Different Types of FIDIC Contracts: An In-Depth Exploration

different types of fidic contracts

different types of fidic contracts

The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) has developed a comprehensive suite of standard contracts known as the “Rainbow Suite,” addressing various scenarios and project types in the construction industry. These contracts have gained widespread recognition and are used globally to govern international construction projects. In this article, we will delve into the different types of FIDIC contracts, their key features, and how they facilitate efficient project execution.

Table of Contents

The Red Book: Conditions of Contract for Construction

The Red Book is one of the most commonly used FIDIC contracts and is designed for construction projects where the contractor is responsible for executing the works according to the employer’s design. This contract is suitable for projects with well-defined design requirements and specifications.

Key Features of the Red Book

  • Roles and Responsibilities: The Red Book defines the roles and responsibilities of the employer, contractor, and engineer. It outlines the obligations and duties of each party throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Design and Execution: The employer provides the design, and the contractor is responsible for executing the works accordingly. Any changes to the design must go through the variation procedure outlined in the contract.
  • Time for Completion: The contract specifies a timeframe for project completion. If the contractor fails to meet the deadline, the employer may apply liquidated damages as compensation for the delay.
  • Payment Terms: The Red Book includes provisions for payment, typically based on milestones or completed works. The engineer certifies payments, ensuring fairness and transparency.

The Yellow Book: Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design-Build

The Yellow Book is suitable for projects where the contractor is responsible for both the design and execution of the works, providing a turnkey solution to the employer. This contract is commonly used in projects involving complex engineering systems.

Key Features of the Yellow Book:

  • Design and Construction Responsibility: The contractor takes full responsibility for both the design and construction aspects of the project. The employer provides performance specifications, and the contractor delivers a completed system.
  • Performance Guarantees: The contractor provides performance guarantees for the completed system. These guarantees ensure that the system meets the specified performance criteria.
  • Testing and Commissioning: The Yellow Book includes provisions for testing and commissioning of the completed system, ensuring it meets the required standards and functions as intended.
  • Risk Management: The contract allocates risks between the parties, with the contractor taking on more responsibility due to the design-build nature of the project.

The Silver Book: Conditions of Contract for EPC/Turnkey Projects

The Silver Book is designed for projects where the contractor is responsible for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC). It is suitable for projects where the employer wants a complete, ready-to-use facility at project handover.

Key Features of the Silver Book:

  • Comprehensive Turnkey Solution: The contractor provides a fully operational facility at project completion, relieving the employer of managing the construction process.
  • Single-Point Responsibility: The contractor assumes sole responsibility for the entire project, from design and procurement to construction and commissioning.
  • Risk Allocation: The Silver Book allocates significant risks to the contractor due to the comprehensive scope of work undertaken by the contractor.
  • Performance Guarantees: Similar to the Yellow Book, the Silver Book includes provisions for performance guarantees to ensure the completed facility meets the specified requirements.

The Green Book: Short Form of Contract

The Green Book is a more streamlined version of the FIDIC contract, designed for small and less complex projects. It provides a concise framework for straightforward construction works.

Key Features of the Green Book:

  • Simplified Structure: The Green Book is less detailed and more straightforward compared to other FIDIC contracts, making it suitable for smaller projects.
  • Less Administrative Burden: The Green Book reduces administrative requirements, making it easier for parties to manage the contract during the project’s execution.
  • Suitable for Local Projects: The contract is often used for local projects with a limited scope and straightforward requirements.

The Pink Book: Conditions of Contract for Consulting Services

Unlike the other FIDIC contracts, the Pink Book is tailored for consulting services rather than construction works. It provides a framework for appointing consultants for engineering and related services.

Key Features of the Pink Book:

  • Consulting Services Framework: The Pink Book outlines the terms and conditions for engaging consulting engineers and related professionals for specific services.
  • Scope of Services: The contract clearly defines the scope of work to be undertaken by the consultant, ensuring both parties have a mutual understanding of the project’s requirements.
  • Responsibilities and Liabilities: The Pink Book establishes the responsibilities and liabilities of the consultant and the employer, setting the foundation for a professional consulting relationship.


The various types of FIDIC contracts cater to different project scenarios and requirements within the construction industry. Each contract type provides a standardized and transparent framework for the governance of construction projects, promoting fair risk allocation, efficient dispute resolution, and successful project execution. These contracts have proven to be valuable tools in facilitating complex international construction projects while maintaining a balanced approach between parties involved.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Types of FIDIC Contracts

What are FIDIC contracts?

FIDIC contracts are standard agreements developed by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) used globally to govern construction projects, ensuring clarity, fairness, and efficiency.

How many types of FIDIC contracts are there?

There are five main types of FIDIC contracts: Red Book (construction), Yellow Book (plant and design-build), Silver Book (EPC/turnkey), Green Book (short form), and Pink Book (consulting services).

What is the difference between the Red and Yellow Books?

The Red Book is for construction contracts with the employer's design, while the Yellow Book covers plant and design-build contracts where the contractor provides the design and construction.

Which contract type is suitable for turnkey projects?

The Silver Book is appropriate for turnkey projects where the contractor assumes full responsibility for engineering, procurement, and construction, delivering a ready-to-use facility.

What does the Green Book offer for smaller projects?

The Green Book is a streamlined version for small and less complex projects, reducing administrative burden and providing a straightforward framework for construction works.

Are FIDIC contracts suitable for consulting services?

Yes, the Pink Book is specifically designed for consulting services, providing a framework for engaging consulting engineers and professionals for engineering and related services.

How do FIDIC contracts allocate risks?

FIDIC contracts aim for balanced risk allocation among parties based on their roles and responsibilities, ensuring fairness and efficient management of potential risks.

Are FIDIC contracts globally recognized?

Yes, FIDIC contracts are widely recognized and accepted internationally, making them familiar and reliable to construction stakeholders worldwide for various project types.