AWI Quality Times - June 25, 2014 - Second Quarter (Plain Text Version)

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QCP Is Changing Its Look

By Randy Estabrook, QCC Executive Director
While for some, this statement might be a bit unsettling; you may ask “why change the look of QCP”?

Well that is exactly what the Quality Certification Corporation Board of Directors discussed during their March 2014 meeting.

Many are familiar with the "Q" branding of QCP that occurred a few years ago. That development was quite a detour from the high recognition which QCP had nurtured for over a decade. The QCC board, after some discussion, voted to approve a refreshed version of the original QCP logo which first appeared in 1995. Some discussion points from the Board deliberation included the value of promoting a 50+ year brand (AWI) and the close association to that brand that QCP began with back in 1995.

The new logo and type face achieve these goals and do it very well. In the coming weeks the QCP website (along with additional marketing materials) will start to display this recent change which the QCC board noted was a “Back-to-Basics” approach. 

Any firms wanting to update the logos they display on printed materials or their company website should contact Jennica Edwards at jedwards@awiqcp.org.

Fast Facts about QCP Growth

By Tricia Roberts, QCC Senior Director of Operations

The Quality Certification Program has shown historic growth and acceptance, particularly since 2012 as the chart below illustrates.  Project registrations are up 16% compared with 2013 and project certificates sent to licensees are up 15% compared with 2013.  Annual renewals for QCP licensing for 2014 are the strongest in the 15-year history of the program.  Companies seeing the QCP specification appear regularly in bid documents are not only achieving, but also maintaining the competitive advantages and pre-qualification provided by QCP Licensing.

If you believe QCP licensing may be a sound business decision for your company, feel free to explore the QCP application process by contacting Jennica Edwards, 571.222.4944 or visit our website, www.awiqcp.org for further details.  Prior to applying, make sure you read the entire QCP Policies, which can also be found on our website as application fees are non-refundable.

Note: The chart reflects activity through May 31, 2014.
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AWI Quality Certification Program Overseas Update

By Wayne Hintz, QCP Program Manager

Our readers may have noted previous articles which describe AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) involvement over the years with overseas projects specified to require certification.  Initially, those projects were for the most part confined to U.S. federal government installations constructed in various parts of the world.  While that has continued, over the last few years we have also seen public projects owned by foreign governments becoming part of the mix.  In addition, our portfolio of offshore QCP projects is beginning to include substantial commercial projects as well.  The Designers specifying the certification requirement are also no longer exclusively U.S. firms, but include at least one overseas architectural firm based in Chennai, India.

QCP in the Middle East

Our presence has expanded considerably in the Middle East.  This should not be surprising, given the rapid rise of economic development which has occurred in some countries of that region.  Presented below are a couple of examples which illustrate QCP’s recent activity in that area.

In mid-2013, QCP was contacted by an Abu Dhabi-based firm subcontracted to provide millwork for the new 74-story headquarters of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).  The company requested help in deciphering the specification’s various references to the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) and QCP.  A detailed analysis of that question was provided by QCP.

Not long afterward, the “fit-out” company with overall responsibility for the project’s woodwork asked QCP for advice on AWS conformance of AA face Walnut veneer that was specified throughout the building.  AWI and QCP sent representatives to meet with project stakeholders to examine 60 finish control samples that had been submitted and rejected. QCP’s review revealed that seven (7) submitted samples were actually compliant with the project contract documents. 

QCP in Turkey

A QCP representative traveled to Ankara, where an architectural woodwork firm became the second Turkish company licensed under QCP.  In addition to the licensing inspection of work samples and past projects, an initial fabrication inspection of a public sector project requiring QCP certification also took place.  The previous projects are located in Istanbul, and include a Hilton Hotel.  (See article below.)

German Embassy

Final inspection of millwork installation in the new Washington, DC German Embassy took place.  QCP’s compliance assessment has been ongoing since a “typical room” mockup was inspected in 2012 with representatives of the woodwork firm, the Architect, and the German government.

Application to QCP


Since 2013, QCP has been in discussion with a Dubai woodwork and interior furniture manufacturing company regarding application to the program.  The company first inquired about QCP when called upon to bid a Middle East project requiring QCP certification.

