AWI e-briefs
A semimonthly news publication for Manufacturing & Supplier Members of the
Architectural Woodwork Institute
May 22, 2014
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The AWI CODB Survey Closed with Historic Participation

On May 12, the 2014 Annual Cost of Doing Business Survey closed. “Participation was the third highest in the 15-year history of the CODBS and up 23% from last year.  The increased participation will enhance the value of the resulting data,” said Teresa McCain, project manager and staff liaison on the survey.

AWI thanks all Manufacturing Members who participated in the 2014 CODBS.  AWI’s third party vendor is compiling the results.  Survey participants will receive an e-mail when the online results are available and will be shipped a copy of the Cost of Doing Business Survey and Compensation Study Report upon publication.

Contact Teresa McCain at, if you have any questions.

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Free Webinar on CODBS Results — Don’t Miss the Review!

WEBINAR: “Cost of Doing Business Survey 2014 — The Numbers Are In!”

June 18, 2014
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EDT)

Sebastien DesMarais, AWI Financial Management Committee Chair and CFO of Hollywood Woodwork

What size companies are most profitable? Are profit margins up? What differentiates high-profit companies? What benefits do companies in your region offer employees?  Find out!

The Cost of Doing Business Report includes industry specific business, financial and human capital benchmarks. Gather your management team and join us for an overview and brief analysis of the survey results. Gain insights into the changes from the 2013 CODBS data.

Then delve into your own financials and find ways to improve your bottom line. Discover avenues for trimming costs, increasing profits, and more.

Cost: Free to all Manufacturing Members regardless of participation

Register Here 

Questions? Contact Camerine Findlay,

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Why Is Coaching an Important Workplace Tool?

From Insperity

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is a popular adage, often found in advice columns.  When it comes to workplace coaching, however, such advice is misplaced. To help ensure ongoing solid work performance, supervisors should coach employees on a regular basis. 

What exactly is coaching?  Basically, it comprises informal, day-to-day guidance, and ongoing feedback and direction from supervisors to employees.  Coaching also encompasses goal setting, feedback sessions, training and employee recognition.  When it comes to coaching, keep in mind that:

  • Annual reviews are insufficient. Managers should meet with employees regularly to create and/or adjust a performance plan.
  • Training is key to attaining objectives. Through honing job skills and developing new ones, employees improve their performance and accelerate their career growth.
  • Even the best employees need regular feedback. Without it they may become complacent or unmotivated.

In short, coaching is not something extra for supervisors to do if and when they have the luxury of time; it should be a day-to-day responsibility.  By prioritizing coaching, managers can support improvement in employee performance – even if that performance is already at a high level – and, in doing so, raise employee morale that contributes to the success of the business.
About Insperity

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 27 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace.  Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization™ solution.  Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services.  Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees.  With 2012 revenues of $2.2 billion, Insperity operates in 57 offices throughout the United States.  For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit

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AWI Design Solutions 2014 Spring Edition Is Now Online

The 2014 spring edition of Design Solutions, the official journal of AWI, is now available online.

Each quarterly issue of Design Solutions showcases beautiful examples of fine architectural woodwork manufactured by AWI Manufacturing Member companies, and serves to promote the value of woodwork to architects and designers planning future projects.  This issue features:

South Shore Medical Center, Norwell, MA
    Chamberlain Woodwork (NH)

Feynman Center, Fitchburg, WI
    Lange Bros. Woodwork Co., Inc. (WI)

Independence Bank, Paducah, KY
    Louisville Lumber & Millwork (KY)

Jones Walker Law Offices, Mobile, AL
    Deas Millwork Company (AL)

Cornerstone Article: "I've Got A Problem With The Woodwork On My Project"

Education: "Wood Finishing Fundamentals"

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Two New ConsensusDocs Agreements: One Relating to Design Professionals; the Other to Testing Labs

Last week, ConsensusDocs released the industry’s first standard design-build agreement (#422) for design professional services on federal projects. The comprehensive agreement provides the business and contractual terms and conditions for a design-builder to hire an architect or engineer on a design-build project in a manner consistent with federal contracting laws and practices. The new agreement includes language that addresses new regulations for affirmative action requirements for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities from the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that recently took effect.

In a separate action, the ConsensusDocs Coalition has published a new standard contract for testing laboratory services. General Contractors, contractually referred to as Constructors, often contract with an independent testing lab. “The new agreement provides a fair and balanced contractual foundation for contractors and testing labs alike to ensure that both parties clearly understand their respective roles and responsibilities,” according to Joe Leone, Chair of the ConsensusDocs working group that created the document and Partner at Drewry Simmons Vornehm, LLP in Indianapolis, IN. “This new short form agreement should facilitate the procurement of lab services for all types of construction projects,” he said. The ConsensusDocs 748 helps protect constructors and the labs they retain to ensure that all parties know their respective roles and responsibilities.

