THE AUSTRIAN CONTRACT FORM OENORM B 2203 FOR UNDERGROUND WORKS: A WELL-ESTABLISHED ALPINE PREDECESSOR OF THE FIDIC-ITA EMERALD BOOK
Chief Contract Manager, PORR AG
In 2019, an article in the International Construction Law Review
provided an excellent overview of the features of the new Emerald Book – First Edition of the “Conditions of Contract for Underground Works”.2
Gillion et al stated that the Emerald Book was the first major standard form tunnelling contract.3
However, the Emerald Book was not developed from scratch but has successful and viable sources and role models. The knowledge from field experience with well-established relatives of the Emerald Book is important since we have had no feedback on the Emerald Book in practical use so far.
In Alpine countries, like Switzerland and Austria, well-established sources and role models for the Emerald Book have existed with a successful record for many decades. One of them is the Austrian standard form contract “OENORM B 2203-1 Underground works – Works contract – Part 1: Cycling driving”,4
embedded into a standard environment that delivers stringent guidance to the parties in the range from the preliminary works for tunnelling design via procurement through to the construction phase.
Historically, the Alps have been the major barrier to land-based traffic between the Mediterranean region and Central Europe, as well as a source of national resources and wealth for their residents. Mining and the construction of underground structures have a longstanding tradition. In the last decades, long tunnels have been built in Switzerland and Austria to cross the Alps at their base. Underground structures for hydropower plants,
Pt 3] The Austrian Contract Form OENORM B 2203