News and updates from AWI's Quality Certification Program
Fall 2005
Published Quarterly
Welcome to the premier issue of the Quality Times, a quarterly electronic newsletter prepared for the design community and QCP participants! While this premier issue contains mostly general program information, we hope the newsletter will become a valuable educational resource for your technical questions, and we encourage readers to submit questions about projects, inspections, program policies, etc. We welcome your feedback!

Kara Thorp

Randy Estabrook, Certification Director,
QCP Policy questions/comments, technical questions, dispute resolution.

Tricia Roberts, Project Coordinator, 
Registering projects, ordering labels or Certificates of Compliance, scheduling a project inspection.

Kara Thorp, Participant Coordinator, 
Applying for participation, testing, application status, scheduling a plant inspection.

Abbey Knoll, Administrative Assistant

Comments, suggestions and questions may be directed to the editor at


The AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP) is a valuable quality assurance tool for design professionals and owners. Certification credentials are earned by woodworking firms who, through comprehensive testing and inspection, demonstrate the ability to fabricate, finish and/or install work in accordance with the quality grade criteria set forth in the Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI) book.


1.Include the specification language in the Quality Assurance section of your project documents. See sample at left.

2.Register your project with AWI. Any member of the construction team can register a project and registration is free.

3.Hire a certified woodworker for your job. Although woodworkers need not be certified at the time of bid, it can take around 90 days for firms to become certified.

Quality Standard: Unless otherwise indicated, comply with AWI’s Architectural Woodwork Quality Standards for grades of interior architectural woodwork, construction, finishes, and other requirements.

1. Provide AWI Quality Certification Program [Labels] [Certificate] indicating that the woodwork, [including installation,] complies with requirements of grades specified. This project has been registered as AWI/QCP project number ___ OR, the Contractor, upon award of work, shall register the work under this section with the AWI Quality Certification Program (800) 449-8811.

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Starting Nov. 1, QCP staff will send out 2006 renewal invoices to all program participants. All current participants are required to renew their certification annually and renewal fees are due Dec. 31, 2005. Firms paying AFTER this date will incur a late fee of $300, so be sure to renew early to avoid additional costs!

The annual renewal fee for non-AWI member firms is $2,000 and the fee for AWI-member firms is $900. If you have been thinking about joining AWI but haven’t yet, now is a good time! Visit or call (703) 733-0600 for membership info.

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Congratulations you won the bid! The spec. for laminate cabinets calls for Premium Grade work. Due to value engineering, the architect agrees to allow "melamine cabinets".  When the cabinets show up with melamine drawer boxes, the architect rejects the drawer boxes. Unless the value engineering proposal accurately details cabinet box and drawer box changes, the architect will have the right to expect Premium Grade drawer boxes inside or Premium Grade cabinets fabricated out of Custom Grade melamine materials.
Section 400B-T-1 of the Quality Standards Illustrated, 8th edition, covers the materials for laminate cabinet "box" parts, exposed, semi-exposed and concealed surfaces. According to the QSI, melamine is not allowed for the exposed surface of Premium Grade cabinets. Furthermore, drawer boxes are not a part of this section. Drawer box materials are covered in section 400B-T-5.

So, when value engineering, be sure to indicate whether or not you are including drawer boxes as part of the spec. change. Keep in mind you are still making a Premium Grade cabinet but with a blend of Custom Grade material. All tests and tolerances for Premium Grade are still in effect.

This article provided by Shows Leary, AWI Quality Certification Program Representative. Questions may be directed to Mr. Leary at: (518) 482 3222 or

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Mr. Leary is the QCP representative responsible for most of New York state and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Canada. A QCP representative for nearly 10 years, Mr. Leary has 35 years of experience in the construction industry. In addition to serving as a QCP rep., Mr. Leary operates a consulting firm in Albany, New York. He also serves on the AWI LEED Task Force, the QCP Board of Review and is a corresponding member of the Quality Standards Board of Review. Mr. Leary resides in Albany and holds a B.S. from the State University of New York, Brockport.

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Certification credentials are earned by woodworking firms who, through comprehensive testing and inspection, demonstrate the ability to fabricate, finish and/or install work in accordance with the quality grade criteria set forth in the Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI) book. The steps to certification are: 

1. Complete the application and submit the application fee.
2. Submit 10 references (minimum of 2GCs; 2 design profs; 2 owners.)
3. Take and pass the 150-question, open book test on the latest edition of the QSI.
4. Pass the plant inspection – a QCP representative will conduct an inspection of your plant to confirm your ability to manufacture, finish and/or install work that is compliant with the QSI.
5. The rep will also review your shop drawings.
6.  Pass 2 project inspections – a QCP rep. will also inspect samples of work from 2 projects in close proximity to your plant, and that are not older than 2 years.

The certification process takes on average-90 days. Upon satisfactory completion of the above steps, your firm is certified. You will receive a certificate good for one year, indicating you are a program participant. Most importantly, you are now eligible to order the labels or Certificates of Compliance that the architect is looking for on your project!

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While unforeseen acts of God often carry devastating consequences, some good can come of them too. Such is the case with the Prettyman Federal Courthouse addition in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 2004, Hurricane Ivan flooded out parts of the mid-Atlantic and caused millions of dollars of damage to product at Straightline Cabinet Corporation, Wexford, Penn. At the time, Straightline was the sole woodworker for the Prettyman Courthouse project.

It was during this time of need that Jefferson Millwork & Design of Sterling, Va. and Allegheny Millwork of Lawrence, Penn. stepped up to the plate. The two companies formed an LLC - a separate business entity that helped them fabricate the vast amount of woodwork required for the courthouse job in a timely manner. They also enlisted the help of another QCP-certified firm, Gaithersburg Cabinetry & Millwork of Warrenton, Va.

This showing of unprecedented cooperation has been witnessed even more recently in the wake of devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Over the past several weeks, AWI and QCP have received numerous requests to assist woodworking firms and employees in the Gulf Coast region.  To find out more about how you can help, please contact Kara Thorp at




The Prettyman Courthouse renovation totals 9 courtrooms and consists of approximately seven miles of trim work, 1,000 bookcases in the judge’s chambers alone, and a unique cylindrical staircase constructed of a curly maple veneer.




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