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FIDIC 99 Rainbow Contracts Suite - Choosing the Right FIDIC

According to Wikipedia, FIDIC is defined as:

The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (commonly known as FIDIC, acronym for its French name Federation Internationale Des Ingenieurs-Conseils) is an international standards organization for the consulting engineering & construction best known for the FIDIC family of contract templates. The fact that the organisation has a French title bears testimony to its foundation in 1913 by three wholly or partly francophone countries, Belgium, France and Switzerland.

In 1999, FIDIC published the first edition of its widely popular FIDIC Rainbow Suite, that contains six books:

  1. Conditions of Contract for Construction (the Red Book),
  2. Conditions of Contract for Plant, Design-Build (the Yellow Book),
  3. Conditions of Contract for EPC/Turnkey (the Silver Book),
  4. Conditions of Contract for Design-Build and Operate (Gold Book),
  5. Conditions of Short Form of Contract (Green Book), and
  6. Conditions of Contract for Dredging Work (Blue Book).

Historically by the 80s, FIDIC published its Red and Yellow book, based on discipline. The Red Book was tailored for mainly the civil works, while the Yellow Book was mainly for the mechanical and electrical works.

Both books were different in terms of allocation of risk between the parties. In the Red Book, the Employer produces a detailed design for the Contractor to follow, whereas payments are on a remeasured basis against a BOQ.

In the Yellow Book, the Employer sets a Performance Specification in which the Employer describes his output requirements, and the design is carried out by the Contractor.

In the subsequent 1999 Rainbow Suite, FIDIC has evolved its contracts from being based on discipline to a suite based on who carries the design. In that way, FIDIC was able to address much more projects in the constantly evolving market.

Choosing the Right FIDIC Contract #

The most common contracts of the FIDIC 99 Rainbow suite are the Red, the Yellow and the Silver books. The other three mentioned above are very specialized to specific cases or industry, and as such, we shall concentrate on the common Red, Yellow and Silver Books.

The easiest way to classify which FIDIC contract is best or right for a project, is by answering the question 'What is the type of project delivery?'. There are three common ways of project delivery:

This is an overview of the main types of the FIDIC 1999 Contracts. You can read more about the obligations of the Contractor under the Red Book and his entitlements to additional time or cost.