AWI e-briefs - 03/03/2011 (Plain Text Version)

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Did You Know...the Four Parts of Each Section in 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 the four parts of each section of the AWS.

In sections 1 through 12 of the AWS you will notice that each of these sections is divided into four main categories: General, Product, Execution and Compliance. (Although all 4 sections are not used in every section) Is there any significance to this breakdown and which sections are required for compliance matters?

Looking at the User's Guide on page 7 you will see a description of the four (4) categories.

General: Covers general information about that particular section, scope related items and information to be used in the absence of specifications.

Product: Covers required minimum material, machining and assembly requirements for each grade of work, Economy, Custom and Premium.

Execution: Covers minimum installation requirements for each grade of work, Economy, Custom and Premium.

Compliance: Covers observation and testing methods to verify that each product meets the standards.

Do all four sections contain requirements or can they be considered suggestions? Looking at page 6, in the third paragraph you will see that the Introduction, Table of Contents, Suggestion Form (Page 10), Appendixes and General portions of sections 1-12 are not a part of these Standards for compliance purposes.

As an example, look at page 154 of section 7 Stairwork and Rails. You can see that the topics covered include the three possible grades found within the section (Economy, Custom and Premium); Basic Considerations such as reference to other sections for the quality of materials used for Stairwork and rails. And definitions of exposed, semi exposed and concealed surfaces related to Stairwork and rails.

Looking at the expanded view of stairs as seen on page 155 you will see a blow up view of a typical stair. This gives a view of options for stair details but does not require that all the pieces shown are required. Now, when you get into the Product section on page 157 that is where you find the exact requirements for the stair you are building. On page 164 you will find the Execution requirements for the installation of your stairs. And, finally on page 168 you will find the Compliance section so you can test your work and verify that it complies with the AWS requirements.

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 Leary Project Management, LLC,

Please see cautionary AWI statement in the right-hand column.

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