In this article, we’ll explain in detail how and why the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) is transitioning in their own standards from the previously recognized Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), and what this means for QCP.
Background to the Architectural Woodwork Standards
The Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) were first agreed and produced jointly by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), the Woodwork Institute (WI), and the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers’ Association of Canada (AWMAC) in 2009.
This was AWS editions 1 & 2. When this agreement was dissolved in 2015, AWI opted to continue using edition 2 while the WI and AWMAC decided to create and adopt a new standard for their participants, which they called the North American Architectural Woodwork Standards (NAAWS). These two sets of standards are similar in many ways, but they also have some marked differences.
Have the AWS Changed?
While the AWS remains the definitive reference manual aimed at simplifying and clarifying guidelines, information and principles required for the fabrication, finishing, and installation of architectural woodwork, the AWI has recently created publications that address their individual standards as an association. AWI specifically has created AWI 100, AWI 200, AWI 300, ANSI/AWI 0620, and AWI 0641. These standards are based on work we have done with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Other ANSI-based standards are in the development stages and will be coming online in the future. QCP recognizes these standards.
Where does QCP come into all this?
The AWI and the Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) are linked organizations based in VA. AWI writes the Standards and QCC – under the Quality Certification Program (QCP) – licenses woodworking firms to perform projects that require QCP certification and inspects projects based upon the project specifications and the AWI Standards.
What do the Changes to the Standards mean for QCP?
QCP recognizes the Architectural Woodwork Standards, edition 2, and any AWI updates to those Standards. You can find a list of the Standards that QCP recognizes here.
If a Project is Certified, does that mean it’s Certified Under both sets of Standards?
No. If a project is specified to meet the AWS, that is the standard that is required. If it is certified to meet the NAAWS, that is the standard required. The two are not interchangeable. With QCP, you’ll follow a rigorous process which may seem detailed, but it’s what sets a QCP-licensed firm apart from the rest. It shows complete attention to detail and specifications, the willingness to make sure the architect is aware of any changes or availability issues to what they have specified, and giving them the opportunity to say yes or no to the requested substitution.
Where can I get a copy of the AWS?
You can access non-printable copies of the Standards by opening a free AWI account here. We recommend that all project managers, engineers, estimators, and purchasing agents, as well as woodworkers and architects, have copies so they have easy access to the requirements.
Find out more in our comprehensive guide to the Architectural Woodwork Standards.