AWI e-briefs
A semimonthly news publication for Manufacturing & Supplier Members of the
Architectural Woodwork Institute
January 19, 2017
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This Month

Dates to Remember In January

  • AWI Spring Leadership Conference Registration Is Open Now!
    The 2017 leadership gathering, April 3-4 in Lexington, KY, will focus on communication and partnerships that get the job done.  Registration is open.  Check out the program and other details here. 

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Safety Matters

AWI / Federated Insurance 2017 Safety Awards Submissions Opened

Click here to download the Federated Insurance Safety Awards Flyer

The AWI/Federated Insurance Safety Awards recognize AWI Manufacturing members for their efforts to create a safe work environment for their employees. The program awards are based on a company's Incident Rate. The Incident Rate is a nationally recognized measure of safety and equalizes the accident Rate for all sizes of firms. Awards will be distributed in each of four categories based on company size.

Three different awards will be conferred to worthy member participants: Best Safety Achievement Award; Zero Lost Time Accident Achievement Award; and Safety Improvement Recognition Award. 


All winners receive recognition within the AWI membership and our industry.

Winners can use their award status as value-added marketing collateral to help differentiate their company above competitors and to convey the company's commitment to safety, quality operations and superlative management.

Winners who proudly display their awards at their place of business will build staff company pride, teamwork, increased safety awareness and demonstrate the organization’s ongoing commitment to safety and employee well-being.

At their annual business insurance renewal periods, winners are encouraged communicate and convey their Safety Award status to insurance agents and underwriters as testament to the organization's quality safety program, commitment to ongoing safety, and national recognition for achievements in the area of safety and risk management.


All company data submitted will be held in strict confidence. Individual data submitted by each firm will not be released as identifiable data to any other members, firms or individuals. All participants will receive a submission confirmation e-mail within 24 hours of submission. Participants will receive notification of an award after all submissions have been received and calculated.

How to Submit Your Information:

Access the following survey link, using the ID and Passwords specified below.

Survey Link:


PASSWORD: safety

Submissions must be received by March 3, 2017.

The 2017 Safety Award winners will be recognized during the 2017 AWI Annual Convention in Charleston, South Carolina, October 29-31, 2017.

If you need further assistance, contact Katie Allen, or call 571-323-3611.

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OSHA Offers New Outreach Training Elective on Safety Leadership

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Outreach Training Program and the Center for Construction Research and Training have developed a new OSHA 30-hour construction training elective course: “Foundations for Safety Leadership”.

Responding to a training gap identified by contractors, unions and other industry stakeholders, FSL is designed to introduce construction workers, particularly foremen and lead workers, to five critical safety leadership skills needed to improve jobsite safety climate and safety outcomes. The course stresses the importance of leading by example, engaging and empowering team members, listening and communicating effectively, coaching and providing feedback, and recognizing team members who go above and beyond for safety. The FSL course is available on OSHA’s Outreach Training Program Web page.

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AWI Announces Development of National Testing Center

In conjunction with development of the next generation of woodwork standards, which are being written by AWI as a Standards Developer Organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute, AWI has leased and set up a Testing Center in Americus, Georgia where casework will tested next month.

Watch for news about the AWI National Testing Center in the February edition of AWI’s monthly print newsletter, NewsBriefs, coming online early next month.

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AWI / ANSI Woodwork Standards Update

Find out what’s going on!  To maintain open communications about ANSI / AWI Standards in development with the entire architectural woodwork industry, AWI is posting all progress reports on the AWI Web site,  Find the most recent update under “News and Highlights” on the home page where you can access the AWI Position Statement and Update Report dated November 2016.

For other details about AWI’s role in standards development, see back issues of AWI NewsBriefs as follows: January 2016, March 2016, April 2016, June 2016, August 2016, and December 2016 (within the “State of the Association” Report by 2016 AWI President Greg Lutz). Access back issues of NewsBriefs online here.

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National Woods Manufacturing Training Center Open House

The Peyton and Widefield School Districts in Colorado are proud to announce the establishment of the National Woods Manufacturing Training Center. This initiative will provide advance manufacturing-trade training to students in its local area, the likely future of the labor force.

