Quality Review | Tuesday, August 10, 2021

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AWI Standards

AWI & SMA Release ANSI-Approved Stair Standard for Access Now!

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) and the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) recently released ANSI / AWI SMA 0643-2021—Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard which was approved on March 1, 2021 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  Available online for free access at www.awinet.org and www.stairways.org as well as for purchase in the AWI Store, Standard 0643 will take effect Aug. 15, 2021.

Standard 0643 is the result of a collaborative effort drawing from the expertise of the AWI Technical Committee and SMA’s Quality Standards Committee in conformance with the ANSI process. Work commenced in 2016, and is the first stair, handrail and guard systems Standard that followed the ANSI-required development open consensus process which began in 2020 and culminated with ANSI approval this year.  AWI is an ANSI-accredited Standards Developer Organization.

In AWI’s case, ANSI / AWI SMA 0643 supersedes, replaces, and supplants Section 7 of Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014) as the most current version of the AWI Standard for wood stair, handrail and guard systems.  It is the first Standard of its kind for SMA.

AWI SMA 0643 provides standards and tolerances for the quality fabrication and field installation of wood stair, handrail, and guard systems, that are comprised of: stairs, which encompass stringers, risers, treads and landings; handrails; and guard systems, which are part of the assembly of stairway components. Further, it addresses common guard infill systems of glass and metal, and establishes minimum aesthetic tolerances and performance requirements intended to provide a well-defined degree of control over a project’s quality of materials, workmanship, and/or fabrication.

The 0643 Standard includes sections on shop and field fabrication and additional materials that were not previously covered in the AWS, Edition 2. The Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard includes Aesthetic Grades (Premium, Custom, Economy). It contains NO Duty Levels but DOES include a structural section referencing the International Code Council’s International Building Code and International Residential Code. 

As part of the ANSI accreditation process, the Standard was subject to public review and a balloting process. Input from manufacturers of stairs was integral to the development process. This practical resource establishes a Standard by setting clear expectations of quality and quantifies the materials specifications for everyone from the consumer to the designer, to the manufacturer, to the stairbuilder.

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) has produced and collaborated on the development of standards in accordance with its mission since its founding in 1953 to the present day. AWI is an ANSI-accredited Standards Developer Organization. www.awinet.org

The Stairway Manufacturers’ Association (SMA) was formed in 1988 to insure the growth and prosperity of the stair industry and craft. In 2014 the name of the association was changed to the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association to more clearly reflect its constituency of more than 70% professional stairbuilding companies. www.stairways.org

Founded in 1918, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system and is committed to strengthening its impact, both domestically and internationally.  The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations, and 30 million professionals worldwide.  www.ansi.org



Administration News

Randy Estabrook Retires from AWI QCP

Randy (Randolph) Estabrook, Executive Director of the AWI Quality Certification Program, retired from QCP at the end of May 2021.

After initially leaving AWI QCP in 2008, Randy was asked to return to this position in 2013 by AWI Past President Joe Sorrelli.  In all, Randy was at the helm of AWI QCP for 13 years. 

The AWI QCP has grown over the years with increased licensees and certified projects, and ended 2020 with a 14% increase of new QCP applicants.  The Quality Certification Program will continue to provide a valuable service to the construction industry.

Recently, AWI QCP donated $2 million to the Architectural Woodwork Institute Education Foundation (AWIEF), of which $1 million is designated for Randolph Estabrook Educational Scholarships for individuals, with 1/10th funded annually for this purpose.  The other $1 million donation is earmarked for accredited secondary and post-secondary education wood programs, with 1/20th funding annually.  Each fund will be administered and managed by the AWIEF.

Randy noted, “QCP’s success has been from the support and vision of the Quality Certification Corporation Board of Directors and the hard work of the entire QCP team.” 



Quality Certification Program (QCP) to Rejoin AWI

“We are grateful for the years of service of Randy Estabrook to our industry,” said Doug Hague, executive vice president of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI). Upon Randy’s retirement, the Quality Certification Program (QCP) began the process of rejoining the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) with the legal dissolution of the AWI Quality Certification Corporation.

“The Quality Certification Program (QCP) is an integral part of the association. I want to assure AWI QCP Licensees, all AWI members, and the design/build community that our commitment to the program is unwavering,” Doug said. “AWI recently submitted proposed AWI bylaws revisions for vote by the AWI membership to legalize this action and prepare the association for future success. The updated AWI bylaws were approved and became effective Aug. 5, 2021.

QCP’s dedicated staff will continue administering the program for its licensees, under the direction of current QCP staff member, Greg Parham.


Greg Parham Appointed Interim Executive Director of QCP

The Quality Certification Program (QCP) Director of Inspections, Greg Parham, has been appointed by the Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) Board of Directors as Interim Executive Director of QCP following the retirement of long-time executive Randy Estabrook.  Greg will oversee QCP policy, programs, and procedures, as well as the transition as QCP rejoins AWI.

