AWI Quality Times - Summer 2009 (Plain Text Version)

View Graphical Version

AWI QCC Launches the Q to Highlight the Benefits of Certification

Q Protects Design Professionals’ Reputations and Provides Woodworkers with Additional Business Opportunities
The AWI Quality Certification Corporation (AWI QCC) is pleased to introduce the Q, a brand created to strengthen outreach among the organizations’ stakeholders, all of whom share common goals for compliance, impartiality and expertise in architectural woodwork. The Q refers to the Quality Certification Program (QCP) in all marketing material.

“Design professionals and building owners increasingly specify the Q for their projects because now more than ever, it’s important to control costs while keeping projects on track,” said AWI QCC Program Director Craig Elias. “For the design community, the Q does exactly that, and that means more business opportunities for Q-qualified woodworkers.”

In addition to expanded business opportunities, Q-accreditation gives woodworkers:

  • Pre-qualification. Q-accreditation positions woodworkers to compete for highly coveted QCP projects.
  • Compliance. The Q provides impartial, third-party verification that architectural woodwork complies with the Standards* and the project specifications.
  • Credibility and Marketability. Qualification by an impartial authority in the architectural woodwork industry adds a unique level of credibility and marketability to a woodworker’s hard-earned reputation.

For design professionals, the Q protects your reputation for specifying quality architectural woodwork. With just three simple steps, the Q initiates a powerful risk management system – free of charge to design professionals -- that includes:

  • Expertise. The Q provides design professionals with a pool of pre-qualified woodworkers to choose from. Through rigorous testing and inspection, these woodworkers have proven their ability to fabricate, finish and/or install work in accordance with the internationally recognized industry Standards.
  • Compliance. The Q ensures architectural woodwork complies with project specifications and the Standards.
  • Impartiality. Impartial project inspections conducted by third-party Q-representatives are available as needed, upon request and at random. Q-representatives are highly experienced woodworkers; all of whom started at the bench and progressed to senior levels of management within the industry.

To take advantage of the benefits of Q, design professionals need only:

  • Specify QCP certification using the specification language provided by MasterSpec® or found at
  • Register the QCP project at and receive a project number.
  • Record the project number in the project documents.

What People Are Saying About the Q

“The QCP addresses a fundamental problem with the competitive bidding process. Because there are so few barriers to entry in our industry, many woodworkers are eligible to bid, but not all are qualified to price the work, let alone carry it out according to specifications. With QCP in place, all bidders are all on an equal footing.” 
      -- OGB Architectural Millwork President Rick Thaler

“At WDG we tell our clients that if we don’t specify the Q, we can’t be certain the woodwork will comply with industry standards. With the Q problems are rare, but if they do occur the client is in a better position to obtain corrections.”
      -- WDG Architecture Associate Principal of Research and Specifications William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate

     *Refers to the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI) or the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS). Jointly published by AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturer’s Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute (WI), the AWS will be the authoritative industry reference when it is released later this year. 

Demand for AWI Quality Certification Continues to Rise

The Q continues to experience strong growth, even amidst the current recession. The number of program applicants for the first six months of the year is up more than 50 percent over the same period in 2008. In addition, the number of registered projects and certified projects are up 56 and 42 percent respectively over the first six months of last year. "The numbers indicate design professionals recognize and appreciate the quality assurance benefits of the Q, as well as the program's ability to save time and money over the life of a project," said AWI QCC Program Director Craig Elias. [return to top]

At a Glance: The New Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS)

Since the fall of 2007, the Joint Standards Committee (JSC), which includes representatives from AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturer's Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute (WI), has been hard at work creating a single, industry-wide reference standard for the fabrication, finishing and installation of fine architectural woodwork. "The AWS will make it easier for all of us who work on both the east coast and the west coast," said AWI QCC Director Bill Munyan, AIA, CSI. "It is the best of both worlds."

The most obvious difference in the new book is the way in which sections are laid out in numerical outline format. This will make it easier to find specific citations. In addition, the AWS has been condensed into 12 sections, whereas the QSI contains 17 sections. New sections include section one, Submittals; section two, Care and Storage; section 11, Counter Tops (includes wood and plastic, solid surface, natural and manufactured stone, epoxy resin and solid phenolic); and section 12, Historic Restoration Work.

The following sections were changed:



200, Panel Products

4, Sheet Products 


6, Combines QSI sections 300, 700, 900, 1000, 1100 and 1200. This section covers interior and exterior woodwork. 

500, Paneling    

8, Wall Surfacing 


Section 10, Casework, also includes solid phenolic casework. Installation, section 1700 in the QSI, is included with each applicable section. 