As this area of QCP activity grows, we will be sure to keep our readers updated.
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QCP Licenses Turkish Architectural Woodworker

By Wayne Hintz, QCP Program Manager

In late March of this year, Quality Certification Program (QCP) staff representative John Reininger packed his bags and headed to Turkey for the purpose of conducting both a licensing and project inspection at the facilities of Nergiz Decoration Design Ltd. Co., an international architectural interior design firm.  What sets this company apart is 108,000+ square feet of in-house manufacturing capacity in Ankara which allows Nergiz to realize its visions with a high degree of control and in a wide variety of materials, including wood.  For over 30 years, its projects have run the gamut from residences to airports and embassies.  John’s visit was the culmination of months of preparatory e-mail dialogue between QCP staff and Nergiz personnel.

Nergiz had been a QCP applicant since April of 2013.  However, as John learned, the Nergiz experience with AWI pre-dates even the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), and includes familiarity with its predecessor, the Quality Standards Illustrated.  While AWI has been on the Nergiz radar screen for some time, it was increasing exposure to projects requiring QCP certification that provided the motivation for application to QCP.

As with domestic U.S. licensing inspections, QCP policies require overseas applicants to not only provide specific samples of the product categories for which licensing is sought, but also to show two prior projects no more than two years old.  These projects serve as “documentation” that the applicant transacts business with the public (one of QCP’s basic eligibility requirements), and also as a general demonstration of workmanship.  The two projects provided for John were in Istanbul, and included a hotel and condominium building.  The inspection report received the customary review by QCP, and we congratulated Nergiz for its official QCP licensing in a wide variety of categories on April 7.

This Nergiz interior door section at above right (approx. 1-1/4” thick) features 3D high-relief face designs cut into specialty plywood with a 9-axis CNC machine.  The completed door will be sprayed with a Nergiz-patented metal finish.
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QCP Reps Contribute to Program Refinements

By Wayne Hintz, QCP Program Manager

On April 10 and 11, QCP representatives from locations as diverse as Hamilton, Ontario and Wimberly, Texas converged on the QCP offices in Potomac Falls, Virginia for its annual face-to-face meeting with one another and the QCP staff.  This yearly event features both formal and casual discussions ranging from avoidance of conflict of interest to the finer points of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), and provides briefings on various initiatives, policy changes, and strategic directions being considered by the Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) Board of Directors.

Terminology Change

This year QCC Executive Director Randy Estabrook noted that the term “Participant” was changed to “Licensee” to more accurately describe the result of successful completion of the application process by woodworking firms.  He also summarized a pilot program whereby independent consultants vetted by QCP are available to applicants and current licensees for orientation, education, and discussion of any aspect of QCP.  Availability of this type of educational service has often been requested by QCP firms, and early feedback is very promising.

Project Inspection Reports & “M&M”


QCP Inspections Manager Greg Parham and QCP staff representative John Reininger also presented a plan to make inspection reports leaner without any significant compromise of essential information conveyed by the photographs and their captions.  The goal is to process reports more quickly both to provide the results to woodworkers, and also to allow significantly more widespread delivery to Architects while fabrication and installation is still ongoing.

In addition, there was discussion of a guideline (completed since last year’s meeting) to assist in determining an acceptable level of minor imperfections in a QCP project. The nature and number of these variances must be such that collectively they would not compromise the project’s performance, and the project would be eligible for certification.  This guideline has been dubbed the “Major/Minor” or “M&M” guideline.  It will be finalized pending feedback from the representatives. [return to top]

“QCP Talk” Explores Paneling Veneer Match Conformance

On May 21, QCP Program Manager Wayne Hintz and QCC Executive Director Randy Estabrook presented a “QCP Talk” webinar hosted by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) for its members.  They defined a complete specification for flush wall paneling veneer matching, and reviewed the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) default requirements where any aspect of that specification is omitted in a project’s contract documents (which webinar participants agreed occurs frequently).  The points covered included the extent of veneer sequencing required by the AWS within a building’s floor plan for both Custom and Premium Grades.  Photographs of wall paneling in previously inspected QCP projects were shown to illustrate each line item of the specification/standards “checklist”.  The webinar was attended by approximately 35 individuals representing about 15 companies, most of them QCP licensees.

