Design Disciplines

Every building project has a unique set of program goals and technical requirements that demand assembling all the stakeholders and a team of professionals in various design disciplines. Each design discipline has a different set of skills, professional standards, and issues that drive how they operate in the building process. Traditionally, many disciplines provide a specialized technical service that is not always well coordinated with other aspects of the project. 'Whole building,' or integrated, design as a process requires the various stakeholders and disciplines to coordinate and interact as early as possible in the process, and throughout the life cycle of the project to achieve a holistic solution that may yield multiple benefits.

This Branch of the WBDG has been developed to assist participants in planning, design, and construction programs understand how building design disciplines are organized and practice. This Branch also offers insight into creating opportunities for successful project delivery through a coordinated, integrated design, construction, and management process. Each Design Discipline page provides information and guidance from a 'whole building' perspective. In addition, each page includes a discussion of the discipline's professional services, legal definition, their roles and responsibilities in the emerging integrated design process, other emerging issues facing the professional discipline, the codes and standards governing or affecting their practice, and lists of numerous resources relating to each discipline. With this knowledge in hand, each professional will be able to move beyond conventional practice to a more comprehensive, integrated practice.

Design Discipline Pages are also linked to related Resource Pages, Design Objectives, Building Types, and Space Types that explain strategies, technologies, and emerging issues relevant to that specific Design Discipline. Each design discipline is encouraged to review the other design disciplines. By expanding your knowledge of their roles and responsibilities, you will be able to work together better, identify gaps and omissions, and resolve issues holistically.

More Design Disciplines Pages will be posted when they are available. If you are a qualified professional and would like to develop a Design Discipline Page for any of the following disciplines, please contact us for more information:

  • Archaeologist
  • Site Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Surveyor
  • Demolition Specialist
  • Waste Management Specialist
  • Soils Engineer
  • Seismic Engineering
  • Blast Resistance Expert
  • Lighting Designer
  • Building Envelope Specialist
  • LEED® Specialist
  • Commissioning Agent
  • Historic Preservation Specialist
  • Conveyance Specialist
  • Space Planner
  • Productivity Specialist
  • Acoustical Engineer