A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members January 8, 2009
AWI News

2009 Sponsors Support AWI Members

AWI thanks all renewing sponsors for 2009: Stiles, CNA, M. Bohlke Veneer Corporation, Veneer Technologies Incorporated, ETemplate Systems, Gemini Coatings, M.L. Campbell Company, Microvellum and Sherwin-Williams.  AWI also welcomes new sponsor, SCM Group USA, an AWI Supplier Member since 1983.

Please consider these suppliers the next time a need arises for their products and services.  Visit them by clicking on their logos at right.
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AWI Welcomes 15 New Members

Fifteen new members joined AWI since the last update.  As a benefit of their membership in AWI, Web site addresses are provided for those members that reported them on their membership application.  All AWI members may be accessed via the online AWI Member Directory at www.awinet.org or by calling the association’s headquarters offices at 571.323.3636.

Manufacturing Members

A Ward Design 
Winter Haven, FL 

Builders Choice Cabinets
Wilkesboro, NC 

Central City Millworks
New Orleans, LA 
www.centralcitymillworks.com

Century Woodworking, LLC
Pleasant Valley, CT 
www.centurywoodworking.com

Charles Yost Custom Cabinets, Inc.
Newport News, VA

Cumberland Architectural Millwork, Inc.
Nashville, TN 
www.cumberlandmillwork.com

Elite Fixtures
N. Kingstown, RI 
www.elite-fixtures.com\

Fertig Cabinet Company, Inc.
Moorefield, WV 
www.fertigcabinet.com

Fort Gratiot Cabinets & Counters, LLC
Port Huron, MI 
www.fortgratiotcabinets.com

JC Millwork, Inc.
Princeton, TX

Ponders Hollow Custom Moulding & Flooring, Inc.
Westfield, MA 
www.pondershollow.com

Superior Wood Products, LLC
Leavenworth, KS 
www.superiorwood.net

Walstonburg Cabinets, LLC
Walstonburg, NC 

Woodways Industries
Zeeland, MI 
www.woodwaysinc.com

Supplier Member

US Surface Warehouse
Austin, TX
www.livingstonesurfaces.com
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Revamped AWI NewsBriefs Arriving Soon

When the January issue of the association’s monthly print newsletter, AWI NewsBriefs, arrives in your mailbox in the next couple of weeks, it will be sporting a new look and expanded content.  AWI members will be able to look to the NewsBriefs each month for new features with information to help you improve operations and grow your business. 

And, you’ll continue to find news about AWI’s products, programs and publications and other membership benefits and services.

In addition, to enhance reader friendliness, our news section titles are changing to better direct members to news they wish locate quickly.  Members will see briefer section heads in this issue of e-briefs as well, as we begin coordinating both our print and e-publications.  For example, the section head, “Professional Development” has been changed to “Learning Forum” and “Association News” has changed to “AWI News.”

Tell us what you think...what you want to read more about, what you find helpful, what else you want to know, what columns you like?  Send your comments to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org. The new NewsBriefs is coming to you at the request of the AWI Board of Directors who called for an expanded newsletter to better serve members.
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Learning Forum

Registration Now Open for AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars

Check out the comprehensive learning forums offered at the Spring AWI Professional Development Seminars, April 28 – May 2, 2009 in Charlotte, NC.  You – and key staff members – will want to attend.  Register early; seating is limited.

* Project Management Seminars (Fundamentals and Advanced)
* Estimating Seminars (Fundamentals and Advanced)
* AutoCAD for Woodworkers / Project Engineering
* Introduction to Architectural Woodwork Standards, 1st Edition
* Quality Certification 101
* Contracts
* QCC Help Clinic
* Plant Tours and Demonstration Hosted by AWI Carolinas Chapter
* Exhibitor Showcase

Visit awinet.org to learn more and to register.
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Green Scene

Scorecard for LEED® 2009 Commercial Interiors

Are you keeping score?  Certified wood gets one point for LEED projects.  Check out the scorecard of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Green Building Rating System™ for Commercial Interiors.

Visit the AWI Web site to view the LEED 2009 Commercial Interior scorecard that would determine a project’s qualifying points under the program.

