About the Emerald Book

The Emerald Book is the Form of Contract for Underground Works published by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers FIDIC and the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association ITA. It integrates with the FIDIC Rainbow Suite of Contracts, 2nd. Edition 2017, providing a contractual framework for works that include a high degree of geotechnical and hydrogeological uncertainty, such as is typical of underground works. The Emerald Book includes an Introductory Note, General Conditions of Contract, Guidance for the Preparation of Particular Conditions of Contract, an extensive Guidance for the Preparation of Tender Documents and a set of sample forms.

It is available at the FIDIC online bookshop: click here

The underground works market is continuously growing and has enormous potential for the coming century:
Cities will host two thirds of the world’s population by 2050 and will be facing great challenges regarding water supply, waste water disposal, mobility, utilities and space shortage; protected storage of delicate bulk commodities such as fuel or water. In addition communities will require high speed rail networks crossing hills and mountains needing long and deep tunnels, underground water transportation for energy production, drinking water provision and irrigation, and huge sub-surface containers for nuclear waste.

Underground works require high investment from both employers and contractors, and access to appropriate insurance. They differ from other kinds of works for several reasons, in particular because the ground within which they are set and which needs to be excavated and secured is impossible to perfectly assess in advance, the excavation and lining process is time-consuming, and production rates can only be conveniently estimated for known ground conditions.
In the past, both employers and contractors were often optimistic in believing that the ground related risk could be assumed entirely by the contractor against a correct price. This fundamental mistake too often led to cost and time overruns, long and expensive disputes, project disruption and bankruptcy of contractors. The industry was struggling because the form of procurement and contracting being used were not at all suitable for underground works.

After a thorough assessment of the market requirements and of best contract practices, FIDIC and ITA decided to develop a contractual tool that would help the industry deliver underground works more successfully. A joint Task Group, TG10, was formed in 2014, including delegations from both associations with relevant competences and with a total of over 200 years of experience in underground works. In the first three years the task group developed the new form, which then underwent four review processes over the following two years: a limited internal review, a friendly review, a legal review and a final peer review. The reviews involved some forty experts from all over the world and from all fields of competence: employers, contractors, designers, supervisors, claim and dispute specialists, lawyers and insurers. The 1st. Edition of the Form was published during the World Tunnel Congress in Naples on May, 7th, 2019, and was designated the FIDIC-ITA Emerald Book, taking its colour from the ITA logos.

The FIDIC-ITA Emerald Book is a Form of Contract that allocates each ground related risk to the party best prepared to control it. Using it increases a project works’ bankability and insurability, and makes available effective tools for alternative dispute avoidance and resolution. Over and above, it provides extensive guidance to employers for the preparation of their tenders.