AWI Quality Times for 09/18/2018

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Of Note

  • QCP Representative Changes
    Joe Fleck retires, and Keith Barrett joins the Rep team.
  • QCP Outreach
    Read all about QCP on ARCHITECT Live, Lunch & Learn sessions, and CSI National webinars – imparting knowledge about QCP and gaining valuable feedback.

QCP Inspector, Joe Fleck, Retires

With over 50 years of experience in the woodwork industry including the past eight years with QCP, Joe has decided to retire…one more time.  We could always rely on Joe to step in and help out, share his knowledge and pretty much just go above and beyond the responsibilities and expectations of his position.  Although we will miss his good humor, dedication, humble manner and expertise in the woodwork industry, it’s hard not to wish him well in the next chapter of his life.  After all Joe and wife, Gypsy, have 11 grandchildren to watch grow and Alaska to explore.

“The AWI Quality Certification Program would like to sincerely thank Joe Fleck for his many years of service to QCP. Joe has been the consummate professional, always representing AWI and QCP in the best possible way and conducting independent assessments of architectural woodwork across the United States in a thorough manner. QCP will miss Joe’s knowledge and humor, but wish him well in his retirement,” QCC Executive Director Randy Estabrook said.

All of us at QCP hope retirement is everything you dreamed and more.  You deserve it.

Joe Fleck (above, front right) enjoys the QCP retirement dinner for him on August 14 at the Bungalow Lakehouse in Sterling, VA.  QCP Reps and QCC staff wish  him well.

QCC Welcomes Keith C. Barrett to QCP Rep Team

Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) Executive Director Randy Estabrook is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith C. Barrett as QCP Representative effective September 4.

“QCP interviewed four different candidates to fill the position vacated by retiring QCP Representative Joe Fleck. All candidates had more than 10 years of experience in the architectural woodwork industry, including positions in engineering and production. Keith’s skills and abilities, in addition to his experience, made him a top choice to fill Joe’s position,” Randy said.

Keith comes to the Quality Certification Program with extensive estimating experience, most recently as 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.  He also brings to QCC previous experience as a drafter and project manager.

Keith’s estimating experience includes a wide range of projects, from senior living campuses, casinos, high-end condominium buildings, university projects, hotels, hospitals, and schools, to resorts across the U.S. He has built custom millwork fixtures for clients based on designs and specifications and has tracked and completed sales interacting extensively with clients, architects, and suppliers.

“As an outsider, I have viewed QCP as the benchmark and industry leader in quality.  I look forward to being a resource to the woodworker and architect and helping assure that the woodwork is produced to project specifications in keeping with industry standards for performance and quality,” Keith said.  He comes to QCP with great enthusiasm and looks forward to interacting with QCP Licensees and others.

Keith adds his expertise to the QCP Representative team covering the central states region, as well as other project areas, as needed.  Contact him at

Giving Wood Panels Room to Roam—AWS Requirements for Wall Panel “Expansion Joints”

In the pantheon of AWI and QCP technical topics, one of the most perennial is the adverse (sometimes catastrophic) effect that significant changes in humidity can have on woodwork. This is of course most often relevant during the installation phase of a project, when the jobsite is not always completely closed to outside weather, and/or the climate control system within the building may not be fully up and running.  This can produce temperatures and humidity levels during installation which are outside the acceptable limits prescribed in Section 2 of the 2014 Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS).  Then, once the building is finally closed to the outdoors, and the HVAC is functional, the change in temperature and humidity can be significant, causing pronounced contraction or expansion of woodwork components.  If severe enough, this movement may cause joint or material failure.  If the woodwork subcontractor does not raise a red flag to project stakeholders at the first indication of such climate control issues, any failure of the millwork could later be attributed to shoddy workmanship rather than the radical swing in the building’s relative humidity.  Where possible, a woodworker’s use of instrumentation from “day one” to provide hard data on humidity swings over time is of course always desirable.

One category of woodwork that is susceptible to jobsite “climate change” is wood or HPDL wall paneling.  The large quantity of adjacent sheet goods required to cover some of the more sizeable commercial interior walls represents the potential for hefty dimensional changes in a panel run, should the humidity change.  Accordingly, decorative panels commonly feature architectural details such as rabbeted back edges “floating” over stationary reveals to allow for unrestricted movement of large panel elevations during humidity fluctuations.

However, among the projects inspected by QCP, we occasionally see wall panel elevations for which an architect has specified “edge-to-edge” installation (perhaps even abutting structural walls), with no apparent means for the panels to move.  The AWS addresses such situations, making it the responsibility of the installer to provide “expansion joints” to accommodate movement of the panels (AWS page 228, etc.).  The Standard includes mathematical formulas which allow the installer to determine the minimum total width of relief space which must be distributed over any combination of expansion joints.  This calculation is based on the overall length of the panel run (whether horizontal or vertical):  EXPANSION JOINTS shall be provided equivalent to 3/16” (4.8 mm) per 47” (1194 mm) of linear elevation.