The development of the National Woods Manufacturing Training Center is a remarkable story.  The January edition of AWI NewsBriefs reported about it in the story “Journey to Opening…” which is accessible here.

Join them at an upcoming Open House!Wednesday, February 8 (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm (Central)

Peyton-Widefield Vocational Education Campus,
Home to the National Woods Manufacturing Training Center

Timothy Kistler and Scott Campbell will be giving a tour of the new facility, and will show off the new high-end CNC equipment that has been donated and will share information about the Center’s programs and how others can participate.

Timothy Kistler
Superintendent, Peyton School District 23Jt

Scott Campbell
Superintendent, Widefield School District D3

Click here for details and registration.

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Unique Millennial Traits That Can Help Your Business Thrive

The Millennial generation is the largest segment of the current workforce.  Unique and embracing different values, the Millennials may require Baby Boomers and GenXers to understand and adapt their management styles to maximize productivity and more.

Learn how to reap positive results from some Millennial traits by clicking here.

Consult the lead article in the April 2015 edition of NewsBriefs here to refresh your memory about the fundamental differences and expectations among the Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Millennial generations.  In the article, “The New Generation: Attracting and Retaining Your Most Valuable Resource” 2015 AWI convention speaker Cam Marston offers key insights.

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Business Tools

2017 Cost of Doing Business Survey Opens in February

This year’s annual AWI CODB Survey will open online February 21.  Mark your calendar and get ready to participate.  The results assist participating AWI Manufacturing Members in keeping their business on course to optimize profit margins.

The CODBS consistently outranks other AWI programs and services as the most valuable membership benefit.  Watch for the March issue of AWI NewsBriefs and other AWI communications for insights about the value of the CODBS to your business and for tips and techniques that make participation easier.

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Construction Industry News

Architecture Billings Index Ends Year on Positive Note

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) concluded the year in positive terrain, with the December reading capping off three straight months of growth in design billings.  Architectural firms closed 2016 with the strongest performance of the year.

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 December ABI score was 55.9, up sharply from 50.6 in the previous month. This score reflects the largest increase in design services in 2016 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.2, down from a reading of 59.5 the previous month.

“The sharp upturn in design activity as we wind down the year is certainly encouraging. This bodes well for the design and construction sector as we enter the new year”,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, December is an atypical month for interpreting trends, so the coming months will tell us a lot more about conditions that the industry is likely to see in 2017.”  

Key December ABI highlights include the following:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (54.4), Northeast (54.0), South (53.8), West (48.8).
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (54.3), institutional (53.3), mixed practice (51.9), multi-family residential (50.6).
  • Project inquiries index: 57.2.
  • Design contracts index: 51.2.

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Landmark AIA Study Offers Unprecedented Insights into the Architect’s Role in Specification

Architects are calling on manufacturers of building products and materials to advance their digital capabilities, as well as their ability to consult and advise customers in the many phases of construction projects, according to a new study published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

“The Architect’s Journey to Specification” assesses the cultural, technical, and informational influences in the choices made by America’s building design professionals. The ground-breaking research into the preferences, habits and attitudes of architects in their roles as specifiers of building products also shows that transparency and knowledge sharing are critical to influencing choices about products to be used.

“The architect’s role in specification is well-known in the construction industry, but the manner of their choices and decisions is often confusing to many,” said Michele Russo, Senior Director of Research for the AIA. “’The Architect’s Journey to Specification’ provides a broad view into the process for architects across the United States, in small and large firms, focusing on multiple project types, across the design, specification, and approval stages of a project.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Improved Web sites. Architects want product websites that are clear, concise, up-to-date, and easy to navigate. They also want easy access (no sign-up to view product information) and access to detailed information, including building information models and objects.
  • Focus on education. Architects are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain their license. Manufacturers can capitalize on this by creating and offering online and face-to-face educational programming that qualifies for continuing education credits. Beware the product pitch disguised as education. Relationships have been damaged over such miscues.
  • Be an expert. Architects want to talk to manufacturer representatives who know technical information about the product. Manufacturers should prepare their sales force to be highly knowledgeable about their products—and arm them with specifications for those products.
  • Be proactive. Architects see manufacturers as important influence agents in the specification phase of a project. Their time is typically very limited, so manufacturers should prepare their sales teams to understand the customer’s pain points first. That can help lead to a larger discussion about new product lines.
  • Be transparent. The more open a manufacturer can be about the specification for a product, the more loyalty and trust will be fostered with the architect. This will translate to greater market share, as architects start to look at the manufacturer as an extension of their project teams.