Each AWS section is divided into four main categories:

  • General. This category covers general information about the subject matter, scope of work and the requirements applicable to the scope of work in the absence of specifications.
  • Product. Covers minimum material, machining and assembly (manufacturing) requirements for the grade of work selected or required.
  • Execution. Covers minimum installation requirements for the grade of work selected or required.
  • Compliance. This category includes methods of verifying compliance with the Standards. The concept of "unless specified otherwise" is a significant aspect of the AWS. When referenced in contract documents, the Standards establish the minimum contractual compliance requirements for materials, fabrication, installation and workmanship, in the absence of any specific contractual requirement to the contrary. Should conflict arise among the plans, specifications and the Standards, the plans and specifications prevail.

The AWS sets minimal requirements for shop drawings and submittals. As of October 1, 2009, compliance with these standards will be obligatory for all new project inspections, all biennial inspections and for all new applicants. Within the next month, we will post samples of compliant shop drawings and submittals on the Web site for review. [return to top]

Be Among the First to Receive the New Architectural Woodwork Standards

Volunteers Needed to Evaluate the New Test
The AWI QCC is seeking volunteers to test the open-book test required for Q-accreditation. A group of Q-representatives are currently working on the first phase of revisions necessary for the new Standards, which will be released this fall. Additional volunteers are needed to confirm the accuracy of the new test. Those interested may contact AWI QCC Program Director Craig Elias at [return to top]

AWI QCC Board of Directors Meeting

The AWI QCC Board of Directors met June 2-3, in Saint Louis, MO. The Board reviewed numerous issues, including the new marketing and branding efforts, as well as changes necessary to ensure the program policies and bylaws remain consistent with the new Architectural Woodwork Standards. Additional growth strategies on the horizon include the implementation of additional compliance programs. The Board also requested the creation of a special task force to review the efficacy of the existing minimum criteria requirements. Be on the lookout for more information in the months ahead. [return to top]

The View from Here

By Greg Shenkler, Senior Project Manager at Skanska USA Building and AWI QCC Director

So your aggressive bidding has paid off and you’ve been awarded a new contract. Congratulations! What happens next will determine not only whether you survive, but whether you can thrive. 

While pressure to reduce costs may have you thinking of ways to cut corners, consider focusing instead on increased quality control – during both fabrication and installation. Any savings from shortcuts will be lost – and then some – the first time you need to correct or replace work that fails to meet the specifications or the Standards. More importantly, your reputation can be lost along with those savings.

At Skanska, top quality results for our clients are so essential to our success that “Zero Defects” is one of our five guiding principles. The Q is an extremely effective tool for achieving this goal. In particular, inspections during the fabrication process have prevented unnecessary repairs at the jobsite.

Do it right the first time. We’ve all heard it before, but in today’s economy it’s more important than ever. Nothing can eat at your bottom line like having to do the work twice. Remember, quality pays – in good times and in bad. [return to top]

Comings and Goings

The AWI QCC bids farewell and offers immense gratitude to three representatives who are opting to pursue personal interests beyond the Q. We wish only the best for the following distinguished gentlemen, who spent countless days and nights away from home providing inspection and verification services in the plant and on job sites. Through it all, each of them selflessly shared decades of experience and knowledge.  

  • Leo Sacco
  • Rex Garton
  • Dan Wendell (Dan will focus on chairing the Joint Standards Committee through completion of the new Architectural Woodwork Standards.)

In addition, please join us in welcoming two new Q-representatives:  John Reininger and Ashley Goodin.

Ashley's passion for building and construction began while hammering nails and making small items in his father's backyard hobby shop in Americus, GA. Since then, he has worked as an apprentice, shop foreman, project manager and shop owner for woodworking companies in Western North Carolina and Georgia. Ashley resides in Americus with his wife, Meg Nalley. He also enjoys travel, camping and theater. He directs plays for a local high school and for the Sumter Players Community Theatre. Ashley will conduct inspections throughout Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

John began his woodwork career in a counter top shop in 1969. Following a brief stint in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to the woodwork industry, where he has held various positions, including cabinet maker, leadman, engineer, drafstman, project manager, production manager, purchaser and installation supervisor. John has experience with small and large woodwork firms ranging in size from 20 to 100+ employees. He will conduct inspections throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri and Indiana.

The AWI QCC also wishes to thank AWI QCC Board Member Gil Long for his years of service. Gil will continue to focus on his ever-expanding role at ISEC, Inc. in Mesa, AZ. Steve Bialek, also of ISEC, will fill Gil's seat on the board. Steve has more than 35 years of experience in the architectural woodwork industry. Currently, he is architectural woodwork manager of ISEC’s Outsource Program, where he is responsible for premium architectural woodwork and nine regional offices nationwide. We look forward to his input. 


