The Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) is an international standards body for construction and civil engineering. It has defined a series of standard contracts and contractual terms. These contracts used to be known by the colour of the publication – the Red Book was for civil engineering contracts, the Yellow Book for electrical and mechanical works including on-site erection and installation, the Orange Book for design and build and turnkey contracts. These have now been superseded by a new set of standard contracts:
- Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer: The Construction Contract
- Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer (MDB Harmonised Edition) – for bank financed projects only: The MDB Construction Contract
- Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design-Build for Electrical and Mechanical Plant and for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Contractor: The Plant and Design-Build Contract
- Conditions of Contract for EPC/Turnkey Projects: The EPC/Turnkey Contract
- Short Form of Contract: The Short Form
- Dredgers Contract (based on the Short Form of Contract): Dredgers Contract
Although FIDIC contracts are not universally used, their terms are often copied as boiler plate clauses into major construction contracts. The danger in importing some FIDIC terms and not others is that this type of ‘cherry picking’ may turn an agreement that is intended to be balanced and fair into one that is unbalanced, where a clause favouring one party loses its balancing provision favouring the other.