AWI Quality Times - Summer 2013 (Plain Text Version)
Proper Specification is Key to Quality Woodwork and Adherence to the Project Specifications
Recurring problems with specifications include requirements for the AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) that don’t exist or are simply wrong. This is problematic because incorrect use of the QCP specification language can compromise the program’s ability to provide for quality assurance of millwork projects, resulting in the possibility that the woodwork specified may not meet expectations.
For example, the following is frequently included in woodwork specifications: “Shop is a participant in AWI’s Quality Certification Program.” An architect logically includes this requirement in order to take advantage of the subcontractor prequalification embodied in QCP’s accreditation of its participant companies. Including this particular specification also makes sense because woodwork is not eligible for certification unless the company providing the product is QCP accredited. However, this language in itself does not constitute a requirement that the project be certified. For a project which is not properly specified to be certified, basic compliance inspection services may still be available. However, other important aspects of the program associated with project certification may not be available, and quality assurance could be compromised.
Proper specification of the QCP certification means that the millwork fabricated, finished and installed on a project will receive all of the quality assurance benefits offered by the AWI Quality Certification Program. The QCP provides resources that help prevent the delivery and installation of noncompliant work. For example, after a woodworker’s initial accreditation, projects requiring certification are automatically inspected until two are successfully certified. Inspections for subsequent registered projects are available upon request by any project stakeholder to identify issues related to conformance with specifications and AWI Standards. Shop drawing reviews focused on identifying and pre-empting non-conforming details is another mechanism used by the Q to significantly reduce the potential for contract errors, as well as costly rework.
To correctly specify the QCP, utilize the language below:
Quality Standard: Unless otherwise indicated, comply with the Architectural Woodwork Standard, Latest Edition, for grades of interior architectural woodwork, construction, finishes and other requirements.
Woodworker's Guide to the Letter Accepting Deviations
by Greg Parham, QCP Representative
The Letter Accepting Deviations (LAD) is one of the more misunderstood aspects of the QCP Policies. As stated in the definition of terms at the beginning of the QCP Policies, a LAD is “a letter from the design professional or the project owner’s appointed representative stating that nonconformities noted during [a QCP project] inspection do not require correction, thus accepting the deviation(s).” The key terminology here is “noted during inspection.”
When would a QCP participant consider providing an LAD? When a project is inspected by a QCP representative and significant nonconformities are reported, the QCP woodworking participant has two choices, each with very different consequences. The first is to correct the nonconformities, bringing the project into conformance and achieving project certification. The second is to NOT make corrections, which not only renders the project ineligible for certification (since nonconforming work remains,) but also has consequences for the woodworker’s status as a program participant.
This is where the LAD comes into play. Without the LAD, the uncorrected items will result in the woodworker being revoked from QCP. However, if the woodworker submits a LAD to QCP, that firm will continue in the program under probationary status. This requires inspection of their next QCP project which contains work similar to that left uncorrected in the previous project. Probation continues until such a project is successfully certified. Note that in addition to the usual project fees, the participant woodworker is responsible for all out-of-pocket inspection and reporting costs related to the probationary projects.
What information should be provided in a LAD? There are three elements required in a LAD: 1) The design firm or authorized owner’s representative must be clearly identified, preferably by the use of official letterhead; 2) The letter must clearly state the understanding that the items in question do not conform to AWI Standards, but correction is not required, and the project is accepted “as is”; and 3) The letter must indicate the understanding that the project will not be certified. Upon receipt, a copy of the LAD should be forwarded to the QCP Representative so that he may close out the project.
Lunch and Learn Presentations Available from the QCC
Are you in need of continuing education credits, or do you need a speaker for your AWI or CSI chapter meeting? The QCC is available to meet your needs.
QCC offers a one-hour presentation geared specifically toward architects and specifiers. The tutorial on the Quality Certification Program (QCP) and the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) will teach attendees how to properly specify and build quality architectural woodwork.
In exchange for participation, attendees are eligible to earn one HSW AIA CES learning unit.
QCC Implements iPads to Expedite Plant and Project Inspection Reporting
by John Reininger, QCP Representative
The Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) has purchased and implemented the use of Apple iPads during the plant and project inspections and reporting processes. The iPads were beta-tested in November of 2012 by two QCP Representatives and the Manager of Projects. After two months of testing and four offline report versions, the QCC delivered iPads to all QCP representatives during the annual QCP Representative meeting in January of 2013. At this time, all representatives, the manager of Projects, the QCC director and the QCC operations manager received iPads complete with two days of training.
The original reason for the use of iPads during inspection was to expedite inspection reports and improve the consistency of all of the combined reports from the various QCP representatives. However, the iPads have proven even more beneficial at streamlining the comprehensive reporting process. Photos taken during inspection can be immediately imported into the report along with the representatives’ comments. In addition, representatives can easily refer to the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) while on site during an inspection, and they can immediately contact any member of the construction team or QCC staff by phone or email using just one, single device that offers a more comprehensive and lightweight approach to reporting. [return to top]
The Revelation of Seasons
by Michael Bell, AWI National President and Estimator at Allegheny Millwork Co., Pittsburgh, PA
The beauty of wood is the foundation of the architectural woodwork industry. Trees are the scribes of nature, recording the specifics of each season with every growth ring cycle. Hot, cold, wet and dry – it is all embedded layer after layer.
