AWI & SMA Collaborate on Stair Standard

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In collaboration with the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA), the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) Standards Development Team has been making steady progress on the upcoming AWI/SMA 0643 – Wood-Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard.

Similar to other sections that AWI has been in the process of developing over the past two years, the AWI/SMA 0643 – Wood-Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard differentiates between structural and aesthetic requirements for stair systems, ensuring that industry professionals have the ability to tailor the product to their specific needs. In contrast to other standards recently developed by AWI, the proposed AWI/SMA 0643 – Wood-Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard will include a separate Installation section, to be used by stair system installers in the field.

Regarding the development of the standard, Terra Erb, Executive Director of the SMA stated, “The SMA is thrilled to be joining forces with AWI to create a standard for stairs, handrails and guards that aims to provide clarity across the spectrum. The proposed standard will aid in ensuring all involved in the stair design process, from planning to execution, are aware of the standard for stair creation. This clarity will allow for streamlined processes and increased customer satisfaction as all design members work from the same standard.”

Doug Adams, chair of the SMA Quality Standards Committee, also commented on the upcoming standard, stating, “With the competitive nature of the stair industry it is more important than ever that our bids are accurate and correct. The new standard will level the playing field and ensure that the bid specifications on materials and joinery are equal.”

The proposed standard is expected to begin the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) adoption process this fall.


AWI-QCP SMA Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association

The Stairway Manufacturers’ Association was formed in 1988 to ensure the growth and prosperity of the group’s 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 from the smallest one-man shops to those among the largest in the industry. SMA’s Mission is: Building the greatest resource of knowledge and tools contributing to the success of our members and the stair industry.