QCP offers a webinar every quarter as part of the continuous AWI series covering a myriad of business, technical, and financial issues of interest to the architectural woodwork industry.  The titles and dates of the various upcoming webinars can be seen at www.awinet.org (under “Education and Events”).  At the end of the list of webinars, a “Register Now” button allows you to sign up for those in which you are interested.  Once registered, you will receive reminder e-mails.

The next “QCP Talk” webinar is scheduled for August 13 at 2:00 pm (EDT) and tentatively will focus on AWS requirements and standards for millwork installation.  Questions and comments from webinar participants are always welcome, and an important part of the proceedings.  Please send any topic suggestions for other future “QCP Talk” webinars to whintz@awiqcp.org. [return to top]

Opportunities to Learn More about QCP

AIA Convention & Expo 2014
QCP Booth 626
When: June 26 – 28, 2014
Where: Chicago, IL
Information: www.aia.org

IWF 2014
QCP Booth 1336
When: August 20 – 23, 2014
Where: Atlanta, GA
Information: www.iwfatlanta.com/

CSI Construction 2014
QCP Booth 832
When: September 10 – 11, 2014
Where: Baltimore, MD
Information: www.constructshow.com/

62nd Annual AWI Convention
QCP Tabletop Exhibit
When: October 22 – 24, 2014
Where: San Antonio, TX
Information: www.awinet.org/convention/


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Reflections on the Evolution of QCP

By Randolph Estabrook, QCC Executive Director
QCP looks a bit different than what I remember. Having been back with QCP for six months now I thought I could write about how things look from the inside out.

I know that QCP has faced some challenges in the past few years and one individual I talked with about writing for this column said, “I’m not sure I have anything nice to say.” He went on to comment that years ago [2004] QCP was much different. The rep he worked with was helpful, the experience educational, and QCP’s inspection report went a long way to support them in their project. After that experience, QCP seemed to change and became much more punitive. This individual went on to say he had not done a QCP project in 3-4 years so he really did not have first-hand knowledge of what QCP was like today.

I can say that QCP has changed since 2004, maybe initially too much to the punitive extreme, and then for the past three years, maybe even a bit too lenient to the other extreme. Plant visits for relicensing were changed from every two years to a three-year project inspection, when it occurs.  The renewal deadline was extended through the calendar renewal year, provided that a late fee is paid. And QCP now has developed independent consultants that can assist firms with education about preparing for initial QCP Licensing and for certified projects.

Recently QCP started focusing on the main deliverable it has — submitting inspection reports to Architects’ and Owners’ representatives. This action strengthens the program and reinforces the very specification of QCP. The response from the design community has been very favorable.

In October 2013 the project report backlog was 120 project reports that were over 90 days. Today that number is eight (8) — evidence of a dramatic effort and huge progress by the QCP team.

The Quality Certification Corporation (QCC) Board of Directors recently approved the formation of three task forces to evaluate industry trends and changes. Those task forces are: New Business Model Task Force, Industry Member Task Force and Door Label Task Force. All of these groups have met via teleconference and are continuing their work in preparation for the upcoming QCC Board of Directors meeting scheduled for the end of July when they will report on progress and recommendations.

One thing remains the same for QCP — it is not stagnant.
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QCP Inspector Tips from the Field

By Wayne Hintz, QCP Program Manager

For this issue of Quality Times, we turn once again to the corps of QCP Field Representatives for comments regarding notable items or patterns observed in the course of hundreds of licensing and project inspections which they perform annually.

