Historical note

In 1964 IChemE appointed a special committee to review the question of contract conditions for process plants. This led to the publication in 1968 of the first edition of the Model Form of Conditions of Contract for Process Plant suitable for Lump Sum Contracts.

Now commonly known as 'The Red Book', this new initiative proved popular and successful, prompting IChemE to prepare an equivalent set of conditions for use on reimbursable contracts. The result was the 1976 publication of the 'The Green Book'.

At the request of industry, a subcontract, 'The Yellow Book', was introduced in 1992. The Yellow Book offers a ‘back-to-back’ subcontract for use with The Red Book and The Green Book.

These Forms of Contract broke new ground in attempting to deal with the complex way in which purchaser, contractor and subcontractor divide the responsibility for creating a new process plant, providing a fair and balanced framework where each party to the contract could understand its responsibilities and achieve its objectives without confrontation.

The increasing use of the Forms of Contract by industry led to the publication of 'The Orange Book’, a minor works contract, 'The Brown Book’, a subcontract for civil engineering works, and 'The Burgundy Book’, a target cost contract. In response to the growing use of the series on projects outside the UK, international versions of The Red, Green, Burgundy and Yellow Books were published in 2007, written specifically for those contracts where at least one of the parties is contracting outside their home country.

The latest UK editions of The Red, Green, Burgundy, Yellow and Brown Books, published in 2013, fully reflect current best practice in project delivery and recent developments in law and project implementation. As with previous editions, guide notes provide a valuable resource for the use of the Forms of Contract. For the first time flowcharts have been included to assist in understanding of the performance test regime set out in Clause 35.

The latest addition to the Forms of Contract series in 2017 is the Silver Book, which is a Professional Services Contract for the provision of consultancy, project management, design, contract management and other professional services applicable to the process and related industries. The Silver Book is made up of two contracts, the Long Form Contract and the Short Form Contract.

A quartet of supporting titles - The Grey Book (Adjudication Rules), The White Book (Rules for Expert Determination), The Pink Book (Arbitration Rules) and The Beige Book (Rules for Dispute Review Boards), set out the rules to be followed in the event of a dispute arising under a contract.