A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members November 15, 2007
Professional Development

AWI Winter Professional Development Seminars Offer Practical Programs for Building Profits

Save the date!  February 27 – March 1, 2008 is the time to migrate south to Orlando, FL for the AWI Winter Professional Development Seminars.  Six programs are on the agenda for project managers, estimators, and middle management.

Courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Project Management
  • Fundamentals of Estimating
  • Advanced Project Management
  • Advanced Estimating
  • AutoCAD Workshop (NEW OFFERING) 
  • LEED®  +  Hardwoods: Nuts & Bolts

Watch your mailbox for registration details and course information.

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Computer Drafting for Real Woodworkers

Does YOUR drafter have any questions about CAD?

Help AWI cultivate our course on computer drafting, AutoCAD use, conventional details, and project engineering. Volunteer an active drafter from your plant to be on our team.

Send the contact information to Greg Heuer via e-mail. Share your expertise.  Your input is important to the AWI education program team.
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Association News

Show Off Your Project to 25,000 Design Professionals – Final Call for AOE Submissions

The AWI “Award of Excellence” Program is your doorway to corporate exposure to potential new customers, and all AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to submit projects.

Become one of the many honorees whose architectural woodwork projects are featured in quarterly issues of Design Solutions, AWI’s official journal! You can have your outstanding project showcased to architects and design professionals who may be searching for your kind of expertise and creativity.

The next deadline for submissions for the winter AWI “Award of Excellence” Program is December 1, 2007Click here for details and submission forms.

Like other auspicious honorees featured in the fall 2007 edition of Design Solutions, AWI Manufacturing Member, Creative Arts Unlimited, Inc. enjoyed the media exposure that inclusion in the journal brings.  

Pictured here is one of the winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects in the quarterly AWI “Award of Excellence” competition – the open dining area which shows off the Sapele Mahogany paneling with a ribbon appearance to the finish at the Luna Restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL.  Creative Arts Unlimited, Inc. designed and fabricated the restaurant’s bar, fireplace seating area, private dining table, private dining buffet and wine rack.

Photo Credit: Perspective Image & Brian Chan
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About QCP

Quality Certification Program Enters 2008 Renewal Period with Record Growth in 2007

With a record 481 participants and successful growth on all fronts, the Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) is entering the 2008 renewal period.  “We believe this growth is due to the value owners and architects are experiencing in specifying projects that require QCP Project Certificates,” said Tricia Roberts, QCC Project Specialist.

Invoices were mailed on November 9 to all Quality Certification Program (QCP) participants and must be received or postmarked by Monday, December 31, 2007 to avoid the $300 late fee.  The renewal fee increased approximately 5%, but the project certification fees have not changed for 2008.

Remember, online renewal at www.awiqcp.org is easy and helps QCC cut administrative costs.  Note that the QCC participant user name and password is different from the new one you use at the AWI Web site.  Alternatively, send your check to:

46179 Westlake Drive, Suite 120
Potomac Falls, VA  20165-5874  

Renewing QCC participants are reminded that the new mailing address is Potomac Falls, not the PO Box in Charlotte as in previous years.

Should you have any questions, please call us toll-free at 800.449.8811.
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Industry News

NASFM Rebrands, Changes Name to Reflect Broader Focus

After more than 50 years the National Association of Store Fixture Manufacturers (NASFM) unveiled its new name and brand identity – the Association for Retail Environments (ARE) on November 5.  The new identity is intended to reflect the breadth of products and services that the association's member companies provide.

ARE President Jack Hale said, "Our association has grown dramatically in recent years. As the needs of retail clients have evolved, our traditional store fixture company members have expanded the array of products and value-adding services they offer. At the same time, our association has grown to include retail design firms, visual presentation products companies, companies that supply materials and equipment, and a variety of other products and services. We are now truly an association representing all parts of the huge industry that provides products and services for retail environments. Our new name reflects what we are today."

ARE’s tagline, which will accompany its new logo, is “Connecting People. Shaping Retail.” More details are available at ARE’s Web site, www.retailenvironments.org.

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Architecture Billings Index Drops Again Amid Ongoing Fears in the Credit Market

Following a six point decline in August, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for September dropped to its lowest level since June 2006, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced.

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The AIA reported that the September ABI rating was 51.1, down from the previous mark of 53.9 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), and inquiries for new projects was 61.4.

“While there is plenty of nonresidential construction activity in the pipeline over the coming months, the demand for new projects is tapering off a bit,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The fallout from the subprime mortgage meltdown in the residential market has seeped into the nonresidential sector causing project delays and a tightening market for financing. There is also emerging concern in the industry that this situation will extend into 2008.”

Key September ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: South (53.0), Northeast (52.0), West (52.0), Midwest (49.5).
• Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (55.0), commercial / industrial (54.9), institutional (49.0), multi-family residential (44.3).
• Billings inquiries index: 61.4.
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AGC, ASA Vote Not To Endorse AIA A201-2007

For the first time in 50 years, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has voted not to endorse the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Document A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, the 2007 edition of which was released on November 5.

AGC’s action followed that of the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), which previously withheld its endorsement of the A201-2007. ASA also withheld endorsement of the AIA Document A401-2007 Standard Form of Agreement Between Contractor and Subcontractor, because the documents “incorporate the worst practices of the construction industry, including inappropriate shifting of risk.”

Meanwhile, the ConsensusDOCS organization — in which ASA, AGC, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Associated Specialty Contractors, the Construction Owners Association of America, the Surety and Fidelity Association of America, and 17 other organizations representing the construction industry are participating — has invited AIA to participate in its collaborative document development process, but thus far AIA has declined.

