The Emerald Book, a new form of contract for tunnelling and underground works, has just been published by FIDIC in association with ITA-AITES (the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association). This contract has been some time in development and follows the updates to the Red Book (Construction), Yellow Book (Plant & Design Build) and Silver Book (EPC/Turnkey) in 2017.
The aim of the new Emerald Book is to address the risks particular to subsurface construction projects, which are very dependent on the geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical properties of the ground. These factors will impact greatly on the methods to be used to carry out the works and can lead to time and cost risks not found in other projects, due to the uncertainty of the underground conditions. The Emerald Book seeks to address the allocation of risks between the parties in relation to these particular areas.
The new contract includes:
- a clause to cover unforeseeable physical conditions
- a flexible mechanism for remuneration according to foreseen/unforeseen ground conditions
- provision for time for completion to be influenced by ground conditions
- implementation of a ground classification system and supporting particular conditions to address excavation and stabilisation, and
- the disclosure of all available geological and geotechnical information and the inclusion of a contractual geotechnical baseline
FIDIC anticipate that these new conditions of contract will be widely used due to the growing number of underground projects in various sectors including energy, transport and urban infrastructure.
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