Behind Closed Doors

The first of these is submitted by QCP Representative C.L. (Rozie) Roznovak, who primarily covers Texas and the southwestern states.  It concerns three consecutive line items added to the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) Errata* on November 5, 2013.  The new line items apply to AWS Section 10 (Casework) 4.4.1.4, 4.4.1.5, and 4.4.1.6.  The change designates that the various product joinery gap tolerances listed on pages 265 and 266 shall apply not only to exposed surfaces, but also to semi-exposed surfaces (as defined on AWS page 249).   In other words, the gap tolerances apply to visible joints in cabinet interiors (such as between a “box” side and bottom) that are located behind a cabinet door.  Rozie reports that many woodworkers are unaware of this standard, and fabricate cases with joint gaps that do not conform to the AWS.

Fronts: Flush and Flat

Rozie also points out a recurring issue having to do with casework installed at structural walls which are not flat.  This problem arises when adjacent cabinets are not connected to one another as required by AWS Section 10, 6.1.12.3:  “ADJACENT cabinet units to be fastened together at the front with a minimum of two #8 x 1-1/4” (31.7 mm) flat-, oval-, or pan-head screws, a maximum of 30” (762 mm) on center…”  When adjacent cabinets are not connected in this way, their backs may be fairly tight to the walls, but a gap (sometimes large) appears between adjacent vertical cabinet faces.

“Ganging” the cabinets together in this way prevents gaps from opening up between adjacent cabinets faces, and keeps all the connected cabinet faces tightly connected (AWS 10, 6.1.5.1) and flush with one another (AWS 10, 6.1.7.1).  While this provides conformance with the AWS at the cabinet fronts, it tends to create gaps between wall cabinet backs and structural walls.  However, the tolerances for that category of gap are fairly generous (see AWS 10, 6.1.10.7), and use of separate scribe mold to close any gap exceeding the tolerance is permitted.

Beyond “In the Groove”


Finally, Shows Leary, Senior QCP Representative in New York and New England, contributes the following observations, which other inspectors have also encountered.

Many architectural woodwork firms opt to provide cabinet backs which are captured in a groove machined into some combination of case sides, bottoms, and tops.  Woodworkers sometimes miss AWS Section 10, 4.4.20.4, which requires “MECHANICAL FASTENERS for cabinet BODY, BACK,  and/or DRAWER construction, a maximum of 4” (101.6 mm) on center, with a minimum of two fasteners per joint…”  Capturing a cabinet back edge in a groove does not negate this requirement.  Mechanical fastening also applies at edges of backs which are captured in grooves.

Shows also reports that when asked by woodworkers to define a “mechanical fastener”, he has referred them to the AWS Glossary in the back of the AWS book.  However, just as some woodworkers have been unaware of the AWS “Errata” (notwithstanding the numerous references to it in the AWS book) he notes that some woodworkers are similarly unaware that the AWS has a glossary.  While the glossary does not contain “standards” per se, it offers definitions which help to clarify the line-item standards found in the “Product” and “Execution” portions of each AWS Section.

* By now our readers are probably aware that the Errata is an electronic file (available at www.aws-errata.com which can be printed as a hard copy or .pdf.  The Errata lists all of the changes and additions which have been made to the AWS Edition 1 since its release in fall 2009.  Many of those changes were the result of suggestions made by AWS users, and the form for making those suggestions to the Joint Standards Committee is also found on this website, at the top of the Errata listings.

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Get Help, Find Answers

Need help with inspection preparation?  Confused about licensing?  Seeking answers challenging aspects of the Architectural Woodwork Standards?  Turn to QCP Resources to enhance your participation in the Quality Certification Program.

  • QCP website, www.awiqcp.org

  • “Learn More About the Process” at www.awiqcp.org with links to four QCP-produced “You Tube” videos which summarize basic components of the program.
  • QCP Representatives can answer a myriad of questions about certification of projects, interpretations of the Architectural Woodwork Standards, and more.
  • AWI Technical Services Manager at help@awinet.org.

  • QCP Independent Consultant, Joe Sorrelli at aljoe@optonline.net.

  • AWI "QCP Talk" webinars focus on a variety of topics.  Check out a recent webinar here. Please follow the prompts; you may need to download free software for activation. Previous webinars will be posted on the QCP webiste as back-end changes occur to the site to more easily administer its functionality.

  • Search for QCP Licensees at www.awiqcp.org/Program/Search
     
  • AWI Speakers Bureau, www.awispeaker.org 

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