A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members August 5, 2010
Learning Forum

Certified Wood Products: Myths and Realities

What have you heard or read about Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification? What are the obligations of woodworkers who gain FSC Chain-of-Custody (COC) Certification? What are the risks, if any, of using FSC certified products without COC? Find out from Terry Campbell of Forest Products Solutions, at the session, "LEED® and Sustainability," during the 2010 AWI Annual Convention, October 27-29, 2010, in Denver.

During the session on October 28th, Campbell will outline the chronology of how the FSC wood credit in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system works. He will explain the merits of FSC Certification and demystify the entire COC process. COC applies to the manufacturing and distribution chain that certified wood travels through before it is purchased.

"I want to give woodworker’s confidence about the LEED wood credit requirements so that they can market FSC Chain-of-Custody Certification as a business advantage," Campbell told AWI e-briefs. He recommends that woodworkers consider earning a Chain-of-Custody Certification, if it gives them a competitive advantage to do so.

For LEED projects, regardless of whether woodworkers fabricate and install millwork themselves or engage other specialists to install their products, Campbell recommends obtaining Chain-of-Custody Certification for purposes of risk management. "This gives the project team credibility that the wood products in place are FSC certified, thereby eliminating all questions about the authenticity of the claim," he said.

Author of the FSC Manufacturing & Sales Guide, Campbell will share this 20-page publication with session attendees so they can annotate their guides and clarify any misconceptions about processes, control systems (transfer, percentage, credit), acceptance of FSC products for LEED projects, and more.

Get answers to your questions about FSC COC certification on October 28, 2010 at the "LEED® and Sustainability" session presented by Terry Campbell of Forest Products Solutions. Register for this and other AWI sessions at www.awinet.org.

 Learn More...

Thursday, October 28, 2010 – 10:30am – 11:30am
LEED® and Sustainability

Terry Campbell of Forest Products Solutions has been educating building and forest products professionals about the business opportunities with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products in the green building industry for over ten years. Terry aspires to connect and communicate the economic, social, and environmental values of green products to manufacturers and distributors; thereby facilitating the market uptake of these products. This workshop will focus on staying competitive in the growing green building and green products industries.

[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Will Your Team Capture the Inaugural AWI Trophy?

AWI members, sponsors, and guests will face off on October 29, 2010, at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado, for the chance to win the inaugural AWI Trophy. AWI members attending the 58th AWI Annual Convention, October 27-29, will want to add this fun-filled networking event to their schedule. Are you up to the challenge?

Each team will rotate through a sequence of light activities. The challenges include:

  • Cue Challenge – Team members hit balls into the pockets of a pool table. The most pocketed balls sequentially by a person is the team’s score.
  • Total Throw Challenge – Team members throw electronic darts. The total scores of all the darts is calculated for the team’s score.
  • Putting Pro Challenge – Participants pick up the golf club and get one swing. One point is awarded for each ball that makes the hole.
  • Pop-O-Shot Challenge – Each member of the team shoots one ball into a basketball pop-o shot. For all completed baskets one point is awarded per basket.
  • Helmet Shuffle – The team views three football helmets scramble a football and at the end of the scramble they pick which helmet is covering the football.
  • Speed Pitch – Participant pitch the baseball with their speed recorded.
  • Slap Shot Challenge – Team members slap an air hockey puck into the goal while blindfolded.
  • All Star Trivia Challenge – Teams answer an all sports trivia challenge in five minutes.

Games will end at 4:00 pm and Playoff results will be announced and the AWI Trophy presented at the President’s Pinnacle Dinner on Friday night.

Plan to join in the fun! Register today for the 58th AWI Annual Convention here.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Check Out Early Bird Registration Rates for 58th AWI Annual Convention

This is the most important, business building event you can experience this year. The 58th AWI Annual Convention, October 27-29, 2010, will deliver enlightening education and networking opportunities and enticing leisure activities for you, your colleagues and your family. Early bird registration ends September 3.

Complete information on how to register, including special rates at the convention hotel—The Westin Tabor Center—are on the AWI Web site at www.awinet.org, as well as options to register now and pay now or pay later. 

[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Business Tools

Building a Winning Ethics Program

From Administaff

Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the need to develop ethics programs that guide employees in translating corporate ethics into everyday actions. Here are tips to help guide your business in the right direction.

