Purpose: This paper proposes and tests, through a series of structured multi-disciplinary design activities, a “Concept Design Stages Protocol” (CDS Protocol) to structure project initiation, to attain smoother collaboration and greater consensus among multi-disciplinary project teams.
Design/methodology/approach: A collaborative approach from the outset is imperative for project success, especially when considering multi-disciplinary teams in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. However, involving different disciplines hinders communication paths and affects informed decision-making.
Findings: Based on these findings, the research demonstrates that the CDS Protocol provides a solid foundation to aid in the optimal implementation of collaborative design, and with particular regard to multi-disciplinary working.
Originality/value: The research demonstrates the potential for significant improvement in the optimisation of the conceptual design stages, with positive implications for time, communication and whole-team engagement.