Purpose: The building design processes today are complex, involving many disciplines and issues like collaboration, concurrency and collocation. Several studies have focused on understanding and modeling formal information exchange in these processes. Few past studies have also identified the importance of informal information exchanges in the design process and proposed passive solutions for facilitating this exchange. The purpose of this paper is to term the informal information as ad hoc information and explores if components of ad hoc information exchanges can be actively managed. Design/methodology/approach: An MDM-based framework integrating product, process and people dependencies is proposed and a prototype platform to implement this framework is developed. The demonstration on the usage of this platform to identify information paths during collaboration and hence manage ad hoc information exchanges is presented through an example problem. Findings: Based on the effectiveness of the prototype platform in identifying information paths for design queries, it is concluded that the proposed framework is useful for actively managing some components of ad hoc information exchange. Originality/value: This research enables the design manager/participants to make a more informed decision on requesting and releasing design information. © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.