  1. Utilize the interview process to determine the ethics of prospective employees. Ask questions about ethical decisions the person has made in previous jobs and provide examples of ethical dilemmas. See what course of action they choose and why. 
  2. Remember that an enforceable ethics program takes work. A well-structured ethics program is necessary at every level, and everyone involved should share the work in creating it. 
  3. Post your company’s code of ethics in a common place. As a part of your written code of ethics, include tools that will help employees make future ethical decisions by providing self-evaluating questions.
  4. Keep your employees trained. Hold training sessions and review the importance of ethics in the workplace and how it affects the business and the employees. 
  5. Keep your company’s ethics in check. Ensure the decisions your company is making comply with your written code. This can be done by forming a committee made up of individuals from all levels at the company who meet regularly to discuss the decisions and actions taking place within the company.
  6. Support and protect employees who behave ethically. Make sure it is known that as long as ethical decisions are made, the company will protect the choices of its employees.
  7. Nurture the company’s ethical culture by regularly praising ethical decisions in your workplace.

Article provided by Administaff (NYSE: ASF), the nation’s leading professional employer organization, serving as a full-service human resources department for thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. For more information about Administaff, call 800.465.3800 or visit www.administaff.com.

Please see cautionary AWI disclaimer in right-hand column. 

[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Small Business Economic Confidence Tempered by Slow Recovery

Uncertainty about the economic recovery has caused 61% of small business owners to delay their expectation of an economic rebound until 2011 or later, while over 18% feel a turnaround will happen in 2010 and 20% are unsure, according to the most recent Business Confidence Survey released August 2 by Administaff (NYSE:ASF), a leading provider of human resources services for small and medium-sized businesses.

The economy was listed by 78% of business owners as one of their biggest short-term concerns, up from 71% in April, followed by 53% citing government health care reform, 46% specifying rising health care costs and 40% listing controlling operating costs, Administaff reported. For the longer-term, 70.7% of respondents said they were either very concerned or had elevated concerns about potential tax increases, followed closely by 70.3% listing government expansion and the effect on business, 67.9% designating the economy and 67.7% citing the federal deficit and the total national debt.

For more details in the survey results, click here. Visit Administaff at www.administaff.com.

About the Business Confidence Survey
Respondents to the Administaff Business Confidence Survey are among the small and medium-sized companies Administaff serves throughout the country. The questions were designed to measure the pulse of the small-business community and gauge the activities and expectations of business owners in 2010.

Administaff conducted the survey July 20-22, 2010, of chief executive officers, chief financial officers and other executives in a variety of industries at its client companies throughout the United States. The overall sampling error of the national survey is +/- 5 percent at the 95% confidence level.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

AWI Award of Excellence Raises Profiles of Honorees

Looking for potential new customers? Need a reason to stay in touch with your past and present customers? Tell them you earned an AWI "Award of Excellence" (AOE). How do you start the process?

Submit your application for the next "Award of Excellence" honors program. Submissions are now being accepted for the winter 2010 program. The deadline is December 1st.

Use an AOE award to market your excellence and gain a competitive edge during these challenging times when others are seeking entry into your markets. All Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate. Gain exposure among the outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal.

Visit awinet.org for submission forms. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (winter) AOE honors program is December 1, 2010. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of Design Solutions Magazine which is open for business 24/7, plus distribution to more than 25,000 industry professionals.

Pictured is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in a recent AWI "Award of Excellence" quarterly competition. AWI Manufacturing Member Wittrock Woodworking Inc. of Cincinnati, OH, fabricated the woodwork for the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital in Columbus, that include the boardroom desk, wall paneling, curved reception desk, nurses’ stations, divider walls and patient room casework. Plain sliced select White Maple veneer was used throughout. Wood wall dividers, shown here, frame the waiting area and are used to separate various patient areas. Other views of this project can be seen in the spring issue of Design Solutions.

Photo Credit: Jack Meder, Columbus, OH

[Return to top]   [Print this article]

AWI News

Connect with AWI at IWF Atlanta!

AWI will have a high profile during the upcoming IWF Atlanta, August 25-28, 2010. Network with AWI members at the association’s booth and at three evening gatherings.

AWI Booth at IWF
Stop by Booth #1573 at IWF to meet AWI staff, other members and prospects. Grab your AWI bag and hat to display as you walk around the show.

Network with AWI Members
There are three evening opportunities to network with your fellow AWI members and other industry associates.  Join AWI and Vance Publishing, publishers of Wood & Wood Products and Custom Woodworking Business (CWB), on Wednesday, August 25 and Friday, August 27 from 5:30-6:30 pm at Meehan's Public House, Downtown, 180 Peachtree Street.