A woodworker who uses “Certified Wood” on the project contributes only ONE Point towards the LEED project’s total score.  A woodworker might contribute a lot more points in the other items in this section.  In the big picture, one point for Certified Wood is only a very small percentage of the LEED project scores.

LEED project point scores are:

CERTIFIED LEED PROJECT

40-49 Points 

SILVER LEED PROJECT 

 50-59 Points

GOLD LEED PROJECT

 60-79 Points

PLATINUM LEED PROJECT 

 80+ points of a possible 110 points

 
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Debate on Certified Wood Warms Up

In November 2008, when Congress extended protection to timber, which is now covered by the Lacey Act, the debate over wood certification programs warmed up even more.  According to GreenSource Magazine, wood certification is no longer just an advertisement of environmental values but also a protection tool against prosecution. 

To learn what all sides are reportedly saying about certification, click here (free subscription).
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Industry News

Construction Industry Survey Discovers Heightened Pessimism in Market

Confidence is declining about the state of the market, according to the Construction Financial Management Association. The CFMA Confidex reveals an 18% decline in overall industry confidence since June 2008.

The organization’s “Confidex” measure, a proprietary confidence index survey of CFOs in the commercial construction sector, was released in December 2008.  For more details, visit www.cfma.org.  

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November Construction Slides 3%

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $454.5 billion, new construction starts in November fell 3% from the previous month, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. 

Residential building retreated further and nonresidential building lost additional momentum in November, while the nonbuilding construction sector registered a small gain.  Through the first eleven months of 2008, total construction on an unadjusted basis was reported at $509.9 billion, down 16% from the same period a year ago.  If residential building is excluded, new construction starts for the January-November period of 2008 were up a slight 1% over last year.

The dip in construction starts is attributed to the “extended weakness for the single family house, which has not yet shown that it’s close to reaching bottom,” stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction.  “The steep correction for housing has been underway for three straight years now, and a fourth year of decline is anticipated for 2009.  The current year has also seen emerging weakness for nonresidential building, which is expected to broaden in scope during 2009 given tight credit conditions and the tough economic climate. 

Nonresidential building, at $203.0 billion (annual rate), slipped 2% in November.  The commercial sector was mixed, with steep reductions for warehouses (down 27%) and offices (down 32%), but also increases for hotels (up 6%) and stores (up 20%) relative to a very weak October for both structure types. 

On the institutional side, the educational building category in November posted a 7% gain, helped by the start of two large medical research facilities located in California ($200 million) and Texas ($103 million).  The volume of high school construction in November stayed strong, including such projects as a $71 million high school in Illinois.  The healthcare facilities category in November settled back 7%, but the month continued to see large hospital projects reach groundbreaking, with six projects in excess of $100 million located in Arizona ($380 million), Illinois ($265 million), Ohio ($243 million), California ($200 million), Wisconsin ($136 million), and Texas ($101 million).  The public buildings category in November jumped 50%, aided by the start of a $100 million post office renovation in Philadelphia PA.  November also included 12% improvement for church construction from a weak October, but also declines for amusement-related projects (down 5%) and transportation terminals (down 11%)
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Architects Hopeful about Obama’s Economic-Recovery Plan; Woodworkers Could Be Also

Enthusiasm is high among architects for President-elect Obama’s plan for recovery includes proposed spending for new roads, greening federal office, and upgrading schools. The realities of the Architecture Billing Index show a decline in business conditions at architecture firms, so passage of economic stimulus legislation could boost prospects for business.

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) posting on December 17 was at the lowest level since the survey began in 1995 for the second month in a row. 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 American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported that the November ABI rating was 34.7, down from the 36.2 mark in October (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 38.3, also a historic low point.

“With mounting job losses, declines in retail sales, and travel cut-backs the need for new commercial facilities has dropped considerably recently,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “What’s just as troubling is that the institutional sector – schools, hospitals and public buildings – is also beginning to react to tighter credit conditions and a weakening economy.”

