What is meant by a design team?

Any building construction project is considered under the specialized area of structural engineering. Structural engineering is a sub-domain of civil engineering. Before building a construction project, the first and foremost important step is design and analysis. The design of a building involves performing a detailed drawing of the building to be constructed. The design engineers draw either by traditional hand drafting techniques or by using sophisticated computer-aided design (CAD) software. The design of the building is done to scale that includes all the features like beams and columns placement, wall structure, door and window placement, their respective dimensioning, etc. The design of the building is analyzed for durability, strength, and ability to withstand various forces, including forces of nature like aerodynamic forces.

To perform the analysis of the building, the design is simplified by removing unnecessary components like aesthetic materials. These features do not account for forces nor do their resultant effects. A building is analyzed in various aspects like structural analysis, modal analysis, fluid analysis, etc.

A building is composed of several parts and features, each of the parts and features is designed and analyzed by several designs and analysis engineers. All these individuals form a design team. These individuals have diversified backgrounds and skillsets, but they all account for a common goal, i.e. making a building that is structurally strong and aesthetically pleasing.

People behind the design team


In the modern era, growing demand is directed towards a building that has to be aesthetically pleasing and functional. The architects are the professionals who take this responsibility. Architects are the individuals who design buildings ergonomically and aesthetically. They also supervise the construction process. Architects have wide specializations and get involved in different areas of building design. For example, one architect may involve themselves in designing the building structure, while one may involve in planning and designing the exterior landscape of the surrounding area. Architects apply both art and science principles to designing a building.

An exterior building model designed by an architect
CC BY-SA 4.0 | Image credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org | Archdraw


The responsibility of engineers is to ensure the completed building design by the architects is safe and up to the design specifications and follows building codes. Engineers ensure that the building is efficient and optimized and accounts for minimum material during construction, thus reducing the costs. The design of the building by the architects is developed in CAD software and analyzed to estimate the safe loading conditions. It also points out critical areas. The engineers rectify any flaws in the design and also communicates it to the architects. During the construction phase, a construction/site engineer ensures the progress of construction according to the plan and advises regarding the construction process and material selection so that the building is constructed efficiently.

Construction project manager

A construction project manager is a higher-level official who has expertise in design and construction processes. He facilitates the flow of information between architects, engineers, clients, and higher management. A project manager oversees the entire project and plays a crucial role in the pre-design and pre-construction phases. Through various techniques, he determines the bottlenecks of the design and construction process. Projects managers hire contractors based on the requirement and criticality of the project. They also decide the number of workers to hire for the project. Overall, a project manager strategically plans the entire project and ensures smooth workflow.

Team leader

Teams leaders are the head of a design team. A team leader with his/her teammates thrives to create a design under construction demand. A team leader also guides, instructs, and teaches his/her subordinates with their years of gained experience. A team leader directly communicates with the management and conveys the information to his/her team. It is the sole responsibility of the team leader to control and manage the team and to ensure meeting deadlines on time.

Challenges faced by the design team

There are various challenges faced by a design team, which affect the entire production. Some of them are:


The biggest challenge faced by the team is the problem of communication and information sharing. Information should be passed efficiently between the architects and engineers to ensure the design process runs smoothly. They depend on one another for a smooth run. Small mismatched information might lead to the failure of the entire project or put lives at risk.

Limitations in technology

Often the entire design process needs to be dropped down or has to undergo a major change due to limitations in technology. The design created by the architects and engineers may not be able to construct due to the unavailability of specialized equipment, technology, and materials. Hence, under such conditions, the entire design needs to be changed.

Lack of accurate prototyping

The only choice for prototyping is either using handcrafting techniques or using rapid prototyping machines. Rapid prototyping machines are majorly used. But these machines lack various features and technological potholes. Some of the complex and intricate dimensions and features provided by engineers may not be able to catch by the machines and may sometimes get missed. Hence, it directly affects the analysis results and leads to design flaws.

Internal disputes

Lack of coordination and team spirit leads to internal disputes. Hence it is the sole responsibility of the team leader and the project coordinator to hire the right candidates with the right attitudes. Apart from this, the candidate should also possess the right skill sets for the particular project.

Importance of team meeting

A team meeting is the most essential part of a company. It ensures team building and project goal completion. Team meetings provide individuals to communicate and address their difficulties. They also provide an opportunity for other members to come out with an effective solution to a particular problem and help each other. Team meetings also ensure team building relationships and to know each other better.
Daily team meetings help address design problems and ensure the target is met. Hence, a team meeting is an essential element that reflects the productivity of the team members.

Context and Applications

This topic is taught in different undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses like:

  • Bachelors of Technology (Civil Engineering)
  • Masters of Technology (Building Design and Construction)
  • Masters of Business Administration

Practice Problems

Q1. What is the work of a project manager?

  1. To oversee the entire project
  2. To design exterior landscape of the building
  3. To design and analyze a building
  4. All of these

Answer: Option a

Explanation: The work of a project manager is to oversee the entire project to ensure smooth workflow.

Q2. Which of the following is the primary challenge faced by the design team?

  1. Communication
  2. Lack of technology
  3. Internal disputes
  4. Lack of prototyping accuracy

Answer: Option a

Explanation: Communication and information flow is the primary challenge faced by the design team.

Q3. What is the importance of team meeting?

  1. Providing a platform to discuss problems
  2. An opportunity to known each other
  3. An opportunity to help each other
  4. All of these

Answer: Option d

Explanation: Team meetings provide an open opportunity to discuss problems, a platform to know each other better, discuss problems, and help each other to arrive at the solution.

Q 4. Who is the head of the design team?

  1. Architect
  2. Engineer
  3. Team leader
  4. Project manager

Answer: Option c

Explanation: A team leader is the head of the design team.

Q 5. What is the tool used by design engineers to design buildings?

  1. Traditional drafting techniques
  2. CAD software
  3. Both a and b
  4. None of these

Answer: Option c

Explanation: Traditional drafting techniques and CAD software are the tools used by the design engineers to design the build in the initial phase.

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