Also make sure to attend the AWI member reception on Thursday, August 26 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The reception will take place in room A404/05 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Share your discoveries and thoughts about the show and the industry with current and prospective AWI members.

To register for the show, click here. 
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

AWI Design Solutions 2010 Summer Edition is Now Online

The 2010 summer edition of Design Solutions, the official journal of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, is now available online.

Click here to view Design Solutions online.

Each quarterly issue of Design Solutions showcases beautiful examples of fine architectural woodwork manufactured by AWI Manufacturing Member companies.  The summer issue features:

• ONSITE Woodwork Corporation, Loves Park, IL
• Fabrication Specialists, Mobile, AL
• MADE, LLC, Brooklyn, NY
• Lange Brothers Woodwork Company, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
• Hillcraft, Ltd., Madison, WI

Don’t miss the Cornerstone article, "Wood is Green and Carbon Negative." Click here to view the article, which begins on page 8.

[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Join AWI LinkedIn Discussions

Learn, Share, Connect! Current discussions on AWI LinkedIn relate to specific wood product projects, federal acquisition regulations, job positions available, PowerPoint presentations, and more. Join in.

Click into the forums anytime to find out what’s important among architectural woodworkers. Click into the latest discussion about PowerPoint presentations here.  You can also see the comments of others. Get LinkedIn and receive notices of new discussions.

If you’re not yet registered with LinkedIn, do it when you check out the article. It’s free and it’s a useful networking tool among AWI members.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Industry News

IWF Atlanta Hosts Exclusive Convention Kickoff at Georgia Aquarium

The International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair (IWF), August 25-28, 2010, is hosting a special kickoff event for this year’s 2010 convention at the world’s largest aquarium in Atlanta.

Mingle with fellow IWF friends and colleagues throughout the Aquarium with special guests including whale sharks, beluga whales, manta rays, penguins and more. The Aquarium will open exclusively to IWF attendees with a private rate at $17 per person. Guests can enjoy food court items available until 8:00 pm and cash bars throughout the Aquarium.  


Wednesday, August 25, 2010 
5:00 – 9:00 pm


Georgia Aquarium
225 Baker Street
Atlanta, GA 30313


 For more details, visit http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/iwf or call 404.581.4000.

[Return to top]   [Print this article]

June Housing Construction Down, Nonresidential Building Up

Overall, new construction starts in June dropped 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $385.7 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.  While declines were reported for two of construction’s three main sectors – housing and nonbuilding construction, nonresidential building advanced in June, continuing to show some improvement after extremely weak activity earlier in the year. 

During the first six months of 2010, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis came in at $199.6 billion, down 4% from the same period a year ago, according to McGraw-Hill.

The June data lowered the Dodge Index to 82 (2000=100), compared to a revised 84 for May.  The Dodge Index had witnessed an extended decline from mid-2006 through early 2009, and since then it has hovered in the range of 82 to 95.  "The pattern of construction starts can still be viewed as showing low-level stability, although barely, as June came in at the bottom of the recent range of activity," stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction.  "The improvement shown by single family housing over the past year has stalled, at least for the present.  For nonresidential building, the recent pickup in May and now June suggests that the worst of this sector’s decline may be over.  However, renewed expansion for nonresidential building on a sustained basis is not likely in the near term, given such ongoing constraints as tight bank lending, eroding state and local budgets, and sluggish employment growth."

Residential building in June fell 5% to $118.9 billion (annual rate), with single family housing receding 1% while multifamily housing dropped 24%, according to McGraw-Hill.  From the spring of 2009 through the first quarter of this year, single family housing had shown steady improvement, but during the second quarter activity retreated.  Murray noted, "Some of the improvement for single family housing may have been accelerated with the homebuyer tax credits, and their expiration has led to a near-term pause in what is still believed to be an upward trend for homebuilding."  The decline for multifamily housing in June followed four straight months of gains after very depressed contracting at the outset of 2010.  The year-to-date increase for multifamily housing was due mostly to a greater volume of renovation work.