Greg is intimately knowledgeable about AWI Standards, having served on AWI’s Technical Committee since 2016 working with its members to develop architectural woodwork standards accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

For his contribution of expertise, time and effort working with the AWI Technical Committee on developing the next generation of AWI Standards, Greg was among multiple honorees recognized by AWI President Bruce Spitz in October 2018.  The recognition came in the form of the AWI President’s Award conferred on the AWI Technical Committee during the 66th AWI Annual Convention.

Greg has over 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including 11 years with QCP. Beginning in 2010 as an independent QCP Representative in the Northwest, Greg moved into a full-time staff position as QCP Inspections Manager in 2013 and subsequently in 2019 as Director of Inspections.  Greg’s experience includes Product Development, Engineering Management, Production Management, Business Ownership, and Operations Management. 

He has a BS Degree in Furniture Manufacturing and Management, a specialty concentration in Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University.  Greg can be reached at gparham@awiqcp.org.



Keith Barrett Promoted to QCP Director of Inspections

QCP Staff Representative Keith Barrett is succeeding Greg Parham as Director of Inspections.  In his new position, Keith will manage and participate in the training of all QCP Representatives.  He will manage the QCP inspection process, including reviewing all project inspection reports, and with in-depth knowledge of the AWI Standards, he will be a resource for answering relevant inquires.

Keith’s association with the Quality Certification Program began in September 2018 when he was appointed Staff QCP Representative by then Quality Certification Corporation Executive Director Randy Estabrook.  Keith brought extensive estimating experience to QCP, which he acquired during his career in the industry.  Previously, he was Lead Estimator at Casework, Inc. in North Kansas City, MO, where he worked for five years. Prior to that he owned and operated a drafting/estimating consulting company for nearly five years in Olathe/Paola, KS.  Earlier, Keith was Lead Estimator at Casework, Inc. from 2002 to 2007 and at Woodcraft Architectural Millwork in Lenexa, KS from 1997 to 2002.  His previous experience as a drafter and project manager have been an asset to QCP.

Keith holds a BST degree in Wood Technology from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.  Keith can be reached at kbarrett@awiqcp.org.



QCP Learning Opportunities

Podcasts Answer Questions about QCP

Here are answers to some of the top questions we get asked about project certification. Whether you are a woodworking firm, architect or construction professional you will find helpful information on getting your project QCP certified. Still have a question? Send us a note via the form at the bottom of the webpage.

News and blogs are available here:

Everything You Need to Know about AWI’s Premium Grade
How to Find AWI-Certified Companies through the Quality Certification Program
4 Examples of Outstanding Wood Casework in Architectural Design
How to Navigate the AWI Quality Standards
The AWI Standards from an Aerospace Engineer’s Perspective: An Interview with Ken Kueny

Learn More about QCP at Events & on Social Media

Industry Events
The Quality Certification Program will be represented at the following industry events in 2021:

CSI National Conference
Sept. 22 – 24
Grand Hyatt
Nashville, TN
2021 AWI Annual Convention
Oct. 6 – 8
Margaritaville Resort at Lake Conroe
Montgomery, TX

Social Media
Architectural woodwork is showcased on the following social media platforms, incorporating award-winning woodwork projects illustrated in editions of AWI’s quarterly journal Design Solutions.


QCP Resources

Get Help, Find Answers

Need help with inspection preparation?  Seeking answers about challenging aspects of Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) or ANSI / AWI Standards?  Turn to QCP Resources to enhance your participation in the Quality Certification Program.

  • QCP Representatives can answer a myriad of questions about certification of projects, interpretations of the Architectural Woodwork Standards, ANSI / AWI Standards, and more.


About QCP & QR

Who We Are

About the Quality Certification Program
QCP certification provides the foundation to take on big projects and deliver professional results by giving projects both a “mark of excellence” and a guarantee of your adherence to industry standards and best practices.

This powerful risk-management tool delivers strong recommendations for both the quality and integrity of your work. Plus, certification includes a free-of-charge inspection of your architectural woodwork projects and provides recourse in the event that work fails to meet identified specifications.

Having a team of QCP professionals on hand to collaborate on quality, compliance, and consistency ensures your work will stand out among the best in your industry.

Put the QCP to work for you in just THREE simple steps: Specify, Register and Record and learn more here!

About Quality Review
Quality Review was launched in the fall of 2017, for architects, design professionals, and general contractors.

Given that woodwork is typically one of the most visible and beautiful components of premium architectural projects, Quality Review provides insight and relevant information regarding the woodworking industry, and helps deliver the message that QCP certification ensures quality work at only a small percentage of the total woodwork subcontract.