ConsensusDocs are the only consensus standard contracts written and endorsed by a unique coalition of 40+ design and construction industry associations. ConsensusDocs remains committed to its project-first mission with contracts that are written in plain English, incorporate best practices and address emerging trends.

For more information, visit As a member of the ConsensusDocs coalition, AWI can extend discounts, typically 20%, on purchases of documents.  Use code: AWI100 when prompted.

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Green Scene

South Carolina Rejects LEED® v4 Materials Credit

On April 7, legislation was signed into law by the Governor of South Carolina rejecting the LEED v4 Materials Credit.

HR3592 states “The regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection (A) must provide that the rating systems provide certification credits for, preference for, and promotes building materials or furnishings, including, but not limited to, wood grown in this State, and masonry, plastics, concrete, steel, textiles, and wood that are manufactured or produced within the State. The regulations promulgated may not place at a disadvantage building materials or furnishings that are manufactured or produced within the State.”

To read the full text of the new law, click here.

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Drexel Study Shows Green Globes Certification is Less Expensive to Achieve than LEED®

The Green Building Initiative (GBI) recently announced that, according to a recent study completed by Drexel University professor Jeffrey Beard, GBI’s Green Globes certification process is significantly less expensive to conduct and faster to complete than LEED certification, GBI President Jerry Yudelson announced.

“Green Globe certification currently gives the market a choice among certification systems and provides competition that helps improve results for users, resulting in more innovation and lower costs over time,” Mr. Yudelson said. “In this particular project, the cost savings to the University were on the order of $1.00 per square foot, a significant number for a large building.”

The final report, prepared by Beard, an associate professor in the Department of Construction Management at Drexel’s College of Engineering, is titled “A Study of Comparative Sustainability Certification Costs/Green Rating System Cost Comparison Study: LEED and Green Globes.”

Beard’s research examined:

1. Intrinsic hard costs
– allocable on a line-by-line basis – for meeting criteria in each of the rating systems;

2. Soft costs, whether accounted for as part of the indirect project costs or secondary soft costs that arose as a result of the project, but were otherwise allocated or absorbed; and

3. Optional costs
arising from implementation of the two green building rating systems. The research was confined to the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building at Drexel’s West Philadelphia campus, a five-story, 130,000 square-foot laboratory and classroom building that opened in 2011.

To view the full study, including the comparative charts, click here.

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Green Globes Standard Benefits from Favorable Government Decisions

The Green Globes green building rating system is gaining ground resulting from several state and federal government rulings that recognize GBI as an alternative to LEED®.  Changes in laws in South Carolina and Ohio and approval from the General Services Administration are significant for the acceptance of Green Globes vs. LEED certification in certain projects.

For details and background information, click here.

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Industry Learning Forum

ConsensusDocs Offers Free Contracting Issues Webinar

WEBINAR: “Key Contracting Issues for Owner & Design Professional Agreements—Comparing Key Provisions in AIA & ConsensusDocs Contracts”

August 7, 2014
:00 pm  —  3:00 pm (ET)

Key provisions for every Owner and Design Professional agreement will be analyzed.  Topics of discussion include:

  • Ownership of documents* Indemnification
  • Standard of Care
  • BIM
  • Dispute mitigation and resolution

Speakers:    Frank E. Riggs, Esq., Troutman & Sanders, LLP, Atlanta, GA and Timothy Gibbons, Esq., Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., Chattanooga, TN

  Carrie L. Ciliberto, Esq., The Associated General Contractors of America

If prompted for an association code, use AWI100.  AWI is a member of the ConsensusDocs coalition.

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Stiles Machinery & Madison College Co-Host Lunch & Learn Seminar

Stiles Machinery and Madison Area Technical College (MATC) joined together recently to conduct their third and final lunch and learn seminar for the 2013-14 school year. Stiles’ team of solid wood experts included Chuck Carter, David Hise, and Dave Schmidt.  

The all-day seminar included presentations on the rough mill, tool room setup, profile knife grinding, tooling, and moulder applications. The seminar was attended by individuals from several companies as well as current Cabinetmaking & Millwork Program students. In the words of one participant, “Thank you for allowing industry into your classroom for the Stiles presentation. This was beneficial for me, but I cannot express enough how awesome this is that you are exposing the students to these kinds of learning opportunities. They had exposure to things at the seminar that took me 25 years in the industry to gain such experiences. The exposure for the students is great for the future of our industry.”

“We are grateful to Stiles for their continued support and willingness to partner with us to present these high quality programs at no cost for attendees. Previous programs have included Veneering and Overlays as well as the ever popular Sanding & Finishing Seminar held each fall,” said MATC Cabinetmaking & Millwork Program Director Patrick Molzahn. For more information on the program at Madison College, visit:

Stiles Machinery has been a Supplier Member since 1996 and is the Founding Sponsor of AWI.  Patrick Molzahn is the Woodwork Career Alliance Chief Evaluator for the Midwest Region.