Nonresidential building in June grew 9% to $156.3 billion (annual rate).  On the institutional side of the nonresidential market, healthcare facilities jumped 59%.  Murray indicated, "After the steep 33% correction in 2009, the healthcare facilities category is strengthening once again in 2010, helped by healthcare chains bringing deferred projects to groundbreaking, as well as the start of more government-owned hospitals."  The amusement-related category also had a strong June, surging 85%.  The educational building category in June lost momentum, falling 7%, with the decline cushioned by the start of several large projects.  Also slipping back in June were transportation terminals, down 5%; and the public buildings category, down 12%.

On the commercial side of the nonresidential market, office construction in June dropped a modest 4%.  More substantial declines in June were reported for stores and shopping centers, down 19%; and warehouses, down 26%.  The depressed hotel category was able to report a 61% increase in June, McGraw-Hill reported.

During the first six months of 2010, nonresidential building was down 15% from the same period a year ago.  By major segment, the institutional categories fell a comparatively modest 5%, while more sizeable declines were reported for commercial buildings, down 29%; and manufacturing buildings, down 54%.

The 4% shortfall for total construction starts at the U.S. level during the first six months of 2010 compared to last year reflected a varied performance by region.  Greater year-to-date activity was reported in the Northeast, up 5%; and the South Central, up 2%.  Diminished year-to-date activity was reported in the South Atlantic, down 6%; and the West and Midwest, each down 8%.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

13 Cities in British Columbia Lead the Charge for Wood Use

Wood products are set to gain ground in British Columbia (BC) as "the primary building material" according to the Canadian Wood Council (CWC).

Thirteen BC municipalities have now officially passed "Wood First Resolutions" in support of the province’s Wood First Act.

"The Wood First Act aims to increase demand for wood products by requiring provincially-funded projects to use wood as the primary building material, generating new demand for wood, stimulating the province’s forest industry, and securing long-term markets to ensure a sustainable wood industry," the CWC reported.

The Council’s Wood Works! Project is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. It is an eleven year-old campaign.

For more details, click here. To visit the CWC, go to www.cwc.ca.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

U.S. Demand for Cabinets to Expand 7.4% Annually through 2014

Gains will be spurred by the rebound in housing completions from the depressed levels of 2009, according to the Freedonia Group, publisher of the Cabinet forecast study.

For more details about growth opportunities – largely for kitchen cabinets – click here. The Study #2663, Cabinets, can be purchased for $4900.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Illegal Log Trade Dropped 22% since 2002

The most thorough assessment to date of the global fight against illegal logging finds that a decade of international effort to tackle the problem is having a dramatic and beneficial effect both on forest dependent communities and on the global climate.

According to the report by United Kingdom (UK) organization Chatham House, "Illegal Logging and Related Trade: Indicators of the Global Response," total global production of illegal timber has fallen by 22% since 2002.

The report states that illegal logging has dropped by 50% in Cameroon, by between 50 and 75% in the Brazilian Amazon, and by 75% in Indonesia in the last decade. This reduction, documented in three of the five tropical timber producers studied, has prevented the degradation of up to 17 million hectares of forest.

By preventing forest degradation, which is often the first step towards forest destruction, efforts to tackle illegal logging in these three countries may over time help prevent – at relatively low cost – the release of up to 14.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of half the carbon dioxide released by human actions worldwide each year, Chatham House reported. Conversely, if the timber were harvested under government auspices an estimated $6.5 billion dollars could be raised in these countries alone, more than twice that which the world spends each year in overseas aid for primary school education.

The new report covers all aspects of the timber trade – a journey that starts in the forests of five "producer" countries studied: Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon, Malaysia and Ghana. The study analyses the entry of timber into markets in the five "consumer" countries - the United States, Japan, the UK, France and the Netherlands, as well as through the ports and factories of two "processing" countries – China and Vietnam – and from there to buyers in the industrialized world.

In 2008, companies in the United States, Japan, the UK, France and the Netherlands bought 17 million cubic meters of illegal timber and wood products worth around US$8.4 billion, most of it entering those nations in the form of processed products like plywood and furniture, mainly from China. In 2009, a total of 100 million cubic metres of illegal timber were harvested in the timber producing countries studied.

Although the implementation of necessary regulations and policies in producer countries remains mostly poor, a number of significant improvements in laws and regulations are now underway as a result of the negotiation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements with the European Union (EU). Such agreements have already proved effective, according to the report. Further, in 2008, the U.S. became the first country to introduce legislation to make it illegal to handle illegally harvested timber. There are early indications that the new law is already placing pressure on timber producers and processors around the world to police their supply chains.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]


Illinois Celebrates SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Contest Winners

The AWI Chicago Chapter and Oswego High School in Illinois are celebrating the achievements of two winners in the national SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Contest in June.