8.613.1 The minimum reveal gap between panels shall be calculated as the length of the panel [multiplied by]:  0.004 for particleboard core.  0.0033 for medium density fiberboard (MDF) core.

There are some aspects of this AWS requirement worth noting.  First, the “expansion joint” may be somewhat mis-named, since it allows movement caused by either swelling or shrinkage of the panels.  Secondly, creating expansion joints on finished material would usually be a difficult proposition under typical field conditions.  Among the challenges faced by installers executing an expansion joint would be the resulting raw substrate edges, which are required to be finished in some manner.  Additionally, many architects might consider the addition of these expansion joints to be an unacceptable change to the aesthetic intent of the panel run. Obviously, it would be preferable for the woodwork subcontractor to point out the expansion joint requirement to the architect in the shop drawings, and request that he/she approve proposed locations and sizes of the expansion joints.  Settling this design question before manufacturing begins would allow for machining and finishing of expansion joints or other “movement” solutions at the woodworker’s facility during fabrication of the panel run.  This would provide maximum control over the process while effectively removing expansion joint responsibility from the installer.

A+ Session: A Conversation about Architectural Woodwork

How does a design professional know if the owner is receiving what was specified and contracted for? Learn what valuable details you need to provide to fabricators to ensure the finished product matches your design intent.

QCP addressed these issues at ARCHITECT Live.

AWI QCP was located in booth 781 during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018, and in addition, AWI QCC presented at the ARCHITECT Live event on Friday, June 22 at 1:30 pm at the Architect Magazine Booth Event. QCC Chair Michael McNulty, Sr. and I were the program presenters and spoke about the benefits of having QCC oversite and participation on woodwork projects.

During the presentation the audience was asked several questions including, what their familiarity was with AWI, QCP and the Architectural Woodwork StandardsWhile many were familiar with AWI, fewer attendees were familiar with QCP and the AWS. Many of the attendees indicated that they did write specifications and did have projects that included architectural woodwork.

The presentation went on to describe and show pictures of what architectural woodwork is, including the results of a Google word search on architectural woodwork. Google analytics indicated that during the previous year, there were fewer than 100 searches per day on architectural woodwork. QCP then asked where attendees would get answers to their questions about architectural woodwork, many responded they would ask a combination of previous woodworking companies, supervisors or friends in the industry. When asking attendees how they would know if the architectural woodwork on their projects was compliant, most said they would not know. 

AWI QCP found the answers to these questions both interesting and informative and will include these topics in future social media posts. ARCHITECT Live was a collaboration of the editorial resources of Hanley Wood—ARCHITECT, ECOBUILDING Pulse, and RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECT brands—and the members and staff of the American Institute of Architects.

AWI QCP was a key sponsor at ARCHITECT Live during the 2018 event.  QCP was featured at ARCHITECT Live along with many other organizations.

Reaching Specifiers & Design Professionals via CSI National Programs

AWI QCP, through its Corporate Partnership with the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), is afforded two one-hour learning opportunities utilizing CSI’s online webinars.

This past June 27, Margaret Fisher, AWI Communications Strategist and Outreach Specialist, delivered a presentation to CSI members explaining the QCP program and its benefits. Clarification was provided about the program cost and who pays for it. The webinar received high marks by the 104 participants.

QCP’s second opportunity to educate CSI members about architectural woodwork and detailing occurred again online at participants desks on September 12.  Margaret Fisher presented one of AWI’s most popular programs, “Designing with Hardwood Veneer” for 71 login attendees.  One of the original AWI Design Pro Series programs, its content and graphics have been updated through the years to reflect changes in the construction industry and material and methods, as well as resonate with the current edition of Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2 (2014).

The current program features many new photos illustrating details that clarify requirements, illustrate specification terminology and even point out what you will get if you make or fail to make certain choices in constructions specifications. “There’s nothing like a breathtaking photo of how not to do it, to help you understand why correct specifications are important when specifying fine hardwood veneer for a project,” says Margaret who has presented the program hundreds of times. Of course, it’s just as inspiring to see beautiful photos of successful projects that are a triumph of well thought out design, smart specifications and professional planning and execution by a highly qualified AWI member firm.

The program objectives are:
• Learn how to use the Architectural Woodwork Standards to plan & evaluate a veneered project.
• Understand the five main steps in planning paneling.
• Gain specific knowledge about woodwork stability.
• Understand four main aspects of wood composition that affect veneer aesthetics.

The program also was recently delivered at two CSI Regional Conferences; CSI South Central Region in Frisco, TX and CSI North Central Region in Duluth, MN. Attendees of those programs are encouraged to alert others in their regions that they have another chance to participate in the program and earn one AIA Learning Unit and one HSW Continuing Education Credit.

AWI QCP hopes this program will be the doorway design professionals and specifiers will walk through to initiate projects that feature real wood veneer in all its sensuous beauty and also use the information to help them judge the quality of current projects.