“This report has major implications for manufacturers of building and construction materials,” said John Crosby, Managing Director of Corporate Partnerships at the AIA. “The level of detail in the results provides a roadmap for future engagement with architects in order to gain preference in specification choices. The ability to filter the data online makes this report a must-have planning resource.”

The 49-page report is available as a stand-alone purchase or as a companion to an online data dashboard for business planning and market insight.  A special executive summary is available for download. To inquire about purchasing the report and the companion data dashboard, contact AIA on 844-432-1242 or

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Sponsor News

Biesse Will Display Cutting-Edge Technology at Charlotte’s Inside Biesse Event

From Biesse Group

In the center of North Carolina, Biesse’s Charlotte Campus will host the first Inside Biesse event of Spring 2017, on March 23 and 24. We are pleased to invite you to join us and discover over 23,000 sq. ft. of innovative technology at our state of the art showroom.   We will demonstrate solutions that combine the high output numbers of the assembly chain with the tailor-made value of artisan craftsmanship.  You will see exciting new technology like the revolutionary Winstore Automation and Management Systems, Panel Saws with the patented twin pusher technology, Viet’s Opera R, the only automated solution for sanding of MDF doors with flat center panel as well as removal of cross grain scratching of solidwood doors, CNC Routers with leading-edge technology, the award winning AirForce Hot Air System that delivers a zero-glue-line, drilling solutions, 5 Axis Machines, plus much more.

Industry professionals will be present for exchanging ideas, learning about new technology and discussing Industry 4.0.  Consult with Biesse’s product specialists, each with over 20 years of experience in the woodworking industry, who will be on hand to show you how Biesse technology can increase your production and advance your bottom line.

Please join us and let our knowledge go to work for you!  Visit

Biesse, an AWI Supplier Member since 1995, is a Level 4 AWI Sponsor.

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Business Management

It’s Your Life: Don’t Take a Chance—Valuation Methods for Buy-Sell Agreements

From Federated Insurance

A Buy/Sell Agreement helps a business owner “lock in” a value for the business. The Agreement does this by using a “valuation formula”. The formula you use could mean the difference between receiving liquidation value or fair market value. Does your valuation formula lock in fair market value?

Common Valuation Formulas for Buy/Sell Agreements

Option 1 – Book Value
The book value method (also known as net worth or owner’s equity) is simply the total assets minus the total liabilities as shown on your financial statement. This method is sometimes referred to as the “liquidation” method. This method usually understates the true fair market value of your business, as it does not account for goodwill, profitability, or recapture of accelerated depreciation.

Fair Market value of ABC Inc. = $1.4 million
Book Value = $450,000
Loss in value = $950,000

Option 2 – Agreed Value Method
With this method, owners periodically meet and set the value of the business in writing. This new value is then amended in the Buy/Sell Agreement. If you utilize this type, how long has it been since you documented a new value? If you have not adjusted the value to reflect today’s current value, you can lose.

Fair Marketing Value of ABC Inc. = $1.4 million
Last Documented Value (2003) = $800,000
Loss in Value = $600,000

Option 3 – Appraised Fair Market Value Method
This method has a stated process to formally or informally appraise the business. To arrive at fair market value, it factors in several things, such as the current value of assets, liabilities, goodwill, and profitability. This method ensures all interested parties receive the full value they deserve.

Appraised Fair Market Value of ABC Inc. = $1.4 million
Loss in Value = $0

Make sure your valuation method locks in the fair market value of your business. Take advantage of Federated’s Agreement EvaluatorSM to receive an informal review on the strengths and weaknesses of your valuation formula along with the other terms of your Buy/Sell Agreement.