Copies of the ASA- and AGC-endorsed ConsensusDOCS may be ordered online at www.consensusdocs.org.
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Green Scene

U.S. Green Building Council Unveils Two New Web Sites 

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has launched www.Greenbuild365.org to transform green building education through global, online access. The new site is funded by a $1 million donation from United Technologies Corporation.

Greenbuild365.org will feature free and fee-based courses on green building technologies and innovations, along with practical training to prepare professionals to successfully apply LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification to building design, construction and operation.

In other news, USGBC has re-launched its Web site – www.usgbc.org – with cleaner, smarter and more user friendly features. Visitors can navigate through the site with fewer clicks and they will see less clutter while exploring the tens of thousands of pages of content available.

Highlights of the Web site include a resource section designed to make LEED project credit templates more accessible; easier access to online reference guides and LEED reference documents; more resources for members and chapters; a USGBC store to purchase workshop materials and publications; and a more comprehensive listing of educational offerings and workshops. 
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Member News

Biesse America & Biesse Canada Expanding Service Capabilities

Biesse recently appointed Courtney Dupuy to the role of Showroom Coordinator. Mr. Dupuy’s primary responsibilities will be to maintain the showroom and conduct demonstrations.  Biesse’s showroom is used to display the company’s machinery, representing a variety of significant technological innovations in the wood, glass and stone industries, for the benefit of customers and partners. The showroom is also the site of training seminars, such as Biesse’s “One2One” events, highlighted by live machinery demonstrations.

In other news, Biesse America’s counterpart, Biesse Canada, will open a new office in December 2007.  The new 6,2000-square foot Toronto facility will feature service and sales areas and will double as a seminar room when playing host to the company’s popular “One2One” educational series.

Visit the Biesse divisions at www.biesseamerica.com and www.biessecanada.com.
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What’s New at Your Company?

AWI – and AWI members – want to know about major news at your company.  Such news as personnel changes, new branch openings, awards, contests, corporation changes, etc. are welcome.  Send your news to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org

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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  Check out the informative AWI chapter programs sponsored in your area. Tap into your local AWI chapter for vital information that can help your business grow and put you in touch with fellow AWI architectural woodworkers and suppliers.  See what the Central Pennsylvania Chapter is planning.

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
January 31, 2008 (2:00 – 4:00 pm)
What: Installation Clinic – Presentation & Open Forum
Presenter: Brian Ebersole, Bersole Brothers Construction
Where: Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
More Information: Click here for program information, registration, directions, and other details.
Registration: $30, Chapter/AWI Members; $50, Non-Chapter/Non-AWI Members.  Deadline for registration is December 19, 2007.
Questions: Chapter President Garry Astles at gastles@northwayind.com.
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Looking Good – New Chicago Chapter Web Site Takes a Bow

The AWI Chicago Chapter is on the move with a progressive new look for its updated Web site.  Check out www.awichicago.org.  See the new design; check out upcoming events.  See the listing of Manufacturing & Supplier Members of the chapter.  Members of the AWI Chicago Chapter Board of Directors and Committees are listed too. Contact the AWI Chicago Chapter at contact@awichicago.org for more information.

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Regulatory Issues

U.S. Census Survey – Coming to Your Mailbox in December

All 4 million American businesses that receive 2007 Economic Census forms are vital to the outcome of the survey. Chances are, yours is one of the businesses in the architectural woodwork industry that will receive a 2007 Economic Census form from the U.S. Census Bureau in December.  Forms go to all but the very smallest businesses in this tally conducted once every five years.

Businesses, communities, and governments use Economic Census data for planning and market development.  Statistics are published for more than a thousand industries as well as for states, counties, cities and metropolitan areas at business.census.gov. Check out the wealth of information at the site.

Watch for the 2007 Economic Census forms and supply the information needed by February 12, 2008.
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Savers Credit – Tax Break Helps Low- and Moderate-Income Workers Save for Retirement

Low- and moderate-income workers can take steps now to save for retirement and earn a special tax credit in 2007 and the years ahead, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The saver’s credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 workers voluntarily contribute to IRAs and to 401(k) plans and similar workplace retirement programs. Formally known as the retirement savings contributions credit, the saver’s credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply.

Eligible workers still have time to make qualifying retirement contributions and get the saver’s credit on their 2007 tax return. People have until April 15, 2008, to set up a new individual retirement arrangement or add money to an existing IRA and still get credit for 2007. However, elective deferrals must be made by the end of the year to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace program.

For more information about the saver’s credit, click here.  For more tax information, visit the IRS Web site.

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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published December 6, 2007. 
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Founded in 1953, AWI is a nonprofit organization representing over 3,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and design professionals in the architectural woodwork industry.

AWI Mission:
The authoritative resource for excellence in architectural woodwork.

Copyright Architectural Woodwork Institute www.awinet.org


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Save the Dates!

Winter AWI

Education Program
Feb. 27- March 1, 2008
Orlando, FL

Executive Briefing

April 15-18, 2008
Princeton, NJ

Spring AWI
Education Program

May 7-9, 2008
Mid-Atlantic Region

Build Business

Lunch-n-Learn Programs
Chapter Presentations

Design Pro
Your link to architects
and design
For details, contact
Ilaria Fekeza
AWI - a Recognized
AIA Learning Units

Call AWI Headquarters at
571.323.3636 for updated
AWI - AIA Form B 2007