AWI Quality Review for 10/21/2020

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Of Note

  • Check out QCC’s Comprehensive Guide to Standards
    The 45+ page e-book is designed for architects and woodworkers to understand the relationship of new AWI Standards to the AWS.
  • New Conformance Validation Procedure in Place
    The procedure affects projects bid after June 1, 2020 relating to the new ANSI / AWI 0641-2019—Architectural Casework Standard.

QCC Releases a Comprehensive Guide to the AWS & AWI Standards for Architects & Woodworkers

The AWI Quality Certification Corporation (AWI QCC) announces a new resource designed as a practical guide to the Architectural Woodwork Standards and AWI Standards. This e-book addresses and walks users through all the sections of the Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014) (AWS) and how the content relates to the new AWI Standards. It’s full of practical examples and useful information, and breaks the standards down in an easy-to-digest way that provides a comprehensive high-level overview.

This new 45+ page e-book is easy to navigate and has a user-friendly table of contents for quick access to any specific information you’re seeking. Users can also search for key words or terms they want to know more about, and download or print the document so it’s easy to reference at any time.

You can download the new e-book from here.

QCP Licensees Enter Winners’ Circle with Top AWI Honors

The AWI Quality Certification Corporation (AWI QCC) congratulates the QCP Licensees who received top honors in the annual Standard of Excellence program conducted by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI).

Each year the “best of the best” projects featuring outstanding architectural woodwork that is published in AWI’s Design Solutions Magazine compete for top honors from quarterly submissions.

The award-winning projects of the following honorees were featured in selected editions of AWI’s quarterly journal, Design Solutions Magazine. Click on the links below and read about how each project’s challenges were successfully resolved.

Project:  Office Building, 1101 16th Street, Washington, DC
Licensed QCP Manufacturer: Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, Salt Lake City, UT
Design Solutions
Summer 2020
Photographer: Allan Schindler

Project: MathWorks Lakeside Campus, Natick, MA
Licensed QCP Manufacturer: Millwork One, Cranston, RI
Design Solutions
Winter 2020
Photographer: Richard Mandelkorn

Project: DePaul University Hotschneider Performance Center, Chicago, IL
Licensed QCP Manufacturer: Bernhard Woodwork, Ltd.Northbrook, IL

Design Solutions
Spring 2020
Photographer: Mark Ballogg

New Conformance Validation Procedure Results from New ANSI/AWI Wood Casework Standard

The Architectural Woodwork institute has released the ANSI / AWI 0641-2019—Architectural Wood Casework Standard, which became effective for PROJECTS BID after June 1, 2020 that call for the AWS current edition.

What QCP licensed firms and design professionals need to know about the new standard is the requirement for all casework to meet a performance Duty Level. This is a new and important difference because it separates the previous structural and aesthetic quality requirements [Custom & Premium] so that these requirements (Grade) only apply to the aesthetic and adds the performance requirements (Duty Level) for the structural component. The Duty Levels are 1-4 and the default Duty Level is 3.

Why is this important?  On a QCP project there will need to be verification that the casework meets this requirement. This can be done in a couple ways: verification with soon-to-be-released AWI tested and approved casework Duty Level 3 methodologies OR a woodworker’s tested proprietary casework method.  In both instances QCP licensed firms will need to schedule in-plant verification visits which can be done using video technology. In both cases, QCP will confirm that methodologies used conform to the tested casework shop drawings showing joinery details, testing results and material cores tested.

The AWI QCC Board of Directors approved a tested casework policy in April of 2019.

Rest Assured: Uphold Your QCP Specification

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

AWI’s Quality Certification Program (AWI QCP) recently posted a pithy, 4+ minute animated YouTube message entitled “How QCP Can Be The Difference Between Woodworking Project Success And Failure”.   (See details in this issue’s “QCP Learning Opportunities” article; click here to access the video).  I saw this presentation for the first time a few moments ago and thought it did a good job summarizing the Quality Assurance risks often inherent in subcontracting woodworking firms which operate outside AWI QCP’s formidable universe of collective knowledge and resources.  As an AWI QCP licensing and project certification inspector, I offer here some “auxiliary” clarification and comment regarding a couple specific points mentioned in the YouTube video.

