3 Most Common Errors in Architects’ Specifications

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For an interior architectural woodworking project to be certified by AWI-QCP, certain steps need to be taken during the specification phase. Architects who have completed this process even once or twice find it smooth and intuitive. But we see a few common errors crop up for architects who are new to including QCP in their project specifications.

While most mistakes won’t have a significant impact on your project, there are some that can invalidate your QCP certification and grind your project to a halt. To help you avoid hassle and delays before, during, and after contracting a woodworker, here’s how to fix the three most common errors in architects’ specifications.

1) Not including QCP specification language

QCP certification enhances and streamlines a project for all involved by providing a single definitive guide for meeting interior architectural woodworking standards. But some architects aren’t sure how or where to specify QCP within their project documents.

If that sounds familiar to you, you’ll be glad to know that specifying QCP is incredibly simple. All you need to do is add a short prescribed set of QCP language into the Quality Assurance section of your project documents, both for fabrication and installation. It’s so short, in fact, that we can show it to you right here:

Unless otherwise indicated, comply with AWI’s Architectural Woodwork Standards (Current Edition), including installation, for grades of interior architectural woodwork, construction, finishes and other requirements.

Provide AWI Quality Certification Program [Labels] [Certificates] indicating that the woodwork, [including installation,] complies with requirements of grades specified.

If you’ve already registered your project with AWI-QCP and received your project number, you should add:

This project has been registered as AWI-QCP project number_____.

Or, if your project doesn’t yet have a number, you should add:

Upon being awarded work, the contracting firm will register the work for QCP certification.

Including QCP language in your project specifications means the woodworking firm who wins your bid must hold a QCP license and meet current AWI Architectural Woodwork Standards. The language is even embedded in MasterSpec and Speclink, making it accessible and easy to use, and helping you avoid time-consuming questions and errors.

If you fail to uphold QCP specification during the bid, you won’t have recourse in the event of discrepancies in installation or finishing. That means you’ll lose your quality assurance.

For further guidance on specifying woodwork for certification:

  • MasterSpec documents guide you through each section of specifying woodwork for certification. It also asks you to specify either WI or AWI throughout
  • Division 6 of ARCAT can be used to find, select, detail, and specify woodwork
  • QCP can review your specifications before you send them to woodworkers to ensure they’re correct

2) Providing incorrect or incomplete references

To certify a woodworking project, it’s not enough to simply specify a QCP-licensed woodworker. You need to specify the necessary labels as well.

Once your project has been registered with AWI-QCP, your woodworker will order the labels you specify. With these, you can fully execute and certify the project as per your documents.

But if you didn’t specify labels in the original bid, it can be incredibly difficult to go back and get them after the project has been awarded. This might also mean that your project doesn’t meet the requirements for QCP certification, invalidating the need for your woodworking firm to hold a QCP license. In that case, they might not have one, and might not be willing to apply for one either.

At minimum, it takes four to six weeks for a woodworking firm to earn their QCP license. So, any non-licensed firm who is set to begin fabrication before then won’t meet the licensing requirements. That means you won’t be eligible for the labels and certificates that prove your project’s QCP certification.

When specifying QCP in your project documents, remember to include three things:

  • QCP language
  • Labels
  • Certificates

These ensure your project can be properly certified.

3) Failing to register your project with QCP

Once you’ve specified QCP in your project documents and contracted a licensed interior architectural woodworking firm, you might think your project is ready to begin. But there’s one more step following specification that still needs to be completed for a QCP-certified project: registration.

Many architects believe it’s their responsibility to register the project with AWI-QCP. This is, in fact, a common mistake. Once you contract with a QCP-licensed woodworking firm, it’s their job to complete the registration process. All you need to do is make sure it gets done.

Registration must be completed at least 14 days before work begins on a project. If it’s not and the woodworking firm starts work anyway, your project might be suspended or even lose its QCP certification.

Since registration gives all participants a single source of information for the entire project, it’s easy to find out whether or not your project has been registered. Always double check before giving the go-ahead to make sure your QCP certification sticks.

Make QCP certification a breeze with our complete Architect’s Guide

As an architect, there’s a lot more to QCP than we’ve laid out here. Find out exactly what QCP does for architects, how to specify, and which projects QCP certification is best for in The Architect’s Complete Guide to Woodworking’s QCP.