Winners and Officials at the SkillsUSA National Cabinetmaking Competition
Photo credit: Scott Groth 

Two students of woodwork instructor Scott Groth at Oswego High School each received a medal: Kevin Pattermann won a gold in post secondary, and Kyle Burkhart won a bronze in the high school division.  "This was the first time a competitor from Illinois was awarded a gold medal in Cabinetmaking in the 45-year history of the SkillsUSA organization," Groth told AWI.  Groth thanked AWI for its continued support of the state and national contests.

Congratulations – job well done!

Watch for a full report about the SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Contest in the August issue of AWI NewsBriefs coming to your mailbox around August 15. If the contest is any indication about the future of the woodworking profession, it is in good and capable hands.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Safety Matters

CNA School of Risk Control Webinars Feature Employment Practices in September

During September, AWI’s safety insurance partner, CNA, will focus on employment practices in its ongoing series of risk control Webinars. Check them out.

Physical Capability Testing—Matching the Worker to the Job
Date: September 10, 2:00 pm EST
Presenters: Rob Teistma, Business Development Manager, Cost Reduction Technology (CRT) and Brian Roberts, CNA

Top 10 Drug Testing Mistakes that Employers Make
Date: September 14, 2:00 pm EST
Presenters: Attorney Tommy Eden, III & Mary Hines, President, Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association

(SAPAA) Social Media: A New Employment Law Frontier
Date: September 20, 2:00 pm EST
Presenter: Laura Lapidus JD, CNA

The Effects of Obesity in the Workplace
Date: September 24, 2:00 pm EST
Presenters: Ted Borgstadt, CEO, Trestle Tree and Brian Roberts, CNA

Emerging Trends Involving Fraud
Date: September 30, 2:00 pm EST
Presenter: Tim Wolfe, CNA

To register for a CNA School of Risk Control Excellence Webinar, visit: www.cna.com/riskcontrol.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

OSHA Enhances On-site Consultation Web Page with New features & Easier Navigation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has redesigned its On-site Consultation Web page to enhance its usefulness to small and medium-sized businesses across the country seeking free and confidential advice on increasing workplace safety.

The redesigned homepage answers frequently asked questions about the benefits of the On-site Consultation Program, which gives priority to high-hazard worksites, and explains the process for initiating a consultation visit and the consultant's role in the process. An improved On-site Consultation directory gives users the ability to quickly find offices in their states to contact for further information about the program, or to request a visit.

The page also provides answers to questions about the On-site Consultation Program's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program and offers Success Stories from small businesses that achieved safety and health excellence through the On-site Consultation Program and SHARP. A Quick Links box and Small Business Resources section present users with relevant information and OSHA resources for the small business community.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Green Scene

Find the Map of Earth’s Forests

A first-of-its-kind map plotted by scientists using data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellites shows the Earth's tallest and shortest forests.

"It is hoped that the map can be used to predict the spread of forest fires and monitor the effects of deforestation and climate change," accroding to The Independent, an online publication published in the United Kingdom.

The map is available at www.nasa.gov.  To locate, search on" Forest Height Map.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Look for LEED® Canada

What? There’s a LEED Canada? Yes, there is! The United States does not have a monopoly on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system™.

Not only are there Green Building Councils in the U.S. but they exist in 72 countries, according to the movement’s founder David Gottfried. See the interview with the "green" visionary carried in the July issue of AWI NewsBriefs.

And, watch for the August issue of NewsBriefs. AWI Sustainability Resource Representative Rob Ziegelmeier reported on the differences and similarities between LEED in the U.S. and LEED in Canada. The August issue of NewsBriefs will arrive in your mailbox around August 15.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Industry & Congress Call for LEED® Rating System to Open Wood Certification

Pressure has grown to include 79 Members of Congress and nearly 6,000 stakeholders calling for the LEED rating system’s wood credit to recognize other sustainable forest certification programs, action that would break the monopoly of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

In their letter to the U.S. Green Building Council, Members of Congress wrote, "Over 84 million acres of forests in the United States are certified to SFI (Stustainable Forestry Initiative) or ATFS (American Tree Farm System), almost three times the amount of forests certified to FSC nationally." The letter also stated, "Broadening the number of eligible certificant programs could stimulate the market for American produced wood products and the communities and jobs that depend on both." For full details, click here to read their letter.