  1. The YouTube production mentioned that “Mike” (the animated AWI QCP licensed woodworker) created a project bid proposal which meets the specified AWI Standards.  However, it should be noted that AWI QCP emphasizes to its licensees that the Standards apply only in the absence of project specifications (and associated contract documents).  The standards themselves note in multiple locations that its rules apply only if the project’s contract documents do not require otherwise.  Thus, AWI QCP continuously reminds its woodworkers that specifications (and subsequent contract documents which may modify specifications) ALWAYS supersede the Standards in the event of conflicting requirements.  AWI QCP project certification is correspondingly based on conformance with both specifications, and any applicable AWI Standards.
  2. The video touched on two AWI QCP project inspections, one during fabrication of the product, and one during installation.  There is another similar inspection routinely offered to the woodworker (if the project schedule allows), and that is a review of shop drawings.  This is essentially a courtesy to the woodworker offered by the program, and the cost of the shop drawing review is included in the woodworker’s standard certification fee.  The goal of the review is to flag shop drawing details which appear to be nonconforming vis a vis specifications and/or AWI Standards.  Identification of such potential issues before production begins can be highly beneficial not only to the woodworker, but also for all project stakeholders, especially in terms of maintaining the project’s schedule.  An example of this occurred a few days ago during my review of some plastic laminate casework shop drawings.  The project specifications required both flush overlay cabinet construction (1/8” +/- reveal between doors of installed cabinets), and a five-knuckle “institutional” hinge.  As is typically the case, the specified hinge would have produced a 5/8” total door gap reveal between adjacent cabinets. My shop drawing review reported this issue to the woodworker, and provided him with the line-item reference number from the applicable AWI Standard, requiring doors with knuckle hinges to be notched (if necessary) to maintain full overlay construction, if also specified.
  3. It might be inferred from the video that the two AWI QCP inspections provided for “Mike” were provided automatically.  There are a number of circumstances and conditions under which AWI QCP published policies mandate inspection of the fabrication and/or installation phases of duly registered projects.  For example, after a woodworking firm’s initial licensing, inspection and certification of two projects is required before the licensee is authorized under program policies to self-certify work for which it is licensed.  Also, it is important to note that ANY project stakeholder (including architects and specifiers, of course) may request an AWI QCP project inspection, even without cause.  Under typical circumstances, there is again no additional cost beyond the woodworker’s initial certification fee.  Architects and specifiers may simply incorporate the requirement for inspection into the certified project’s specifications, provided QCP certification has also been required.

New ANSI/AWI Architectural Wood Casework Standard on the Street

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) announces the release of the ANSI / AWI 0641-2019—Architectural Wood Casework Standard, opening the door for innovation and cost saving opportunities.  ANSI / AWI 0641 took effect June 1, 2020, and succeeds, replaces, and supplants Section 10 of the Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014) as the most current version of the AWI Standards for architectural wood casework.

“With ANSI / AWI 0641, an architect can mix and match aesthetic and performance requirements so that the end product best suits the vision of the project owner,” said AWI President Tyler Cerny, president of Strata Design.

The ANSI / AWI 0641-2019—Architectural Wood Casework Standard encompasses a variety of architectural wood casework, including wood veneer-faced architectural cabinets, plastic-laminate-clad architectural cabinets, and cabinet and drawer hardware as specified under CSI MasterFormat Division 6. This standard establishes structural and aesthetic tolerances for each of the aforementioned applications, ensuring that the final product is of the utmost quality with regards to the specified visual appeal and structural integrity.

“Of all AWI Standards, the new Architectural Wood Casework Standard is the largest section of forthcoming ANSI / AWI Standards that has greatest impact of change for woodworkers,” said er Cerny.

