The Main characteristics of FIDIC Red Book 2017



By Prof Dr. Mostafa H. Kotb, Dr. Mohamed Abo Al Anwar and Eng. Haytham Baraka

Cairo, Egypt



  1. Abstract

Construction contracts represent one of the of most important and vital tools in the construction industry. FIDIC is commonly used in different countries and also in different types of projects. Therefore, this paper aims to provide an overall view on FIDIC Red Book (2017) in the construction industry.

Keywords: Contract, Management, construction, standard contract, Traditional contract, choice of contract, FIDIC.

  1. History of FIDIC

FIDIC represents a French language acronym for Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils, which means the international federation of consulting engineers.

In August 1957, it established their first contract which was the Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction. The draft of the early FIDIC contracts were very similar to and based on the fourth edition of the ICE Conditions of contract.

One the major disadvantage of the original FIDIC Red Book was that it was based on providing the full design to the Contractor by the Employer or his Engineer which is may suitable for specific cases or types of projects but was not suitable for all projects. It was suitable for civil engineering and public or infrastructure projects such as tunnels, roads, bridges and water treatment plants. On the other hand, it was not so suited for some projects specially where the major items of plant were manufactured away from site. For this reason, in 1963, they established the first edition of the “Yellow Book” which was a new type of FIDIC contract that was more suited with mechanical and electrical works. This contract considered the characteristics of these types of projects by considering testing and commissioning. The second edition of “Yellow Book” of was published in 1980.

In 1987, FIDIC revised the Red and Yellow Books and new editions were published. In 1996, FIDIC published a supplement to provide the user with an option for a Dispute Adjudication Board and an option for payment on a lump sum basis rather than re-measuring based on a bill of quantity.

In 1994 FIDIC started reviewing of both the Red and the Yellow Books and preparing to establish the Orange Book.

In 1995, FIDIC published a new contract known as the Orange Book. This contract was designed for projects procured on a design and build or turnkey basis.

In 1999, FIDIC publish four contracts as following:

  1. The Construction Contract Designed by the Employer “Red Book”.
  2. The Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design-Build for Electrical and Mechanical Plant, and for Building and Engineering Works, Designed by the Contractor “Yellow Book”.
  3. The Conditions of Contract for Engineering Procurement and Construction/Turnkey Projects “Silver Book”.
  4. Short Form of Contract for engineering and building work of relatively small capital value “Green Book”. Accordingly, the Green Book is suitable for relatively simple or repetitive work, or work that will not require input from specialist sub-contractors.


  1. Forms of FIDIC

1. The Red Book:

It was firstly published in 1957 and was designed for the Civil Engineering industry. This form of contract is the most common one throughout the world.

2. The Yellow Book

It was firstly published in 1967 and was designed for the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering sector.

3. The Orange Book

It was firstly published in 1995 and was designed for design and build contract.



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How to cite this paper: Kolb, M.H.; Al Anwar, M.A.; Baraka, H. (2019). The Main characteristics of FIDIC Red Book 2017; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VIII, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/pmwj85-Sep2019-Baraka-main-characteristics-of-FIDIC-Red-Book-2017.pdf



About the Authors

Prof. Dr. Mostafa H. Kotb

Cairo, Egypt



Prof. Dr. Mostafa H. Kotb is Professor of Structural Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering at AZHAR University in Egypt, since 2006. Fields of interest include behavior of design of steel structures, strengthening and repair of reinforced concrete elements for structure interactions, and rehabilitation of civil infrastructure,  He was Vice-dean from 2011 through 2015, Assistant chair of Al-AZHAR International Engineering Conference from 2000 till 2014.  For more information, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-mostafa-kotb-85ab353a/?ppe=1.  He can be contacted at Dr_mostafakotb55@yahoo.com


Dr. Mohamed Abo Al Anwar




Dr. Mohamed Abo Al Anwar has a Ph.D of Structural Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering at AZHAR University in Egypt.  He can be contacted at aboal.anwar@yahoo.com


Haytham Baraka

Egypt and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



Eng. Haytham Baraka, B.Sc., PMP, CCP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, graduated from Zagazig University as a Civil Engineer, and his graduation project was construction management for the Cairo Metro Project. He worked in several roles of Civil Engineering (Site Engineer, Technical Office Engineer, Planning Engineer, Project Controls Manager). He is active in professional project management associations and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Cost Professional (CCP), Scheduling Management Professional (PMI-SP), and Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP). Mr. Baraka can be contacted at: h_baraka14@yahoo.com or  Haytham@built.com.sa.  For more information, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/haytham-baraka-pmp-ccp-sp-rmp-apc-rics-candidate-765a9b28/