Meanwhile, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) sent the USGBC a petition signed by nearly 6,000 individuals from a diverse community of interested parties throughout the U.S. and around the world, citing the value that all credible forest certification programs have in promoting responsible forestry. Visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/leed/ to read the petitioners’ comments.

The American Wood Council (AWC) weighted in with their opposition to the exclusivity LEED currently affords FSC. AWC said, "LEED’s exclusive acceptance of Forest Stewardship Council certification....undercusts the success of both the American wood product industry and our green building efforts," said Robert Blowinski, President of AWC. For more details about AWC’s perspective, click here.

For more news about the scope of controversy over the LEED wood benchmark, see the article, "USGBC under Fire for FSC Monopoly," at Woodworking Network (free subscription).
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

LEED Professional Credential Holders Can Look for a New Logo to Identify CMP

Green building professional credential holders with one of the LEED® AP or LEED® Green Associate designations can now look for the new "GBCI Credential Maintenance Program (CMP)" logo to identify courses that meet the LEED credential maintenance requirements, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced.

USGBC’s network of Education Providers are organizations who offer at least one course that has been peer-reviewed and approved. All approved courses offered by USGBC Education Providers are eligible for credit toward LEED Professional Credential Maintenance and can be found in USGBC’s course catalog at www.usgbc.org/courses. Also visit www.usgbc.org/providers for more information.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]


Did You Know...about the AWS?

By Shows Leary, AWI Quality Certification Program Inspector

Familiarity with the AWI Architectural Woodwork Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI) can no longer be relied on in woodwork project specifications where the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) introduced in August 2009 supercede the QSI. Don’t assume the standards are the same. Learn about drawer box finishes.

Drawer Box Finishes

In the AWS, on page 249, item 1.2.15, drawer box parts are defined as semi-exposed surfaces. On page 261, item also defines drawer boxes as semi-exposed surfaces. How does this information apply to the materials allowed for drawer box construction?

As seen on page 263, item for wood casework, there are three material options for Premium Grade drawers. One option requires wood of a compatible species to the exposed surfaces ( For opaque finish drawer boxes (, 7 or 9 ply hardwood plywood or MDO surfaced plywood is required for the drawer sides. For transparent finish drawer boxes (, 7 or 9 ply hardwood plywood is required for the drawer sides. For drawer bottoms, look at page 268, item, where a minimum of 1/4" thick drawer bottoms is required. Note that for drawers wider than 30" (762 mm), 1/2" thick minimum material is required for the drawer bottoms.

As seen on page 264, item for laminate casework, there is one material option for Premium Grade drawers. This option requires veneer core plywood with HPDL overlay (See definition on page 390.) or LPDL overlay (See definition on page 392.) ( Drawer bottoms can be particleboard or MDF with HPDL or LPDL overlay ( What this means is that you cannot provide a laminate cabinet with opaque or transparent finish drawer boxes. On the other hand you cannot provide a wood cabinet with HPDL or LPDL clad drawer boxes.

Staying on page 264, laminate cabinets, look at item Note that the minimum thickness for drawer box sides for laminate cabinets in Premium and Custom Grade is 15/32" (12 mm) with a maximum thickness of 5/8" (15.9 mm). This means that 3/4" thick drawer boxes are not allowed in Premium or Custom Grade for laminate cabinets.

Now, let's look at wood cabinets. On page 263, item note that the minimum thickness for drawer box sides for wood cabinets in Premium and Custom Grade is 15/32" (12 mm) with a maximum thickness of 5/8" (15.9 mm). This means that 3/4" thick drawer boxes are not allowed in Premium or Custom Grade for wood cabinets.

What about the visible edges of the drawer boxes? For wood cabinets, solid lumber boxes would of course have the exposed lumber edges. However please note that on page 285 you will see that the drawer box edges need to be stop shaped ( Looking at page 284 item ( you will see that visible edges of wood casework in Premium Grade are required to be edge banded.

As you can see, a simple five (5) piece box can require great detail and attention in order to meet the AWS requirements. Go through the book and see how your drawer boxes stack up!

About the author: Shows Leary has been an AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) inspector since 1996. He has served as QCP's Regional Representative and as a member of the Quality Certification Corporation Board of Directors and Board of Appeals. He is an alternate member of the AWI Technical Committee. Contact Shows Leary at shows@showsleary.com.

