant comfort, satisfaction and productivity

Further reading