AWI Quality Review for 04/24/2018

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Of Note

  • Spring 2018 Semi-Annual Edition of Quality Review
    This semi-annual e-letter about the Quality Certification Program (QCP) reports news and provides information concerning the architectural woodwork components of your design/build projects.
  • See Outstanding Architectural Woodwork Projects
    Tap into QCP on Instagram to view outstanding QCP-certified architectural woodwork projects and learn about the specifications that guide their fabrication.

Quality Certification Program to Appear on ARCHITECT Live

The AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) will be appearing at the A’18, the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018, Friday, June 22 at 1:30 pm (EDT) during ARCHITECT Live. This will be a collaboration of the editorial resources of Hanley Wood — ARCHITECT, ECOBUILDING Pulse, and RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECT brands, as well as the members and staff of the American Institute of Architects. 
Photo courtesy of AIA and AWI

AWI QCP will tap into the pulse of the AIA Conference from this live production environment engaging design professionals on how to manage and achieve the successful integration of architectural woodwork within the designed projects.

Attendees and others may experience ARCHITECT Live programming online as ARCHITECT Live broadcasts during the hours of the Design Expo at the AIA 2018 Conference. This segment is presented in a studio setting with a live audience. AWI QCP is a key sponsor at ARCHITECT Live during the 2018 event.

To register for the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018, visit

Outstanding QCP Architectural Woodwork Projects Showcased on Instagram

AWI QCP is currently participating on the Instagram platform using @AWI_QCP. The concept of marketing AWI QCP by the utilization of hashtags and posts that will reach and connect the architectural woodworking community and the architecture / design and construction communities is a timely and effective strategy.

The concept is quite simple; AWI QCP will draw articles from past editions of Design Solutions Magazine (published by the Architectural Woodwork Institute) that showcase examples of great woodwork projects and great woodwork companies. The goal is to highlight the successful use of wood products in architectural projects and the companies that craft the products into the finished spaces. The articles also note the project owners, architects and general contractors.

AWI_QCP is off to a good start by garnering 37 followers in just a few days on Instagram.  Please visit our posts on Instagram here. “The Instagram effort, which is also appearing on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, is celebrating QCP firms and their successful projects,” QCC Executive Director Randy Estabrook told QR.

As you know, Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS.

Virtual Project Inspections: Service in the Making for Architects, Designers, Specifiers

AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) has been developing and implementing it’s Virtual Project Inspection (VPI) technology over the past year and is inspecting projects across the United States as well as around the world. This technology uses video sharing software so that one person who is on-site can be directed to show video of the architectural woodwork products in real time as the AWI QCP Inspector views and directs.

Initially most people react to this news by thinking that an in-person inspector is much more effective than using digital technology. In reality the opposite is true for a number of reasons. For example, when AWI QCP started the development of this technology some thought that on camera you could not feel the flushness of a counter top field joint.  That is true, however, instructing the on-site video operator to slide a feeler gauge across the field joint is just as effective.

The recorded video can be reviewed multiple times after the live inspection, something that cannot be done from an in-person visit. Add to this the flexibility of scheduling along with eliminating the travel expenses of a traditional inspection and you have a technology that could be used numerous times very early on in the plant to review work in-progress without adding costs.

The future benefit of this technology will be the ability to view recorded inspections during the fabrication stages of a project, a real advantage to all stakeholders.

Check out our video clips on You Tube: Inspection OneInspection Two.

The Meaning of Licensing in QCP’s Quality Assurance Process

AWI’s Quality Certification Program (QCP) has two basic components to its quality assurance model.  These components are separate, but closely related.

Woodworker Licensing

The first is licensing of architectural woodwork firms.  A QCP license is not a single blanket statement of a woodworking firm’s ability to conform with AWI’s fabrication and/or installation standards.  Rather, the woodworking firm applying for licensing chooses from an “a la carte” menu of 36 available QCP licenses.  Each license relates to a specific category of woodwork, and the categories correspond to those covered by the Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014).  The combination of licenses chosen by the woodworker is based on the applicant’s offerings of products and services, and other business/market factors.  The list of available licenses appears in QCP’s “Standardized Minimum Sample Criteria for Licensing” under “Resources”.  This Minimum Sample Criteria also describes the various features required in samples of particular woodwork categories which must be assessed by a QCP inspector, and found to be compliant with the Standard before licensing is awarded.