Please see cautionary AWI disclaimer in right-hand column. 


[Return to top]   [Print this article]

AWS Errata Web Site – Check for Latest Changes

The AWI Technical Committee reminds members about Errata published – and changing continually – for the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS). See the latest changes.

AWI members are reminded that the Errata List is a living document and should be checked frequently for changes in the AWS. Don’t be caught using outdated information on your next project that specifies the AWS.

Many changes have been made since October 1, 2009 following publication of the First Edition of the AWS in August 2009. The Errata Web site is the ultimate source of information which is posted as AWS data changes.

Visit http://www.aws-errata.com/ for errors and corrections to the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) jointly produced and published by the three developers: AWI, the Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute (WI).
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Member News

Stiles Shop Solutions Offers Machinery Prize for WoodLINKS Contest

Stiles Shop Solutions is supporting the WoodLINKS RTA Contest at IWF, August 25-28, 2010 in Atlanta, with a donation of a new Ironwood machine for the RTA prize package valued at $30,000.

The winner can choose between three new Ironwood machines with a value of up to $7,500. For more details visit www.stilesshop.com.

Stiles Machinery has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1996 and continues as an annual Sustaining Sponsor of AWI.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Stiles Woodworking Course Catalog Released as 20th Anniversary Edition

In other news, Stiles Education has published its 20th anniversary catalog of education courses. From six students in May of 1990 to over 29,000 alumni, Stiles is celebrating its unique role as the woodworking industry’s education and training center.

Stiles Education provides training in compliance with the skill standards developed by the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) of North America.

For more details, see the article reported on July 28th in Woodworking Network (free subscription). For the new catalog and current classes and dates, visit www.stilesmachinery.com/se.

Congratulations Stiles! Thanks for supporting and educating the architectural woodwork industry all these years and for putting the WCA Skill Standards to work.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Federal Scene

Employers Allowed to Electronically Store I-9 Forms Starting in August

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released procedures for employers that want to electronically store federal I-9 forms for employment eligibility verification. Beginning August 23, 2010, employers may use paper or electronic I-9 storage systems, or a combination of the two.

"If an employer chooses to store I-9 forms electronically, it must institute a system that: stores scanned copies or ties records of hard-copy backup documents to the electronic forms; includes secure electronic signatures so that employees can attest to the validity of the forms; and allows employers to print copies of the forms for employees who request them, or for enforcement officers," the American Subcontractors Association reported.

To view the procedures, click here.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

U.S. House Adds Toxic Chemicals to Its Reform Agenda

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced legislation that would make sweepings changes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical policies. The strong reform legislation, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Action of 2010, would plant the burden of proof of safety firmly on chemical manufacturers.

Currently, the government must determine when a chemical is dangerous. This legislation, as well as the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 introduced in the U.S. Senate in April, would change that. The House bill would impose stronger disclosure requirements on chemical manufacturers.

For more details, click here for an article that appeared in GreenerDesign News (free subscription). To view each bill and legislative action to date, visit http://thomas.loc.gov. Type in the bill name in the search box.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Chapter News

Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter Getting Ready to Grow

The AWI Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter is gearing up for "active status" and is inviting participation and volunteers to participate.

The chapter is headed by Mark Moeller of M.S. Moeller Cabinetry & Millwork, Inc. in Westminster, MD. He is seeking election of two volunteers for the positions of Secretary and Treasurer. To learn more about the volunteers’ qualifications, see the attached letter. Contact Mark Moeller at mmoeller@msmoeller.com.

If you are interested in participating in the chapter, give them your feedback via an online survey launched on July 15 at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7XZCD3Y.

Best wishes for success!
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in your local AWI chapters and 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.

AWI Arizona Chapter
When: August 6, 2010 (all day)
What: Golf Outing, Happy Hour, Plant Tour of European Techniques, Chapter Business Meeting
Where: Prescott Lakes (www.prescottlakesgolf.com); European Techniques (www.europeantechniques.com)
Questions & Registration: Carlos Castillo at ccastillo@jowat.com 

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
When: August 19-21, 2010
What: Summer Event (Opening reception, plant tours – Strata Design and Thomas & Milliken, wine tasting, boat cruise) in conjunction with AWI National Board of Directors meeting
Program Sponsors: AWI National, AWI Great Lakes Chapter, Strata Design, Lumbermen’s Inc., JKL Machinery, JB Cutting, and Stiles Machinery
Where: Park Place Hotel, Traverse City, MI
Information: Click here.
Questions: Debra Behring, dbehring@jbcutting.com; 586.468.4765 (p) 