This article is for general information and risk prevention recommendations only and should not be considered legal coverage, financial, tax, or medical advice.  The information may be subject to regulations and restrictions in your state.  There is no guarantee following these recommendations will help reduce or eliminate losses.  The information is accurate as of its publication date and is subject to change.  Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances. All rights reserved.

Federated Mutual Insurance Company / Federated Service Insurance Company (not licensed in the states of NH, NJ and VT) / Federated Life Insurance Company –

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Pitfalls and Benefits of Being a Buddy of Your Employees

As a manager and leader you walk a fine line between being a leader and a buddy to employees.  Can you befriend employees without going overboard?

Find out in a recent article on the subject at the People First Productivity Solutions blog here.

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FASA Publishes Manual to Help Construction Subcontractors Identify Their Rights in Each State

The Foundation of the American Subcontractors Association (FASA) has updated its Lien & Bond Claims in the 50 States, a downloadable manual outlining the lien and bond laws in each state and the District Columbia.

Construction subcontractors and suppliers rely on mechanic’s lien and payment bonds to assure that they are paid for work performed or materials furnished on construction projects. This manual can help them understand their lien and bond rights in the states in which their companies do business.

A mechanic’s lien is a claim against property to secure a debt, such as a debt owed to a construction subcontractor for the value of work performed and materials furnished on a construction project. A payment bond, which is required on most public construction, assures the owner that the prime contractor will pay its subcontractors and suppliers.

The FASA manual provides a summary of the basic requirements of each state’s lien and bond laws, including who is covered; critical deadlines for notices, claims and suits; filing procedures; and more. The summary of laws was prepared by Donald W. Gregory, Esq., and Eric B. Travers, Esq., Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter, Columbus, Ohio, ASA’s general counsel, with input from attorneys from around the country.

Lien & Bond Claims in the 50 States
(Item #3006) is $55 for ASA members and $80 for nonmembers.

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Risk Management Corner: Forces of Nature

From Federated Insurance

Natural disasters can occur anytime, anywhere and can destroy years of hard work in an instant. With proper planning, their impact on your livelihood can be minimized. If you haven’t developed a disaster plan for your business, or need to update your current plan, the following steps may help.*

Step 1 – Research your business’s exposures and the options available to minimize them.  

Step 2 – Create a disaster recovery plan.

  • Identify risks from natural and man-made disasters.
  • Classify operations critical to your business’s survival.
  • Document current employee contact information.
  • Know your key customers, suppliers, contacts, and vendors.
  • Establish information technology needs.
  • Determine your business’s financial needs following a disaster.

Step 3 – Back up your plan.

  • Make it available anytime, anywhere.
  • Be sure it’s accessible even when you can’t enter your facility.
  • Print a copy, and also store it electronically.
  • Regularly back up vital data and records and store a copy off-site.

Step 4 – Educate employees on the plan, and keep them informed of their responsibilities.

  • Test the business continuity plan periodically.
  • Encourage employees to also prepare themselves and their families for disasters.

Step 5 – Periodically review, practice, and update your plan.

A community cannot survive a disaster unless businesses survive, and businesses cannot survive unless their employees survive. Mother Nature doesn’t care who’s in her way. Developing a functional, practical disaster plan can help protect your business, your employees, and your future, and help you manage potential disasters with the confidence of knowing your business has prepared to carry on.

As a member of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety® (IBHS), Federated provides many valuable disaster and recovery planning resources to clients at no cost. The IBHS Disaster Safety Web site offers a ZIP Code tool to identify risks specific to a geographical region, and OFB-EZ® business continuity tool to help even the smallest businesses plan for recovery. For more information, visit, or contact your local Federated marketing representative or Federated’s Risk Management Resource Center at 1-888-333-4949.

*List is not all-inclusive. Your unique needs and business requirements must be considered when developing a disaster recovery plan.

This article is intended to provide general information and recommendations regarding rick prevention only.  There is no guarantee that following these guidelines will result in reduced losses or eliminate any risks.  This information may be subject to regulations and restrictions in your state and should not be considered legal advice.  Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances and applicable state laws.  All rights reserved.