The second basic component of QCP’s quality assurance process is certification of architectural woodwork for an individual construction project, where required by that project’s specifications.  Project certification attests to conformance of that particular work with contract documents and AWI Standards where applicable.  Only those scope items for which the woodworker holds QCP licenses may be certified.

Sample Specification

One specification QCP sees frequently under the “Interior Architectural Woodwork Quality Assurance” portion of specifications reads something like:

A. Fabricator Qualifications: Shop that employs skilled workers who custom-fabricate products similar to those required for this Project and whose products have a record of successful in-service performance. Shop is a certified participant in AWI’s Quality Certification Program.

In some cases, the architect or specifier judges this criteria alone to be a sufficient guarantee of quality.  However, under this language, a shop with only one QCP license unrelated to the project scope would technically meet this project specification.  For example, a shop with only a license for plastic laminate countertop manufacturing could be awarded a project with casework, wall paneling, stairwork, and finishing.

By taking the additional steps of requiring project certification and inspection by QCP representatives, the architect or specifier ensures that the list of QCP licenses held by the woodwork subcontractor will be examined.  If additional licenses are needed by the subcontractor in order to certify all of the work in the project scope, QCP can then initiate that process with the woodworker.

Architects and specifiers should also be aware that they may check a woodwork subcontractor’s list of licenses directly on the QCP website at here.
 This will allow access to a QCP company’s basic information, including licenses held.

The Match Game: Architectural Woodwork Standard’s “Checklist” for Wood Veneer Wall Paneling

This Quality Review regular feature will strive to present woodwork-related technical topics of common interest and importance to the design community, general contractors, and the architectural woodwork industry.  

Inspectors for AWI’s Quality Certification Program (QCP) are privileged to see a very wide assortment of commercial and institutional construction as they assess conformance of those projects’ woodworking components with AWI Standards.

Many of these projects are plainly utilitarian in nature, and the scope of woodwork categories needed to achieve their intended purpose is correspondingly modest.

Then there are the peacocks.  These are the projects, which for any number of reasons, require prominent aesthetic features intended to evoke additional meaning or emotion in the building’s users as they go about their business.  Among the many decorative elements deployed by architects to achieve this result, decorative wood veneer wall and ceiling surfacing is of course one of the most time-tested and evocative.  And although it can appear elegantly simple once installed, highly matched veneer panels are in fact typically one of the most complex items in the architectural woodwork universe.  There is a long list of material, veneer matching, and engineering parameters which must be accounted for in order to leave nothing to chance in the fabrication and installation of decorative wall paneling.  This is especially important for those projects which specify rigorous sequencing or (and perhaps end matching) of veneer over large areas.  Although not impossible, fixing an error or accidental damage in a sequenced panel elevation can be harrowing for an architectural woodwork firm, since a highly figured veneer leaf shares an important property with a snow flake: no two are alike.  Achieving an acceptable fix for a compromised panel can be time consuming and expensive. 

Because aesthetics is the raison d’etre for wood paneling, it sometimes is more heavily detailed by architects and specifiers than some other categories of woodwork.  If the architect has also designated the Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014)—current AWI recognized Standard—as the contract documents’ required reference standard, that can serve as a safety net by providing a rule for the woodworker to follow in lieu of any particular paneling detail which may have been omitted from specifications (for example, whether the leaf arrangement within a single panel is based on a “running” or “balance” match).  As the AWS states in its Section 8 (“Wall/Ceiling Surfacing”), unless the project’s contract documents require otherwise, the applicable AWS rules govern.

