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Last edited 10 Jun 2021
The term ‘multi-disciplinary’ refers to an approach which creates a single team from a range of different disciplines or fields of expertise. A multi-disciplinary approach can tackle complex situations or problems by using the combined skills of different disciplines to develop holistic solutions.
In construction, multi-disciplinary teams can be particularly helpful on complex projects which are increasingly beyond the capability of a single discipline to undertake. The approach was first used in the 1960s and 70s for major public sector projects, where professional disciplines such as architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, planners, economists, and so on, were employed as a single team, rather than a series of independent teams.
Some large companies are themselves multi-disciplinary, able to offer a wide range of disciplines as a single service. This can help establish an integrated team with a single point of responsibility, rather than the more fragmented and adversarial approach more traditionally associated with the construction industry.
Integrated project teams take the concept of multi-disciplinary working one step further, creating a single supply team of consultants, constructors and specialist suppliers.
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