Key November ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: northeast (39.5), south (36.8), west (33.5), midwest (31.4)
• Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (44.5), institutional (40.8), multi-family residential (30.0), commercial / industrial (26.7)
• Project inquiries index: 38.3

According to report in AIA’s Architectural Record (free subscription), the National Governors Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are “vying for slices of the [recovery] pie.”  This week Obama met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to begin work on his economic recovery plan.  Whether a potential multi-billion dollar stimulus package will be passed swiftly by Congress remains to be seen.  Some are concerned “that Congressional squabbling could delay” passage.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, in the December 31st edition of ISW Online (free subscription), blogger Mike Wilson surmises that the economic stimulus plan “could mean business for commercial cabinet shops and millwork companies” serving the school and public building markets that may get an infusion of cash.
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Business Tools

Administaff Business Solutions Services Webinar Coming Up on January 14th

 A new human resource services program arranged by AWI with the national professional employer organization Administaff brings group buying power to AWI member small and medium size businesses.  If you missed the first webinars, plan to attend the upcoming Administaff webinar on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm EST to learn more. 

This new AWI Affinity Program gives access to Administaff Human Resource Services at substantial savings.  This exclusive new membership benefit for AWI members provides a 25% discount on enrollment fees and the group buying power of Administaff's 6,000+ clients. 

This monthly webinar hosted by Administaff will focus on the firm's services and the benefits of using them.  Members may speak to the Administaff representative during this live program.

Date:

 Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Starting time: 

 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (GMT – 05:00, New York)

Duration:

 15 Minute Presentation, followed by Q&A

To register for this meeting:
1.  Go to https://administaff.webex.com/administaff/j.php?ED=111427017&RG=1&UID=0 Register for the meeting.
Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the meeting.

For assistance:
1.  Go to https://administaff.webex.com/administaff/mc
2.  On the left navigation bar, click "Support".
You can contact the Administaff staff at: kane_flora@administaff.com

http://www.webex.com  We've got to start meeting like this™
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, please do not join the session.

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Member News

Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Launches “Wood from the Hood”

The Minneapolis-based architectural woodwork firm is recycling felled trees along city boulevards.

Siewert Cabinet & Fixture owner Rick and his wife Cindy took “green” principles another step rescuing felled wood from elm, oak, ash, maple and walnut trees.  Rather than watching the felled trees go to landfills or chipped into mulch, Rick decided to saw it up for use in flooring.  See the article in wcco.com and a video of TV coverage about their venture.

The article notes that the firm identifies each piece of recycled wood with the zip code of the Minneapolis area from which it came, giving customers greater affinity with their neighborhoods.  Way to go – Rick and Cindy. 
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Hollywood Woodwork & Allegheny Millwork among “Best of 2008”

In December, Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine, a McGraw Hill publication, announced the winners of its “Best of 2008” awards competition, naming two AWI Manufacturing Members for their projects.

Allegheny Millwork of Lawrence, PA, was honored with the “Best of 2008 - Project of the Year” in the Green Projects category for the firm’s architectural millwork on the Haverford School in Pennsylvania.  Hollywood Woodwork of Hollywood, FL, was recognized with a “Best of 2008 - Project of the Year” in the Cultural category for its work on the Newseum in Washington, DC.

Winning projects were recognized in the winter 2008 edition of Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine (subscription required). Congratulations to both AWI Manufacturing Members.

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Stiles Invites You to the LIGNA World Fair

AWI Manufacturing Members are invited to participate in an international tour in conjunction with the LIGNA World Fair for the Forestry and Wood Industries which will be held May 18-22, 2009 in Hanover, Germany.

This tour promises to uniquely blend education and culture for a remarkable experience that will most certainly impact your future business operations. The group will travel to Germany to see innovations and manufacturing processes at small- to medium-sized woodworking plants as well as machinery factories, and then also attend the 2009 LIGNA fair to see the latest developments unveiled.

Stiles Machinery and AWI are offering an all-inclusive tour package with airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, meals, translators, LIGNA registration fees, and much more for under $3000.

With all the business challenges and opportunities in the marketplace, experiences such as this tour help you stay ahead of the game.

Registration is limited to 30 and will close on February 15. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please contact Lorraine Bush at 616.698.7500 or at lbush@stilesmachinery.com.

