FIDIC contracts 2017—variations
FIDIC contracts 2017—variations

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • FIDIC contracts 2017—variations
  • Introduction
  • What is a Variation?
  • Methods for initiating a Variation
  • Instruction of a Variation by the Engineer
  • Contractor initiated Variation (value engineering)
  • Requests for a proposal in respect of a Variation
  • Effect of an instructed Variation
  • Entitlement to additional payment and extensions of time
  • Valuation of a Variation
  • More...


This Practice Note looks at Variations under the FIDIC Red, Yellow and Silver Books published in 2017 (the 2017 suite). For guidance on Variations under the 1999 editions of these contracts, as well as the Pink and Gold Books, see Practice Note: FIDIC contracts (pre–2017 editions)—variations.

A Variation can be instructed at any time before the Taking-Over Certificate is issued without the need for the Contractor's agreement. However, granting a Variation may entitle the Contractor to additional payment and/or time within which the Contractor must complete the varied Works.

Variations are primarily governed by clauses 13.1 to 13.3, which set out the right to vary the Works and the procedure to be followed. In the Red and Yellow Books, the Employer is not entitled to instruct Variations directly. Instead, the Employer must direct its instructions through the Engineer—otherwise the Contractor would not be bound to comply with it. Under the Silver Book, the power to initiate Variations, make instructions and request information etc is granted to the Employer directly. However, for the purposes of this Practice Note, any reference below to the Engineer means the Engineer under the Red and Yellow Books, and the Employer under the Silver Book (unless otherwise specified).

What is a Variation?

A Variation is defined in the Red Book 2017 as ‘any change to the Works, which is instructed as a Variation under

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