Exploring Multiple Disciplines in Building Design Practice

building design teams multidisciplinary teamwork design process integrated design teams


August 5, 2019


While there are numerous benefits to working in teams comprising multiple disciplines, we do not have sufficient documented information on the functioning of multi-disciplinary teams in the building design context. As functioning impacts project outcomes, an understanding of the operation of building design teams comprising multiple disciplines is important.

To contribute to the body of knowledge that addresses this gap, this paper examines literature on disciplinary types and team performance. Using an analytic framework identified in literature, this paper studies the organizational and social aspects of building design practice in order to shed light on the ways in which the multiple disciplines involved building design work together. Findings presented in this paper suggest that building design teams combine and integrate knowledge, skills and capabilities in a multidisciplinary manner. In addition, this paper discusses four social and organizational characteristics of multidisciplinary building design teams – the project delivery approach, disciplinary roles, preexisting social and professional relationships, and location and geographic proximity – and documents their impacts on team functioning.   

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