Margaret S. Fisher was appointed to a dual full-time position on the AWI staff as Communications Strategist and Outreach Specialist in April 2017.  With more than three decades of industry experience, Margaret has worked in several aspects of the wood industry from manufacturing, distribution, supply and education.  Prior to her appointment to the AWI staff, Margaret served on the AWI Board of Directors, AWI Education Planning Committee, AWI Sustainable Resources Committee and the AWI Speakers Bureau. Mfisher@

Popular Lunch & Learn Sessions Embraced by Architects

Architect and former QCC Past President and Board of Directors member William Munyan has been conducting Lunch & Learn sessions primarily for architects on behalf of QCC for about 12 years throughout the United States. For his audiences that range from six to 26 attendees depending on the size of the firm, Bill explains the value of the Quality Certification Program (QCP) and adherence to Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), Edition 2 (2014)  for their projects that include woodwork.

The architects are usually somewhat familiar with QCP, but they frequently ask questions about the cost of certification, according to Bill. Attendees tell Bill that general contractors often raise the issue of QCP costs, so Bill explains what the actual cost is and how it is calculated.  “QCP is a risk mitigation program,” Bill tells architects, “so you can allocate risk when working on projects that have architectural casework or wall surfaces.”  Bill presents a time and cost scenario of millwork problem solving in cases where there is no QCP certification. ”As an example, if something on the millwork project goes awry, the architect has to take a photo of the problem area, send an e-mail to the contractor; wait for his response and then the architect sends additional emails corresponding with all of the party(ies) until the problem area is addressed and corrected..  It can result in 10-15 hours of time wasted and extra non-reimbursable fees to repair a problem that could have been avoided in cases where the millwork job is certified.”  The examples he gives can have strong impact.

QCP says they receive rave reviews for the Lunch & Learn program. One architect recently wrote, “I wanted to take a moment to thank you for giving an excellent lunch and learn presentation yesterday at our firm.  Your presentation was very informative but with enough humor and real world examples to make it interesting and was one of the best I’ve attended in quite a while.” 

This year, Bill has completed 15 Lunch & Learn sessions to date and more are planned for the balance of the year following approval of the schedule of upcoming sessions.  Since 2009 when Bill began tracking his session deliveries, he’s racked up over 120, and estimates he’s reached well over 1,200 architects.

When an architect contacts QCP about a Lunch & Learn program, Bill attempts to piggyback additional sessions with other architects in the area to minimize travel costs and maximize attendance.  The sessions qualify for AIA HSW Continuing Education Credits.

William A. Munyan, AIA, NCARB, SCIP, CSI, CDT, AWI, is principal of R&M Group-NC, PLLC, Architects based in Charlotte, NC.  He is a licensed architect with 25 years of Specification / Quality Control / Materials knowledge, and 7 years of Construction Administration.  In addition, he was a member of the Joint Standards Committee (JSC) which created both editions of the new North American Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS).  Bill is a regular speaker at Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) National and Regional Conventions, and has taught construction classes at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte for over 28 years.

QCP Exhibits at IWF 2018—Another One in the Books

QCP exhibited alongside the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) at the International Woodworking Fair – IWFAtlanta trade show, in Georgia, August 22–25.  This year the booth was in a connector hall between B and C generating very high traffic. QCC staff Randy Estabrook, Greg Parham and Tricia Roberts shared time behind the booth catching up with many of our current licensees as well as meeting prospective applicants. 

As one of the overall top woodworking trade shows in the world, IWF was an extremely successful show for QCP and we look forward to seeing you in 2020.

Pictured above, left to right, Randy Estabrook, QCPs Executive Director, Mike McNulty, QCPs Chair with Millwork One and Tricia Roberts, QCP’s Sr. Director of Operations. (Greg Parham not shown.)

Learn More About QCP at Events & Webinars

The Quality Certification Program will be represented at the following:

CSI Construct 2018
October 4 – 5
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, CA
(Booth #729)

66th AWI Annual Convention
October 3 – 5
Naples Grande Beach Resort
Naples, FL

Architectural woodwork is showcased on the following social media platforms, incorporating woodwork projects illustrated in editions of AWI’s quarterly journal Design Solutions. See the following:

QCP Recorded Webinar Series Posted—Check Them Out!

QCP has completed editing and reformatting several previous webinars offered on the AWI Webinar series. The most recent is the QCP Drafting Accreditation webinars. These two-part webinars in the series have been edited down from the over one-hour time frame of the previous presentations.  Look for these to appear on the QCP YouTube channel.

  • QCP Individual Drafting Accreditation Course 1 Final
  • QCP Individual Drafting Accreditation Part 2 Reduced
  • QCP Inspection Process

To access the webinars, go to QCP on YouTube here.

Get Help, Find Answers

Need help with inspection preparation?  Confused about licensing?  Seeking answers to challenging aspects of the Architectural Woodwork 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, and more.