AWI Next Generation Standards Development Progress

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) is currently creating a new suite of standards for custom architectural woodwork. The creation of the new AWI standards suite is expected to continue for the next two years and will define and address each aspect of the architectural woodwork industry. AWI has adopted and numerically aligned each woodwork standard to CSI’s (Construction Specification Institute) 2016 MasterFormat® numbering system.

Current Reference

While the Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014) (AWS) remains AWI’s current and recognized woodwork reference, interim specification language recommended by AWI is as follows: “All work in this section shall comply with AWI’s published standards (latest edition) for grades of architectural woodwork indicated for construction, finishes, installation, and other requirements.”

First Standard

In Quarter 1, 2018, AWI will be vetting its first Standard, the new AWI 0620 Finish Carpentry/Installation Standard through a balanced industry canvass group in adherence to AWI’s approved American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process. Following the canvass and balloting process, AWI will undergo an initial compliance audit administered by ANSI. Later in 2018, the AWI 0620 Finish Carpentry/Installation Standard is expected to be released and ready for and use by design professionals and specifiers in planning upcoming projects.

Second Standard

AWI’s National Testing Center (NTC) in Americus, GA has completed extensive testing of base and wall cabinet joinery methods and various materials to ascertain integrity and functionality performance outcomes in support of the new AWI 0641 – Architectural Wood Casework Standard‘s development. In the coming months, the NTC will be conducting tests on various other drawer materials and joinery methods. Additionally, the NTC will be testing load capacity and span deflection values of different shelf materials common to architectural casework.

Casework Performance

In the near term, AWI’s Technical Committee is analyzing test data outcomes to establish various casework performance duty levels. Each casework performance duty level is intended to provide specifiers and design professionals with options for selecting the appropriate casework relative to that product’s intended use, its installed application, and function over time. Options and choices for the product’s desired aesthetic qualities are defined and specified as premium, custom, and economy grade. These grades determine a product’s appearance and the permissible manufacturing tolerances within each of the three aesthetic grades.

Multiple Platforms

The next generation of AWI standards are being developed for accessibility in multiple digital, mobile, and desktop platforms. A simplified numeric format outlines the new standard’s content while information is straightforward in presentation and easy to reference.

While AWI is changing the woodwork industry, the association remains at your service to provide technical assistance and support of the AWS, Edition 2 (2014). For technical assistance or more information about this topic, including participation in the review process, please contact staff at

The Architectural Woodwork Institute has produced and collaborated on the development of Standards in accordance with its mission from its founding in 1953 to the present day. 

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.

The A, B, Cs of Architectural Woodwork in Your Projects

The Quality Certification Program (QCP) will team with the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), for two webinars for architects and designers about architectural woodwork in your upcoming projects. Each webinar hosted by CSI qualifies for one AIA/CES Approved AIA HSW Learning Unit credit. Gain insight into the specification requirements that will maximize one of the most highly visible elements of your project – architectural woodwork!

June 27, 2018

2:00 pm (One Hour)

“The AWS and Quality Assurance in Architectural Woodwork”

Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Strategic Outreach and Relations, Architectural Woodwork Institute

Scroll down to the date of the event and click on event to register.

Take the mystery out of your architectural woodwork projects by learning the best way to communicate with your team from design to finish. By using the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), you’ll learn to visually identify compliant vs. noncompliant products, and how to identify the differences between premium, custom, and economy-grade woodwork. Discuss the proper construction of drawers, countertops, cabinets, veneer and wall panels.

In addition, learn how to utilize the AWS to ensure quality architectural woodwork projects. And to meet your expectations for design excellence, discover how to find an accredited woodworker who knows how to fabricate, finish, and install products according to the AWS.

September 12, 2018
2:00 pm (One Hour)

“Designing with Hardwood Veneer”

Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Strategic Outreach and Relations, Architectural Woodwork Institute

Scroll down to the date of the event and click on the event to register.