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Construction Industry

International Surface Fabricators Association Names New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) is pleased to announce that Keith Haight has been named to replace Chuck Sawyer as Executive Director of ISFA. Mr. Sawyer, a 40-year veteran of the surfacing industry, has been the ISFA Executive Director since 2012 and is retiring from his service to ISFA in order to enjoy more personal time with his grandchildren, expand his hobby of artistic woodworking and have time to travel and create new adventures with his wife, Karen.

Mr. Haight, a decorative surfacing professional, is owner of Maximus Operandi Consulting LLC and former Fabrication Manager with DuPont. His background and experience is in fabrication shop/business management. He will assume his new duties on July 1, 2014, following his relocation to the Pittsburgh area. For the past year Mr. Haight has been a volunteer project manager for ISFA, working with Sawyer and the team on solid surface and quartz surfacing fabrication standards, as well as other initiatives.

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Demand for Cabinets Expected to Grow in Residential & Nonresidential Markets

Demand for cabinets in the U.S. is forecast to rise 6.6 percent annually to $16.0 billion in 2018, driven by a rebound in residential building construction expenditures, according to a new study (#3161) released by Fredonia.

Rapid advances in new housing completions will fuel demand for cabinetry. Not only will more houses be constructed, but many of these houses will feature larger kitchens and multiple bathrooms, the two rooms where cabinets are most often installed. Further gains will be spurred by the residential improvement and repair market. Increasing home values and a more favorable lending environment will encourage consumers to engage in home improvement projects, such as cabinet-intensive kitchen and bathroom renovations. Not only will homeowners install more cabinets, but these cabinets will often feature value-added amenities that enhance convenience, such as light emitting diode lighting, pull-out shelves, storage racks, and easy-to-open doors.

Through 2018, demand for cabinets in the nonresidential market is anticipated to advance 6.1 percent annually to $3.0 billion. Solid growth in office and commercial construction spending and institutional construction expenditures will boost demand. Hotels, office buildings, and healthcare facilities use cabinets to provide secure yet attractive storage solutions. Moreover, a more favorable economic outlook will support consumer demand, spurring demand for store fixture cabinets. Nonconstruction demand for cabinets will be promoted by rebounding shipments of recreational boats, business jets, and recreational vehicles. Cabinets are installed in these craft to make them better resemble residences, according to Fredonia.

Click here to view the table of contents and for information about purchase of the whole or parts of the study.

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AIA Unveils New Leading Indicator in Construction Research White Paper

By measuring the movement of design contracts in the monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is now able to trace the path of resources into the design and construction industry from the earliest conceptualization until it results in finished projects. This new indicator is being spotlighted in an AIA economic research white paper, “Designing the Construction Future.”

“We have been tracking new project inquiries – bids, general solicitations, interview invitations – which tend to be rather subjective, so we began looking for a more precise way of estimating future levels of billings activity at architecture firms,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We determined that the most accurate predictor of future design workloads is the monthly change in the volume of new design contracts.”

Design contracts are the agreements between the client and architecture firm on the scope of, and compensation for, new design projects. Similar to how construction contract awards act as a leading indicator of future construction spending, design contracts are expected to provide a comparable glimpse of future billings and design activity. Trends in the dollar volume of design contracts end up filling an important gap between trends in project inquiries and actual design billings.

The AIA began collecting data on design contracts in October 2010 and with over three years of data there is enough information to seasonally adjust the index. Preliminary analysis suggests that a change in firm billings follows a change in design contacts by approximately six months.

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Contraction in Architecture Billings Index Continues

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reverted into negative territory for the last two months. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the April ABI score was 49.6, up slightly from a mark of 48.8 in March. This score reflects a decrease in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.1, up from the reading of 57.9 the previous month.

The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in April was 54.6.

“Despite an easing in demand for architecture services over the last couple of months, there is a pervading sense of optimism that business conditions are poised to improve as the year moves on,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With a healthy figure for design contracts this should translate into improved billings in the near future.”

Key April ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (57.5), West (48.9), Midwest (47.0), Northeast (42.9).
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (52.6), commercial / industrial (50.2), mixed practice (50.7), institutional (47.1).
  • Project inquiries index: 59.1.
  • Design contracts index: 54.6.

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AWI e-briefs

Upcoming Editions

  • June 5 — all AWI news as well as its affiliates, the Quality Certification Program and the Woodwork Career Alliance.
  • June 19 —  news about the industry and business issues.

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Upcoming Education
June 6, 2014
2:00 -- 3:00 pm (EDT)

Webinar: “Contracts--OSHA Knocking at Your Door”


Click here.

Register Here


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