In previous AWI Standards, a casework unit’s aesthetic and structural requirements were lumped together under three Grades: Economy, Custom and Premium. In ANSI / AWI 0641, characteristics are divided into two parts for the first time:

  1. Aesthetics—Economy, Custom and Premium Grades; and
  2. Structural Performance—Duty Levels: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Duty Levels evolved from the desire for a performance-based standard, according to AWI Technical Committee Chair Greg Lutz, president of Lutz Woodworks.  “This component of the Standard required extensive testing and significantly lengthened the Standard’s development process.  Hundreds of hours of testing took place at the AWI National Testing Center in Americus, GA, where data was collected to provide AWI with reference information needed for a Standard of this level.  Also, during the canvass process, feedback from interested parties identified substantial changes that were necessary and incorporated. Rigorous testing of this nature had not been available previously.”

The Duty Level requirements were determined by measuring the amount of force and pressure the product can tolerate or withstand during the extensive AWI testing process at the AWI National Testing Center.
The ANSI / AWI 0641-2019—Architectural Wood Casework Standard, as well as, AWI 100—SubmittalsAWI 200—Care & StorageAWI 300—Materials, and ANSI / AWI 0620-2018—Finish Carpentry Installation Standard are presented in an interactive format online to view, bookmark, save and share free of charge through the Standards Area of  Printed copies of all AWI Standards are available for purchase in the AWI website store. 

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.

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.

Two Other AWI Standards Advancing through ANSI Process

In late August, as part of the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s (AWI) approved ANSI procedures, the AWI Standards Development Team announced the status of two proposed Standards:

  • AWI 1236–Countertops is moving along in the process to submit the standard to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for public comment and canvass.

    AWI 1236 has been developed to provide standards and tolerances for the quality and fit of countertops. Establishing minimum aesthetic and performance requirements to provide a well-defined degree of control over a project’s quality of materials and workmanship for the manufacture of countertops.

  • AWI / SMA 0643—Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems is also being advanced through ANSI to initiate the second round of public comment and the first round of canvass to be conducted concurrently

    Changes to the draft standard were thoroughly discussed by the AWI Technical Committee and the Quality Standards Committee of the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA). The AWI staff has implemented the changes in response to the feedback from the architectural woodwork industry professionals.

Sponsorship of CSI Events Earns QCP Access to Specifiers

The Quality Certification Program was a Silver Sponsor of CONSTRUCT 2020, held virtually, Oct. 7-9.

New in 2020, the CONSTRUCT Show sponsored by the Construction Specifications Institute took its content online. CONSTRUCT Virtual offered Live and On-Demand content with your favorite AEC thought-leaders in the industry Oct. 7-9, 2020 with the content being available on-demand through Dec. 31, 2020.

QCP also sponsored an education session, “BIM Panel: What Does the Future Hold?” on Oct. 9 featuring Kyhla Pollard, Mark Ogg, Michael Czap and Will Ikard.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is changing the way projects are constructed and it is here to stay.  During this paneled discussion four leaders from within the architectural and construction communities talk through where our industry is headed with BIM technology, the impacts it will have in our daily lives, how we collaborate with other disciplines and how the changes will impact the finished product and owners.

Content of this BIM Panel, along with other education sessions, are available on-demand through Dec. 31, 2020.  Click here to access the session.

How QCP Can Be THE Difference Between Woodworking Project Success and Failure

In this animated short video, we look at one woodworking project with two possible outcomes and explain why, for architects and specifiers, the true value of QCP certification comes when you enforce QCP during the bid stage of your project.

The ultimate QCP difference is that the woodworking firm you choose can become a trusted partner, both for you and the general contractor, based on the knowledge and quality of work they provide.  View the animated video here.

Follow Us on 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.Follow us:

  • Facebook:ArchitecturalWoodwork Institute-QCP

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.