AWI Georgia Chapter
When: August 23, 2010|
What: Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Where: InsiDesign
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: September 8, 2010
What: Chapter Meeting
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Georgia Chapter
When: September 10, 2010
What: Golf Outing
Where: Marietta City Club, Marietta, GA
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Virginia Chapter
When: September 10, 2010
What: Chapter Meeting & Election of New Officers
Where: Richmond, VA
Information: Contact Bruce Cody, bcody@arcwoodva.com 

AWI National Meeting with Potential Oregon Chapter
When: September 15, 2010
What: Meeting with Prospective Oregon Chapter Members
Program: Overview Presentation about AWS by Greg Bednar
Information: Contact Greg Bednar, gbednar@awinet.org 

AWI New England Chapter
When: September 15, 2010
What: Chapter Meeting
Special Guest: AWI Board of Directors member Matt Lundahl
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
When: September 15, 2010 (8:00 – 10:00 am)
What: Chapter Board Meeting Conference Call
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Heart of America Chapter
When: September 16, 2010
What: Annual Golf Outing Hosted by Liberty Hardwoods
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: September 17, 2010
What: Chapter Membership Meeting
Where: Myrtle Beach, SC
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Iowa-Nebraska Chapter
When: September 17, 2010
What: Chapter Meeting at DMAC
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: September 17, 2010
What: Clay Pigeon Shoot & Meeting
Where: Owenton, KY
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Minnesota Chapter
When: September 24 2010
What Horse & Hunt / Sporting Clays / Gun Shoot
Special Guest: AWI President Doug Carney
Information: Contact Chapter Officers  

AWI Texas Chapter
When: September 30, 2010
What: Octoberfest
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

All chapters are encouraged to plan their events early to allow for ample promotion of your activities in this section of AWI e-briefs as well as through other avenues. Contact Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services at gbednar@awinet.org.

Members are encouraged to check chapter event listings in the most recent issue of AWI e-briefs, as well as with chapter officers and chapter Web sites for program changes. As plans become finalized, dates and presentations may change for chapter programs previously listed. This issue of AWI e-briefs contains the most current information available to AWI National.
[Return to top]   [Print this article]

Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published August 19, 2010.

[Return to top]   [Print this article]

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


Click on each of the sponsor logos below to visit their web sites!
Get better acquainted with these AWI Supplier Members and generous supporters of AWI.




Lamin Art








Biesse America


August 25-28, 2010
Atlanta, GA
IWF Registation

"LEED® - Green /
Sustainable Woodwork"
AWI Presentation at IWF
August 26, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
Click here for IWF
Education Track Details

58th AWI Annual Convention
Oct. 27-30, 2010
Denver, CO
Registration Open
With Early Bird Specials!


Leverage the AWS!
Build Business Partnerships

Presentations Available for Chapters, Architects, Woodworkers

Request a speaker/program
at www.awispeaker.org

AWI Speakers Bureau 

AWI - a Recognized Provider
AIA Learning Units

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


AWI Help Line!
Contact help@awinet.org, a dedicated e-mail address to assure timely response to your requests for technical assistance.


AWI Store
Your Resource for Architectural Woodwork Products & Publications Click here to shop now!


Update Your AWI
Contact Information
Keep your connection to AWI current.  Make certain that you receive all e-communications and subscriptions. Whenever your contact information changes, login to www.awinet.org and update your information or e-mail Cassey Gibson, AWI Membership Manager.


Member Company

AWI and members want to know about your company’s personnel changes, business expansion, awards, education programs, "green" business practices and certifications, and more. Send news and press releases to AWI Marketing Director Katie Allen.

Check the AWI Web site for AWI Member Company News.  Click here.




The in-kind donations by AWI to the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference have earned it the status of official sponsorship.  As the organizer and developer of the national SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition, AWI plays an impressive role in the entire contest process. 


Leverage Connections.
Use AWI Networking Tools!

Find AWI on Facebook! 

Join the AWI network
of 600+ contacts on

Cautionary Disclaimer

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) makes every effort to ensure that published information is accurate and current. Neither AWI, nor any content contributor, officer, or employee of AWI warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published in AWI News-Briefs and/or AWI e-briefs, nor endorses any products, services or other information resources linked from AWI’s editorial content and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of the information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at their own risk.