When the tree is cut into lumber, the grain begins to unveil the stories locked within the cores. The veneer slicer takes the halves of the tree and begins the process of fabricating striking veneer panels. The woodworker takes the panels and the wood to create mosaic masterworks – part art and part science. There is no doubt that the story displayed within the woodwork itself is the narrative of the seasons: spring - the time of rebirth, planting and rejuvenation; summer - the time of growth and living; fall - the time of dying, retreat and harvest; winter - the time of hibernation and dormancy. Each band of grain mirrors a distinct period and forever captures the truth of the seasons.
As a woodworker surveying the economic landscape and having shared in the experience of prolonged fall and winter seasons, I am confident that spring is right around the corner. There are more projects to bid and there are signs of little buds all around – actual projects being awarded! We can be assured that welcome terms of economic life are just ahead. Those who understand the secret of the seasons will “make hay while the sun shines” and gear up to take advantage of the “longer days”.
The last few years have not been kind to many in our industry and have shaken to the core even the strongest in our trade. But the seasons ahead are a time of growth and life. The QCC has been extremely busy getting ready for the lively seasons – the inspectors have converted to the use of electronic tablets to aid in the timely and accurate reporting of their inspections, the presentation team has been in front of architects throughout the country to educate on the value and application of the QCP and the Board of QCC Directors have been busy with initiatives to make the program more user-friendly, fair, and valuable to the woodworker and the design professional.
Dressing for the appropriate season is the key to living in comfort. We need to shed the winter wraps and recognize the atmosphere of warmer times. It is time to take the steps within companies to be prepared for greater work flow, greater demand on resources and sustained periods of growth. How can we be sure expanding our capacity is the right move in these uncertain times? It’s easy – just study the wall paneling project you recently completed – remember the story of the seasons and you will have no doubts. [return to top]
Cabinet Door Hinges
by QCP-representative Shows Leary
As stated in section 10 of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), manufacturers may attach hinges to cabinet doors without the use of screws. On page 270, item 188.8.131.52.2.7, the AWS allows for hinges that do not use screws for attachment to the door. This application is commonly called a “cam cup” hinge because the action of the cam applies force to keep the cup machined and tight into the door mortise. Just remember that depending on the application type of the casework, the hinges need to meet either ANSI/GHMA Grade 1 or 2 requirements per page 258, item 184.108.40.206. In addition, the hinges must be stamped with the manufacturer’s name or brand as seen on page 258, item 220.127.116.11.
The AWS includes the use of what are commonly called exposed-knuckle hinges (Also known as “5-knuckle”, “wraparound” or “non-concealed” hinges.) This item has been affected by Errata.
On page 258, item 3.1 under Default Stipulation, you will see that flush overlay door style is the default stipulation if no specifications are provided by the designer. Two Errata were added that change the default stipulation if exposed-knuckle hinges are being used and no overlay specifications are provided by the designer.
The two Errata are: Item 3.1.1: “At exposed knuckle hinges, defaulting to reveal overlay is at the option of the manufacturer”, and Item 18.104.22.168: “If reveal overlay the reveal shall be determined by the hinge overlay.”
This means that if no specification is given for the door overlay style and exposed-knuckle hinges are specified or desired to be used, then the manufacturer may use either flush overlay or reveal overlay door style. The hinge side reveal will be determined by the hinge overlay dimension.
Even though surface applied knuckle hinges are now an option allowed by the Standards, that option does not apply if flush-overlay cabinet construction is specified. If flush overlay is specified, page 270, item 10-22.214.171.124.2.6, requires hinge mortise depths to achieve door gaps which conform to those shown on page 284, item 10-126.96.36.199.
This does not affect the top, bottom and pull-side reveals of the door in flush overlay. They are still guided by requirements on page 284, item 188.8.131.52. If reveal overlay is specified, then the reveal should be as indicated in the design documents. If reveal overlay is specified, but the reveal width is not called out in the design documents, the woodworker would be wise to make sure that the reveal width which would result from eliminating hinge mortising is clear to everyone and approved, either in the shop drawings or another contract document.
If the woodworker is going to use exposed-knuckle hinges, notice that on page 270, item 184.108.40.206.2.6.2 for premium grade, for both flush overlay and reveal overlay, you must not only notch the cabinet door to receive the hinge, but you must also paint the exposed door core to match the exposed edge banding. In custom and economy grade the woodworker is not required to paint the exposed cores at the edge of the doors, but notching of the door to receive the hinge is required.
No doubt, uses of exposed-knuckle hinges are required more often. The woodworker should thoroughly understand the AWS requirements and clearly communicate their intention on the shop drawings so there is no doubt to the design professional what is required for reveals and overlays.
Opportunities to Learn More about QCP
AWFS Fair 2013