The International Organization for Standardization defines a standard as: “a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose”.
To elaborate on this, the National Institute of Standards and Technology argues that standards also serve to:
- Provide a common language to measure and evaluate performance
- Make interoperability of components made by different companies possible
- Protect consumers by ensuring safety, durability, and market equity
In other words, standards act as a form of quality control and compliance for users and clients that ensure products are of the caliber, safety, and utility promised. Without this assurance, most clients would be unable to evaluate the value and effectiveness of a product, and inferior workmanship would be legitimized.
In the context of interior architectural woodworking, regulations such as AWI Standards are highly respected industry rules that contain best practices and compliance criteria for woodworkers. By following these, woodworkers provide empirical confirmation to the architect that they’ve delivered a satisfactory service to their clients. This, in turn, raises the architect’s reputation for quality and reliability, allowing them to attract more and higher-profile work in the future.
But while woodworking standards certainly provide assurance to architects, this statement alone doesn’t do full justice to the value they add to a construction project. To dig deeper into how they affect an entire architectural build, here are three reasons why architects need woodworking standards.
1) Enforceable quality also streamlines project operations
As discussed, architectural woodworking standards are a form of quality assurance. They’re beneficial for ensuring your chosen firm doesn’t deliver a lackluster product, but they also have a significant, sometimes unacknowledged, impact on the project as a whole.
Introducing a single set of rules, specifications, and instructions across professional groups in the form of woodworking standards provides absolute clarity on what’s expected. This universal language helps avoid the risk of miscommunication, and so eliminates time and effort spent deciphering the actions or expectations of other parties.
By streamlining and breaking down barriers to effective communication, woodworking standards accelerate construction projects and increase an architect’s earning potential. They also make it easier to meet project deadlines and cost estimations.
2) Allows for the verification of quality and conformity
The talents of an architect lie in their ability to visualize a construction project and express that vision through sketches and drafts. But even though an architect can create a woodwork feature in their mind, it doesn’t mean they can effectively build it. This is precisely why hiring a firm with expertise in interior architectural woodworking is necessary.
However, it also means that once that feature has been manufactured, fabricated, and installed, the architect may also lack the capacity to evaluate it. This is why third-party inspections are so important to quality assurance.
As a quantifiable set of criteria, woodworking standards allow inspectors to check the woodwork delivered against the project requirements. Their verdict then provides a binary answer to whether or not the woodwork conforms appropriately, and which nonconforming items need to be addressed. Inspectors can even perform these checks during construction, helping architects, woodworkers, and owners avoid costly and frustrating changes post-installation.
The ability to verify the conformity of interior architectural woodwork offers buyers assurance that their project will have the intended results. Therefore, using woodworking standards empowers an architect to de-risk their project, and inspire confidence in their client throughout.
3) Provides quantifiable evidence of a successful project outcome
No matter how proficient an architect or woodworker might be, it’s always good practice to be prepared for accusations of poor quality. If a client raises doubts over your contractor’s products, woodworking standards offer a definitive answer as to whether or not they meet industry minimum requirements. Rather than argue with a client, you can objectively resolve their doubts, or establish which elements are at fault and how they should be fixed.
As well as protecting yourself, these safeguards demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested in delivering high-quality in your client’s project. This allows you to maintain an excellent reputation and ensure your client is satisfied upon closure.
Deliver unbeatable results by certifying your project with QCP
Woodworking standards offer guidance into the minimum requirements for interior architectural woodwork. But while this minimum is suitable for the majority of projects, many lucrative and reputable construction projects demand significantly higher quality. When you need to deliver exceptional woodwork, it’s always best to apply for QCP certification.
Certifying your project ensures that only woodworking firms with a QCP license qualify to participate. As well as validating their industry-leading knowledge and skills, a firm’s QCP license requires them to meet AWI Standards in their products. That means you and your client can rest assured that your woodworking products will be durable, compliant, and fit for purpose.
To find out more about QCP certification, read our short guide on how to specify a QCP project.