What Do the AWI Standards Mean For Architects?

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The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) Standards were created to re-evaluate, improve upon, and supplant the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) They contain the best practices, measures, and compliance criteria for woodworking firms – and in turn architects, and general contractors.

The standards are a well-respected and well-followed set of industry “rules” that provide architects and their clients methods of manufacturing and assessments to confirm top quality woodwork and materials. 

It is a win-win situation for both the professionals in the field and the clients if woodworkers adhere to the standards. On one hand, the good reputation of both architects and woodworkers is protected. On the other, your clients have the peace of mind that every cent they spend is worth it.

How do the AWI Standards relate to architects?

Just like standard currency and international time zones, the AWI Standards play a vital role in the requirements among architects, woodworkers, and suppliers about the acceptable quality of interior woodwork.

The standards specify information about the various types, measures, and quality of:

  • Wood veneer
  • Solid wood
  • Decorative laminate
  • Solid surface
  • Solid phenolic products and related parts

Knowing and adhering to the AWI Standards helps architects, contractors, woodworkers, and suppliers communicate effectively as they are all in agreement on specifications, best practices, and materials. Confusion and mismatches are avoided. Architects also have a set format for shop drawings, allowing you to choose the exact materials you want or need.

It’s also easier for architects to understand and communicate what they want in terms of specifications like the type of materials, color selections, measures or scale. If you’re using a QCP-licensed woodworker, you can have the confidence that your specifications will be properly adhered to and implemented in the project – and if they’re not, you have recourse via QCP to get that addressed.

Benefits to architects for meeting AWI Standards 

Standards are key to proper communication in any construction project. When everyone is following one set of rules, specifications, and instructions, it is easier to manage. What the standards mean for architects is proper communication with other professionals on the woodworking element of the project.

Architects and clients will also have the peace of mind that the contracted woodworking firm is adhering to the standards and will deliver the best quality woodwork based on industry best practice. Quality control is easier if a woodworking firm is licensed to the standards.

Quality control and compliance with the standards also mean that architects will not be at fault if the woodworking firm fails to meet the minimum standards after inspections. The necessary corrections will be made without any additional expense to either you or the client, and it is the obligation of the woodworking firm to comply. Just this fact almost guarantees outstanding quality and shows integrity of work ethic.

When it comes to quality assurance, architects do not need to do the inspections themselves to ensure the quality of work. Professional experienced inspectors will do it for them. This significantly reduces the burden of work.

Additionally, every QCP-licensed woodworking firm has been vetted by QCP. That means you don’t have to undertake any checks or verifications yourself, but you can simply choose a QCP-licensed woodworker near you, safe in the knowledge that they produce high-quality woodwork and adhere to industry standards.

What architects say about the AWI Standards

“We can now defend the quality of the woodwork with third-party validation. We can confidently accept or reject the work and require a replacement, accept a credit for any deficiencies, or receive an extended warranty. We wouldn’t have had this level of assurance without QCP.” Grant Golightly, architect

Watch this short video to hear an architect explain why he wants standards in interior woodwork. It’s because:

  1. Standards can be enforceable
  2. You get certification of conformity
  3. You can ensure successful project outcomes

6 best practice tips for architects to help ensure woodworking project success

If you want to ensure that an interior woodworking project will run smoothly, here are some tips that you may follow:

  1. Specify your requirements to the general contractor so they can relay the information to the subcontractors and ensure that they comply.
  2. Make sure the contracted woodworking firm has certification for interior woodwork so you can be sure they are following the standards.
  3. Even before a project enters the bidding stage, make sure that you register it. Registration is free and it will serve as your security.
  4. You must enforce QCP certification on bids. This will be your quality assurance.
  5. Drawings serve as a guide to specify what you want in your project. However, if you don’t have the time or resources to write a detailed specification, you can simply use the AWI Standards. In this way, there will be no miscommunication between you and the woodworker.
  6. If you have the resources to be very specific, you should be detailed down to granular specifications. This will help you avoid unnecessary changes in the middle of a project.

If you need a quality woodworking firm, we can help you find a QCP-licensed woodworking firm for your next project.