 Federated Mutual Insurance Company / Federated Service Insurance Company (not licensed in the states of NH, NJ and VT) / Federated Life Insurance Company –

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Learning Forums

Stiles Says 2017 Executive Briefing Conference Promises to Be Inspiring

Stiles Machinery invites you to mark your calendar to attend its 2017 Executive Briefing Conference. Held in Detroit, Michigan April 23-25, the Executive Briefing Conference is an educational experience arming company leaders with the knowledge, strategies and forward-thinking attitude necessary for succeeding in today's manufacturing world.

The conference, hosted by Stiles Machinery, Inc., combines inspiring speakers, insightful case-studies of industry innovators, behind-the-curtain tours through advanced manufacturing facilities, networking with industry peers and informational briefings focused on providing best business practices and solutions to common manufacturing challenges that decision-makers are facing in today’s economy.

Taking place at the famous Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Downtown Detroit, the Executive Briefing Conference includes best-selling authors and keynote speakers including Josh Linkner, New York Times best-selling author of The Road to Reinvention speaking on inspiring, disruptive innovation. EBC 2017 also welcomes back Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics to provide attendees his popular economic forecast and advice on successfully managing current economic cycles. Featured presentations from a variety of industry experts touch on topics related to the importance of data management, trends in automation, closing the ever-widening skills gap and how to survive and thrive in this rapidly-growing digital world.

Register today to attend. Go to to sign up and receive more information. The Executive Briefing Conference is in its 13th year.

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New Live ITR Economics Webinar: Building Transferable Value

What is the importance of transferable value to your business?  How does the economic outlook impact your ability to build your company's transferable value?

Join ITR Economics' Alex Chausovsky and SDR Ventures' Chris Bouck on February 14th for an exclusive webinar on building transferable value. Together, these industry experts will explore economic trends and business strategies for business owners, including:

  • ITR Economics' expectations for the US economy through 2020.
  • Strategies on how to build transferable value for any size business based on today's economic climate.
  • Receive tools and insights on how to utilize ITR's Phases of the Business Cycle and SDR Ventures' Building Transferable Value Checklist.

Tuesday February 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST


Click here to learn more or register now.

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Federal Scene

2017 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on January 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016.
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile and the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile from 2016. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.   The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

These and other requirements are described in Rev. Proc. 2010-51. Notice 2016-79, posted on December 13, 2016 on, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

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Final OSHA Rule Clarifies the Ongoing Obligation to Make and Maintain Accurate Records of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule that clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness. The final rule became effective January 18, 2017.

OSHA’s longstanding position has been that an employer’s duty to record an injury or illness continues for the full five-year record-retention period, and this position has been upheld by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in cases dating back to 1993. In 2012, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in AKM LLC v. Secretary of Labor (Volks) reversing the Commission and rejecting OSHA’s position on the continuing nature of its prior recordkeeping regulations.

The new final rule more clearly states employers’ obligations. “This rule simply returns us to the standard practice of the last 40 years,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “It is important to keep in mind that accurate records are not just paperwork; they have a valuable and potentially life-saving purpose.”

The amendments in the final rule add no new compliance obligations and do not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not already required.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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AWI e-briefs

Upcoming Editions

Watch for e-briefs on:

  • February 9, 2017 (News of AWI and its affiliated organizations: QCP, WCA, AWIEF, Speakers Bureau)

  • February 23, 2017 (Business, industry, safety, construction, and other news)

Depend on e-briefs to bring you news of AWI publications and programs and other pertinent information that impacts your architectural woodwork business.

For prior issues of AWI e-briefs, click here.

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Upcoming Education
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Education Outreach
Programs Coming Soon!

AWI Spring Leadership
April 3-4, 2017
Lexington, KY



New England Chapter
January 25, 2017
“CAD/CAM: Creating
the Right Fit”


AWI Webinars

If you’ve missed any of the
informative webinars hosted by AWI, you can access them in the password-protected “Members Only” section of the AWI Web site here.  Log in using your AWI member access codes and click on “Webinar Recordings”.


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46179 Westlake Drive, Suite 120, Potomac Falls, VA 20165
phone 571.323.3636  fax 571.323.3630  web

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.

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