FIDIC is a French acronym for Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils. Excuse the awful pronunciation of that sentence. In English, it translates to the International Federation of Consulting Engineers. It was originally founded by a trio of countries, France, Belgium and Switzerland in 1913. The UK later joined the federation in 1949.
In this post, we will be discussing their suite of contracts, but unlike the NEC or JCT contracts we’ve broken down in previous videos, FIDIC offers a little more. Similar to RICs, they provide a membership structure for consulting engineers from over 97 countries.
Over the years, FIDIC has become famous for its secondary activity of producing standard form contracts for the construction and engineering industry.
FIDIC published its first contract, titled The Form of contract for works of Civil Engineering construction, in 1957. As the title indicated, this first contract was aimed at the Civil Engineering sector and it soon became known for the colour of its cover, and thus, it was named, The Red Book.
It has since become a tradition that FIDIC contracts are known by the colour of their cover. And this is what we will cover here.
As I said earlier, it all started with the red book. We will call this, The Old Red Book. Spoiler alert, there’s a new one now. This contract was aimed at the civil engineering sector.
Next came The Old Yellow Book which was published in 1967. These contracts were aimed at the mechanical and electrical engineering sector.
In 1995, FIDIC released The Orange Book. This was the first design and build contract in the series.
The New Red Book was released in 1999. This book is suitable for contracts where the majority of design rests with the Employer.
The New Yellow Book was also released in 1999. This book is suitable for contracts where the contractor has the majority of the design responsibility.
1999 was a big year and also marks the release of The Silver Book and Green Book. The Silver Book is for turnkey projects. This contract places significant risks on the contractor. The contractor is also responsible for the majority of the design. The Green Book is FIDICS short form subcontract
Finally in 2008, The Gold Book was established. This is FIDICs first design, build and operate contract.
There are other books produced by FIDIC but they are used to a much lesser extent,
In most FIDIC forms there is a default hierarchy for the documents forming the contract. The list includes;
- The Contract Agreement
- The Letter of Acceptance (this is the formal acceptance of the contractor’s tender and marks the formation of the contract)
- The Letter of Tender
- Part II – the conditions of particular application
- Part I – general conditions of contract
- The Specification and Drawings (Red Book), The Employer’s Requirements (Yellow Book), the Schedules (Red and Yellow Books)
- Further documents (if any), listed in the Contract Agreement or in the Letter of Acceptance.
Why not watch our video on this topic?