AWI Quality Review for 10/23/2018

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Of Note

  • Call for Project Exposure!
    QCP is using social media to feature outstanding architectural woodwork produced by our licensees. We are requesting links and/or photo submissions that illustrate premier woodwork projects. Learn more below.

Submit Your Photos and Links Highlighting QCP Woodwork

The AWI Quality Certification Corporation (AWI QCP) has been using social media to highlight any non-conformities identified by QCP Inspectors during project inspections. Now, as we come to better appreciate the follower reach and opportunities presented through social media channels, we are using it to celebrate you, the companies that produce the QCP projects.

When QCP-registered, quality woodwork is featured by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) in its Design Solutions Magazine, those project photos are reshared on our Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. The firms involved in the project are identified, bringing premium exposure and recognition to both the job team and the premier woodwork they produce.

Given that thousands of people follow QCP on social media, this recognition is an excellent way to bring attention to QCP-certified projects like never before. As a result, we want to feature all of the amazing woodwork that’s being designed using QCP specifications.

There are two ways to share your work so we can promote it on our social media channels.

  1. To share online, use #QCPQuality on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.
  2. Email your photos and project descriptions (including the architects, general contractors, project owners, and woodworkers involved) to

Follow Us!  

  • Facebook: Architectural Woodwork Institute-QCP

Architect “Lives by Standards”

AWI Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) meets with architects, design professionals, and specifiers about the Quality Certification Program to learn firsthand about the value of industry standards and certification of woodwork for their projects.  Here are some insights gained at a recent CSI event.

Quality Review (QR) spoke with Ken Hercenberg of ZGF Architects LLP.

Associate Partner and Construction Specifier for ZGF Ken Hercenberg told QR that he was introduced to Architectural Woodwork Standards about 20 years ago.  He learned about the standards as well as the Quality Certification Program (QCP) from former AWI Technical Director Greg Heuer.

Ken said he “lives by standards” and depends on programs like QCP because he often writes as many as 140 spec sections per project in the course of his job. “We always specify certification for our firm’s projects that require premium, high visibility architectural woodwork.” 

Certified Woodwork

“When the woodwork is certified, we can be reasonably certain that a QCP-licensed woodworker is knowledgeable and capable.  Presuming that the specs are clear, we know we have a very good chance of getting what we want.  And, if we don’t get what we want, we contact the QCP offices for a review of the specs and the job, and, any problems are remedied, as needed.” 

Ken believes that about half the projects he’s seen have issues involving some specialty—whether HVAC, building envelope, moisture mitigation, etc.—often resulting from speed of the job and pressure on trades.

“For architectural woodwork elements of our projects, QCP is the least costly insurance policy available and one of the best deals in construction.  I don’t know why anyone would not request certification, if there is quality woodwork on their project,” Ken said.

Summary Process Relating to Woodwork Specs 

“During the submittal phase of our projects, the contractor usually registers the woodworking for certification.  When we examine the woodwork submittal, we look for certification information, and if it is lacking we don’t even begin to review the specs. We tell the general contractor what our requirements are and consider it their job to ensure compliance with the subs. 

I am still trying to get architects to understand that we can register a project before it goes to bid.  We don’t have to pay anything to do that, and pre-registration prevents the GC from not registering the project.  The optimal process is for architects to register the woodwork for certification because it is a lot easier to enforce.”

Ken Hercenberg is an Associate Partner and Specification Writer at ZGF Architects with more than 40 years of experience in design and construction services. He specializes in project manual production, building envelope design, code reviews, quality and constructability reviews, keynoting, and sustainability. Throughout his career, Ken has worked on various project types including healthcare, laboratory, hospitality, commercial, mixed-use / residential, airport / transportation, K-12, and higher education. Ken’s attention to detail and experience with materials and construction make him an experienced mentor and member of ZGF’s staff. He is a long-standing member of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).  ZGF Architects LLP is a practice with more than 600 professionals and offices in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, New York City, and Vancouver, BC. ZGF has been honored with the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award.

Effective QCP Quality Assurance Tools Lurking in the “Back of the Book”

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. 

Most design firms involved in commercial and institutional construction markets are aware that the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) offers a comprehensive, internationally recognized “baseline” quality standard {the Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014) (AWS)}. 

Many designers and specifiers also know that AWI created an independent quality assurance organization, available to verify adherence to those standards where required by specification.  That has been the mission of AWI’s Quality Certification Program (QCP) since 1996.

QCP licenses eligible woodworking, finishing and installation companies which have demonstrated their knowledge of the current standard, and proven their ability to provide work which conforms to that standard.  Successfully licensed companies may then certify their work under the auspices of QCP. 

However, newly minted licensees are under a form of probation.  Their first two QCP projects are not “self-certified”, strictly speaking.  Rather, a QCP Representative also inspects the company’s work to verify that the products provided conform with the AWS, and are eligible for certification.  Once the licensee achieves two projects which have been certified under the watchful eye of a QCP inspector, that company may then “self-certify” their QCP projects.

BUT… the QCP version of “self-certifying” includes a significant caveat of which many in the design community may not be aware:  While a vast majority of QCP-certified projects are not inspected, any legitimate party to a QCP-specified project may request an inspection by a QCP Representative. 