Steve Bialek

Finally, we are pleased to announce the addition of Lauren Duvic to the AWI QCC staff. Lauren graduated from James Madison High School in Vienna, VA, and is currently pursuing a double major in Fine Arts and Social Science Teaching at Northern Virginia Community College. Lauren is in the office Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 12 noon. [return to top]

Graham Kilburn

Graham Kilburn joined the AWI QCC as a Q-representative in the spring of 2008. He is responsible for assisting woodworkers and conducting inspections in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Graham has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking business, both in Canada and the United Kingdom. While in the U.K., he served a five-year apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery, and attended trade college. Since 2003, Graham has provided estimating and project management assistance to various woodworking firms. He is also an inspector for the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC). Graham resides in Stoney Creek, Ontario. [return to top]

The AWI QCC Promotes the Program Benefits to Woodwork and Design Communities Nationwide

Philadelphia CSI Chapter Meeting
April 27
Q-representatives Wayne Hintz and Shows Leary presented a workshop on the Q. Approximately 40 construction specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers, manufacturers, estimators, and product representatives attended the presentation, which qualified for AIA CES learning units.

AIA Convention, San Francisco
April 29 - May 2
The AWI QCC participated in the national American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention & Exposition in San Francisco. AWI QCC Program Manager Tricia Roberts, AWI QCC Director Bill Munyan and AWI Membership Manager Cassey Gibson spoke with nearly 200 architects who visited the AWI QCC booth looking for information on how the Q can help ensure the quality of their projects.

AWI Spring Professional Development Seminar, Charlotte, NC
April 29 - May 1
AWI QCC Program Director Craig Elias spoke to the AWI Development Council about the growth of the Q and possible new program initiatives.

GSA, Washington, DC
May 7
AWI QCC Director Bill Munyan and President of Bossen Architectural Woodwork Joe Bossen visited the General Services Administration (GSA) in Washington DC. They were tasked with helping Mark Velsey, Office of the Chief Architect - Center for Federal Buildings and Modernizations (PMAC), update the GSA P-100 document, but also had the opportunity to discuss the importance of specifying the Q. Specifically, Bill and Joe emphasized the advantages of upholding the specifications, including access to a large group of pre-qualified woodworkers and the availability of impartial, third-party project inspections as a way for the GSA to ensure they get what they contract and pay for. A highlight of the meeting was a surprise visit from Tom Kollaja, AIA, and former QCP director, who also sang the praises of the Q.

Illinois/Wisconsin AWI Chapter Meeting, Chicago
May 13

AWI QCC Program Director Craig Elias presented the QCP 101 workshop to the Illinois/Wisconsin chapter of AWI. Attendees included Margaret Fisher of Saunders Wood Specialties; Paul Kelly, Chicago Chapter Vice President and President of Barsanti Woodwork in Chicago; Ed Schavitz, Chicago Chapter Treasurer and Director of Sales for Midwest Woodwork & Veneering, Chicago; and Jim Buege, Wisconsin Chapter President of Northern Capital Insurance in Wauwatosa, Wisc.

CONSTRUCT2009, Indianapolis
June 16-19
The AWI QCC exhibited at the national Construction Specifiers Institute (CSI) Convention & Exposition in Indianapolis. AWI QCC Program Director Craig Elias, Program Manager Tricia Roberts and AWI QCC Director Bill Munyan spoke with nearly 100 specifiers and architects on how the Q can help ensure the quality of their projects.

Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS), Las Vegas
July 15 - 18
The AWI QCC exhibited at this prestigious national convention and exposition for architectural woodwork. Staff interacted with woodworkers about the steps to achieving accreditation and the benefits of accreditation. AWI QCC staff also answered questions about how the new Architectural Woodwork Standards will affect Q-accreditation and project certification.

The AWI QCC invites all program participants to actively promote the Q at regional table top exhibitions, during lunch and learn sessions with architects and designers, and at meetings with general contractors. Outreach is vital to the success of the program. Contact Craig Elias at to learn about the printed materials and other resources available for your outreach efforts. [return to top]

Mark your calendar!

Georgia Tech Wood Expo, Atlanta
Sept. 9-11
AWI QCC Program Director Craig Elias and AWI QCC Director Bill Munyan, AIA, CSI, will deliver a presentation on the benefits of the Q. Craig and Bill will discuss the difference between a certified project and an accredited company, the steps to becoming a Q-accredited company and the processes required to maintain compliance. They will also preview the soon-to-be-published Architectural Woodwork Standards and how they relate to the Q. The Georgia Tech Wood EXPO provides education and training for those involved in the wood building industry. Attendees are eligible to earn CEUs and AIA learning units. [return to top]