Tentative LIGNA Tour Schedule

 Friday, May 15

 Depart US gateways

 Saturday, May 16

 Arrive Frankfurt, Germany

 Sunday, May 17  

 Acclimation & city tour

 Monday, May 18 & 
 Tuesday, May 19

 Tour woodwork manufacturing plants 
(A special attempt is being made to visit German shops similar to AWI.)

 Wednesday, May 20

 Tour machinery manufacturing plants

 Thursday, May 21 & 
 Friday, May 22

 Attend the LIGNA fair

 Saturday, May 23

 Wrap-up / closing dinner

 Sunday, May 24 

 Return home 

      
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About QCP

Deadline to Renew QCP Accreditation is Fast-Approaching

The absolute deadline for accredited firms to renew their AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) participation is January 31, 2009. Renewing online is fast, easy and accessible 24/7.

Go to www.awiqcp.org and click on “Renew Your Certification.”   If you have already submitted your renewal, we thank you and look forward to working with you in the New Year! If you haven't sent in your renewal yet, please be sure to do so before the deadline – and don't forget to include the $300 late fee (as stated in the Policy manual.) Renewals postmarked after the January 31 deadline will be returned and companies wishing to continue their accreditation will be required to reapply to the program.
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New Year Brings Changes to the AWI Quality Certification Program

The new certificate and accreditation confirmation process will boost program visibility.

Beginning in early 2009, the AWI Quality Certification Corporation (AWI QCC) will distribute a revised certificate to all newly accredited and renewing QCP firms.  Like the old participant certificate, the revised version confirms that QCP accredits and entitles the woodworking firm to certify projects. The Certificates of Compliance, which are used to certify specific projects, will not change.

Also new in 2009, the AWI QCC will automate the process of providing architects, owners and/or contractors’ verification of a participant’s standing in the program on demand. Using a simple online request form, woodworking firms may request that a letter of confirmation be sent via e-mail to any member of the construction team within one working day.  The letter will include the accreditation status of the woodworking firm, the sections the participant is eligible to certify and the name of the registered project, if applicable. Accompanying the letter will be two anonymous sample inspection reports: one compliant project and one report showing deficiencies. The effort is designed to educate architects, designers and construction executives on the benefits of the QCP and encourage them to uphold the QCP specification requirements.

Until the form has been built into the QCP Web site, woodworking firms may send accreditation confirmation requests to affirm@awiqcp.org. Make sure to include the firm name, your contact name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

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QCP Application Fees Increase in 2009

Beginning January 1, 2009, AWI Manufacturing Members will pay $1650 to apply to the AWI Quality Certification Program and all other applicants will pay $3100.

Project fees will remain unchanged: 1/2% of the woodwork contract (minimum fee is $500). The increase in application fees will cover increased travel expenses incurred by the program. It is the first change in application fees since 2002.
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Safety Matters

CNA to Host Safety Webinars in 2009 Beginning with “Combustible Dust”

Please save these dates. CNA, AWI’s safety insurance partner, and AWI are pleased to announce a series of safety related webinars designed for and available at no cost to AWI members. 

The series is designed for shop employees.  Each session will be offered twice to accommodate schedules and work shifts. 
 
Combustible Dust
Learn tips for controlling fires and keep dust under control.
Broadcasting February 6, 2009, repeating February 9, 2009
 
Slips/Falls
Learn housekeeping tips, shoe selection and stacking ideas for prevention of slips and falls.
Broadcasting June 1, 2009, repeating June 5, 2009
 
Struck By/Against
Learn where to look for hazards and what you can do to minimize losses.
Broadcasting August 3, 2009, repeating August 7, 2009
 
Motion is Money…Controlling Back Injuries 
Learn how to safeguard your body and go home feeling good.
Broadcasting November 2, 2009, repeating November 6, 2009
 
Additional details will follow in future issues of e-briefs.  Stay tuned.

 
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Federal Scene

FMLA Poster Available to Comply with Revised Rule

A revised Family and Medical Leave Act poster, reflecting the recently published final rule, is now available for viewing and downloading at the Department of Labor Web site.  As reported in the December 4th issue of AWI  e-briefs, the rule takes effect on January 16 and applies to companies with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. 