For the architect, general contractor, or project owner who requests this service, there is typically no additional cost involved.  The QCP certification fee is paid by the woodworker, usually early in the project.  This fee covers the cost of a fabrication inspection, and an installation inspection, if installation is in the scope of the fee payer’s contract.

The Quality Certification Program is governed by published policies.  Towards the back of this document are details relating to stakeholder requests for QCP project inspection.

  • Section 8.1 (“Dispute Resolution”) describes a situation in which an architect (for example) believes that there may be nonconforming features present in woodwork provided for a QCP project which has not been inspected.  The various line items Section 8.1 outline the procedures under which that architect may request a compliance inspection to be conducted by QCP.  There are in fact some architectural firms that routinely include the requirement for a QCP third-party inspection in every certified project specification.
  • Section 8.3 (“Project Compliance Challenge Inspections”) outlines circumstances in which a QCP project has been inspected, and a report issued.  Where an architect or other stakeholder believes that one or more of the inspector’s conformance determinations is incorrect, a request to QCP can be made to undertake a second inspection of the items in question.  That “challenge inspection” must be conducted by a QCP Representative other than the one who issued the initial report.  If that second inspector agrees with the stakeholder who initiated the challenge, that stakeholder pays no costs for the challenge inspection.  Conversely, if the second inspector agrees with the conclusions of the initial report, the challenging party pays out-of-pocket costs of the challenge inspection.
  • Additionally, QCP Policies Section 7.2 (“Appeals”) establishes that if a stakeholder disagrees with any conformance or administrative ruling made at the level of QCP Executive Director, that ruling may be appealed to a QCP Board of Appeals.  Procedures for arranging that appeal hearing are outlined.

AWI Convention Roundtable on “Standards”

October has arrived and that means Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) Convention time. At this year’s convention I participated in a roundtable discussion and audience question and answer session on the new ANSI-approved standards to provide a perspective from both QCP and as a member of the AWI Technical Committee working to develop the new standards.

I was joined on stage by Mike Coticchio of Cain Millwork, Ashley Goodin, AWI Technical Director and staff lead spearheading the new ANSI standards development, and Julia Hall, Senior Associate and Specifications Writer for the architectural firm LS3P.

The big news during the convention was the announcement of the completion and ANSI approval of the new installation standard ANSI/AWI 0620 -2018 – Finish Carpentry/Installation.

Panelists’ Views

The roundtable discussion offered different views of how the new standards and the testing offered by the AWI National Testing Center would impact the industry.

Mike Coticchio’s firm answered an early call from AWI for materials to perform preliminary testing and was invited to view testing on a couple of their cabinets. His take-away was that the testing would add credibility to the standards and it revealed opportunities for his firm to adjust their construction for potential savings.

Julia Hall with LS3P, indicated that while they have always relied on AWI and the Architectural Woodwork Standards as the authority for architectural woodwork, the testing and the ANSI process provides additional credibility and confidence. The Quality Certification Program was also important for providing the verification and confidence in the field, according to Julia. 

Ashley Goodin outlined the testing process and highlighted some of the results, emphasizing the increased credibility offered through testing.

As for my view, I agree with all three of my colleagues. The testing definitely provides additional credibility to the standards, and it also provides a simpler process for the introduction and integration of the evolving joinery technology we are seeing in today’s marketplace.

Clarification about Testing

I do want to clarify one issue, regarding testing. In the current Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014), if you want to construct your cabinets in a manner different from what is outlined in the standard, you can do so provided you have it independently tested using the guidelines in the appendix.

In the new standards, AWI has only tested the current methods of construction outlined in the current AWS standards. To conform to the new standards when they become effective, a firm will have to build their cabinets to one of the tested construction methods or have their method of construction tested.  So that aspect of the standards and conformance will not really change, though the testing methods are different for the new standards.   

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) 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.

QCP Networks with Specifiers at Annual CSI Show

On October 3-5, QCP representatives attended CONSTRUCT, a national trade show and educational conference for commercial building teams. CONSTRUCT connects thousands of industry leaders, fostering effective communication that in turn helps ensure building success. They also serve as the official trade show of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).

CONSTRUCT provides an opportunity to engage with people who are influencers within the interior built environment and is perhaps QCP’s most valuable annual event. This year we participated as both a sponsor and exhibitor, distributing Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014) flash drives and complimentary AWI Affiliate Memberships. Our booth, staffed by Roxanne Accetta, Margaret Fisher, and Tricia Roberts, experienced consistently steady traffic throughout the show.

Pictured above: AWI’s Margaret Fisher (left) and Roxanne Accetta chat with CSI Fellow Alan Itzkowitz, a SCIP member and Chicago CSI Chapter member.

CONSTRUCT 2018 was held at the Long Beach, California Convention Center. The conference finale was held Friday evening with a “CSI Night Out” reception on the historic Queen Mary.

Upcoming QCP Events

Take full advantage of interior architectural woodwork industry experts and stop by our booth at any of the upcoming events in 2019

Where We’ll Be…

Master Specifiers Retreat
January 31 – February 3
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Coronado, CA

A’19 AIA Conference on Architecture
June 6 – 8
Las Vegas, NV

Master Specifiers Retreat
June 19 – 21
Chicago, IL

Arc Interiors
September 19 – 22
Miami Beach, FL

Construct 2019 & SCIP
October 9 – 11
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
National Harbor, MD


Follow Us…

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. See the following:

  • Facebook:ArchitecturalWoodwork Institute-QCP

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.