This NEW Consolidated Veneer Program will provide information on planning interior wall and fixture surfaces with hardwood veneer including: wood veneer production; slicing methods and specification; how grain and figure affect your design; grade requirements — allowable characteristics and identifying defects; availability in LEED® projects; avoiding specification errors; practical limitations to what you can do with wood veneer; leaf to leaf matching, panel matching, room matching; sketch faces; Shop Drawing Requirements and your expectations; and sample requirements & approvals for the record.

Learn the six critical elements of specifying hardwood veneer on a project. Discover how to match veneer styles to achieve a desired design.  Gain understanding of the measurable qualities and properties of wood veneer grades, and recognize the importance of adequate specification to protect the integrity of the design vision.

To register for each complimentary webinar, visit where events are listed by date. Click on the webinar to register. Registration is open to both members and non-members of CSI.

Upcoming QCP Events & Webinars

Take full advantage of interior architectural woodwork industry experts and stop by our booth at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018 in New York or CONSTRUCT in Long Beach, California.


The Quality Certification Program will be represented at the following industry events:

Architectural Woodwork Institute
Spring Leadership Conference
April 22 – 24
The Embassy Suites Omaha – Downtown Old Market Hotel
Omaha, NE
(Networking Opportunities)

Construction Specifications Institute
Master Specifiers Retreat

June 5 – 8
Lansdowne Resort and Spa
Leesburg, VA
(One-on-one Presentations/Conversations)

A’18 AIA Conference on Architecture 2018
June 21 – 23
Javits Convention Center
New York, NY
(Booth #781)

International Woodworking Fair
(IWF Atlanta)

August 22 – 25
Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, GA
(Booth #BC18)

Knowledge Today.
Innovation Tomorrow.

October 4 – 5
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, CA
(Booth #729)


The Quality Certification Program will be hosting webinars in 2018.  These opportunities are a result of QCP’s new Corporate Partnership arrangement with the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). The forums are hosted by CSI and have attendance of 200-800 individuals – providing great outreach for QCP. Each offers AIA Learning Unit credits.

June 27 (2:00 pm) (1 Hour)
“The AWS and Quality Assurance in Architectural Woodwork”

CSI/CEU AWS2414 – 1 AIA HSW LU credit
Register at

September 12 (2:00 pm) (1 Hour)
“Designing with Hardwood Veneer”

CSI/CEU AWS208 – 1 AIA HSW LU credit
Register at

Need help with Project Registration, Inspection?

Confused about licensing?  Seeking answers to challenging aspects of the Architectural Woodwork Standards?  Turn to QCP Resources to enhance your project participation in the Quality Certification Program.

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

About the Quality Certification Program & Quality Review

The Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Quality Certification Program (AWI QCP) launched this semi-annual online newsletter, Quality Review, in the fall of 2017 specifically for architects, design professionals and general contractors.

Persons within those communities are usually familiar with the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), founded in 1953, and recognize its authority in the architectural woodwork industry, as expressed by the series of standards it has authored since the early 1960’s.  However, AWI’s Quality Certification Program has only been on the scene since 1995.  The quality assurance services which QCP offers, and the policies and procedures by which it operates, tend to be less well known to architects and GCs.  As succinctly stated in its published Policies:

“The AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) licenses eligible woodworking, finishing, and installation companies to certify that their projects comply with the current Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS).”

QCP Licensing is earned by woodworking firms through comprehensive testing and inspection in accordance with the quality grade criteria set forth in the AWS.

As an independent entity, the Quality Certification Program is a powerful and low-cost risk management tool, offering third-party inspection of your projects’ architectural woodwork, and assessing compliance of that work with the AWS.

One goal of Quality Review is to address misconceptions that some stakeholders may have concerning the cost and procedures involved in certifying a project, where that requirement is specified.  Woodwork is typically one of the most visible and beautiful components of commercial and institutional projects. QCP’s assistance in ensuring the faithful execution and performance of the woodwork takes only a tiny percentage of the woodwork subcontract.

Put the QCP to work for you in just 3 simple steps: Specify, Register and Record and learn more here!

Meanwhile, give us your feedback about the articles and topics covered in Quality Review.  Don’t hesitate to share your views and/or questions here.