Every employer covered by the FMLA is required to post and keep posted on its premises, in conspicuous places where employees are employed, a notice explaining the Act’s provisions.  Click here to access the FMLA poster.
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State Scene

ASA Report Shows Subcontractors’ Campaign to Limit Risk Transfer Pays Off

Policymakers’ understanding of sophisticated risk transfer issues is growing, and that’s good news for construction subcontractors, according to The ASA Report: The Policy Environment in the States, which the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) released on January 1, 2009.

ASA’s annual evaluation of public policies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia revealed that legislators and courts took new steps in 2008 to limit how contracts or insurance for construction/design services may allocate liabilities. This is a key public policy issue for subcontractors, which are often forced to pay for the costs of job-site injuries or damage caused by others, even though the subcontractors are faultless.

Legislative/judicial activities in 2008 caused the scores of eight states to change from last year’s ASA Report — Arizona, California, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Nevada and New York. The scores of three of these states — Kansas, New York and California — changed because, or partly because, of new restrictions on risk transfer.

ASA’s report scores and grades each state in seven policy areas and uses the results to calculate an overall score, grade and rank for each state. Taking into account both laws and judicial decisions, the report scores: (1) Prompt payment protections; (2) Treatment of pay-if-paid clauses; (3) Mechanic’s lien protections; (4) Payment bond protections; (5) Retainage limitations; (6) Anti-indemnity protections, including limits on “additional insured” endorsements; and (7) Anti-“bid shopping” measures. New Mexico remains the only state to receive an overall passing grade in The ASA Report. Four states (California, Kansas, New York and South Carolina) are within five points of a passing score of over 60 percent.

To access the full report, click here.
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Chapter News

Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See the upcoming events sponsored by AWI Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas, Missouri / Illinois, Florida, and Carolinas Chapters.

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.

AWI Minnesota Chapter
When:
January 15, 2009 (11:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Program: “2009 Commercial Fabricator Green Building Conference and Great River Energy Tour” featuring: program on CARB; AWI Quality Certification Program, LEED® 2009, FSC Certification
Where: Maple Grove Community Center, Maple Grove, MN
Information: Program Flyer attached
Registration and Information: Green@metrohardwoods.com or call 763.425.9293

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When:
January 20, 2009 (2:00 pm)
Program: Board Meeting & Plant Tour
Where: Central Wisconsin Woodworking, Wausau, WI
Information: Jim Buege, jimbuege@northerncapital-wi.com, phone – 414.266.9991

AWI Virginia Chapter
When:
January 29, 2009
Program:  “FSC: Materials and Certification” & Tabletop Display
Speakers:  Jason Shuey & Keith Atherholt
Where:  Westin Richmond, Richmond, VA
Information: Program flyer attached
Registration: Chapter/AWI Members, $35 per person; Non-AWI Members, $70 per person.  See registration form attached.
Information: Gary Astles, gastles@northwayind.com, 717.503.6295

AWI Texas Chapter
When: February 5-6, 2009
Program: Meetings and Program on “Bonds & Leins,” Plant Tour and Sporting Events
Where: Hyatt Place Ft. Worth Historic Stockyards, Ft. Worth, TX
Information: Program Flyer attached
Registration: $85 pp through January 13; $100 pp after January 13.  Registration details attached
Information: Christi Duncan, texasawi@earthlink.net, phone - 972.333.6550

AWI Missouri / Illinois Chapter
When: February 12, 2009 (4:00 – 6:00 pm)
Program: Chapter Meeting & QSI Section Presentation by Good’s Millwork
Where: Duff’s Restaurant, St. Louis, MO
Information: Laurie Fromm, laurie@classicwoodworkinginc.com, phone – 314.544.0121

AWI Florida Chapter
When: February 20, 2009
Program: Winter Plant Tour and Board of Directors Meeting
Where: TBA
Information: Phone – 813.977.6683

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: February 27, 2009 (all day)
What: 40th Anniversary AWI Carolinas Chapter Gala (including meeting, tour of Childress Vineyards, RCR Museum and Race Shop and dinner)
Where: Holiday Inn Express at the Vineyards, Lexington, NC
Registration:  $175 per person/$250 per couple; deadline January 28, 2009
Information: Christine Cox, kcox@awicarolinas.org

 
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published January 22, 2009.

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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:
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