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Quality Times | News and updated from the AWI Quality Certification Corporation Q
In This Issue:
Top News
•  How the Q Helped Ensure Panel Quality at the Aloft Hotel, National Harbor
•  Simultaneous Project and Biennial Inspections a Win-Win for All
Tech Talk
•  Countertops in the AWS
The View from Here
•  Be Proactive About Q-Accreditation
•  Disciplinary Actions on the Rise as QCP Interest Grows
•  2010 Renewal Deadline Extended to April 30
•  New Biennial Inspection Requirement Save Time and Money
•  Annual Rep. Training is Opportunity for Hands-on Experience
Comings and Goings
•  Tim Byrne, Woodbyrne Cabinetry, Joins AWI QCC Board of Directors
Rep. Spotlight
•  Mike Frasca
•  On the Road with the QCC
Top News
How the Q Helped Ensure Panel Quality at the Aloft Hotel, National Harbor
By Kara Thorp, AWI QCC Communications Specialist

AWI QCC Inspections Manager Wayne Hintz inspects ceiling panels at the Aloft Hotel at National Harbor. 

Architectural Woodwork is often the focal point of a design scheme. It is typically found in high-profile conference rooms, lobbies, and places where it is important to make a good first impression. At the same time, wood is a living, breathing material, susceptible to extreme temperatures, changes in humidity, and other environmental factors. This is why it is so important to specify woodwork correctly.

The National Harbor project is a good example of how the Q “saved” a paneling job that was headed for trouble, according to WDG Architecture’s Associate Principal of Research and Specifications, William Pegues, FCSI, CCS.

Maple ceiling panels installed in a large common area of the Aloft Hotel at National Harbor became warped about a week after installation. “The contractor blamed the designer, even though our documents clearly indicated that the loads to be supported needed to be confirmed, and the support system needed to be designed based on those loads,” said Pegues. “Upon discovery of the failing panels, we informed the AWI QCC and a Q-representative was sent to inspect the work,” according to Pegues.

During inspection, the Q-representative confirmed that whereby the panels were found to be compliant, he noted that the contractor’s support system was inadequate and issued a detailed inspection report indicating these observations. Based on these findings, the contractor promptly corrected the system, bringing it into compliance with the standards and specifications. “The Q helped cut short a process that typically eats up a lot of time and helped convince the contractor to fix the panels, upholding the quality of the project,” said Pegues.

In addition to project inspections, which are conducted randomly and at the request of any member of the construction team, the Q provides a pool of pre-qualified woodworkers to choose from. “When the contractor chooses to hire a Q-qualified woodworker, we usually don’t encounter any problems, and any deficiencies identified are typically removed from the work site before the designer is even aware there is a problem,” said Pegues. “In fact, at WDG, we tell our clients that if we don’t specify the QCP, we will inform the owner that we cannot be responsible for the quality of the woodwork,” Pegues added.

The benefits of the Q are available to design professionals at no charge. Architects and specifiers need only to specify the QCP language in the project documents, register the project with the AWI QCC office and record the project registration number in the project documents. For more information on the Q, visit

Simultaneous Project and Biennial Inspections a Win-Win for All
By Ashley Goodin, Q-representative

Recently, I became the first Q-representative to conduct a project inspection that also met a woodworking firm's biennial inspection requirement. This was beneficial for both the woodworker and the Q-representative, saving both parties significant time and money.

During the inspection, the products produced for the registered project happened to be in production just two-months shy of the date the firm's biennial inspection was due, so the product also met the sample requirements for biennial inspections. This minimized the number of dedicated samples required for the woodworker to maintain accreditation. While in the plant for the fabrication inspection, I obtained the standard information required during a biennial inspection, including the total square footage of the plant and number of employees, and I reviewed the shop drawings for the project in production. The project was inspected during fabrication for compliance with the Standards, and the woodworker received the project certification reports and their biennial accreditation report simultaneously.

Let this serve as a reminder that if your firm has a certified project coming up, even if your firm has attained "self-labeling" status, and the project's schedule more or less coincides with the required biennial inspection, you may request an inspection of the project in lieu of the biennial inspection, thus saving you the time and money needed to prepare for an additional inspection. Using a project for your biennial inspection also presents an opportunity to add new sections to your accreditation, so be sure to point this out to your Q-representative.

Tech Talk
Countertops in the AWS
By Mike Bell, AWI Board of Directors Member, AWI Education Committee Chair, Joint Standards Committee VP

Due of the introduction of new countertop materials and the possibility that the design professional may request a different quality grade for countertops than casework, Section 11 of the new Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) is entirely devoted to countertops. This section includes Tops, Wall Caps, Splashes and Sills of High Pressure Decorative Laminate (HPDL), Wood, Solid Surface, Solid Phenolic, Epoxy Resin and Natural/Manufactured Stone.

There are a number of differences between the AWS’ predecessor, the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI), and the new Standards regarding countertops.

First, the AWS identifies two assembly methods for attaching back- and end-splashes for HPDL countertops. The first method addresses the traditional wall-mount, jobsite assembly method. The second method is the deck-mount, plant assembly method, which is widely used on the west coast. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to choose which method to employ, unless a particular method is specified by the design professional.

The second change in countertop assembly is identified in line of the AWS. It reads, “At sink tops and their splashes, use of veneer core plywood with Type II adhesive, industrial-grade particleboard or fiberboard with a 24-hour thickness swell factor of 5% or less and a 24-hour water-absorption factor of 10% or less is required for the entire countertop elevation and/or return elevation.” In the QSI this was only required in premium and custom grades, and only in tops and backsplashes in which sinks occurred. In addition, note that all tops in the elevation containing a sink that are at the same plane, even returns at U-shaped tops, now require the water resistant core.

Finally, line of the AWS states, “Backing sheet shall cover the underside of all countertops, the backside of all splashes, and be the same for the entire project.” This applies to all grades of countertops – differing from the requirements in the QSI, which only required backer for premium and custom grades. AWS Line deals with Built-up Members and requires that the manufacturer of premium- and custom-grade countertops apply a backing sheet or be constructed of moisture-resistant core or be treated with a color-coated, water-resistant sealer as a substitute for backing sheet.

The backing sheet to be used with countertops is identified in AWS line 4.1.4 and states, “Backing sheet shall conform to the requirements established in Section 4 (Sheet Products).” Specifically, line 4.2j identifies the material backer required for premium-, custom- and economy-grade applications.

It is highly advisable that the countertop manufacturer and supplier thoroughly review these and other sections of the AWS that directly relate to their line of work for any deviations from the QSI. Suggestions for corrections, clarifications, or improvements to the AWS are welcome by the AWI Technical Committee, and are reviewed on a regular basis. Some issues already brought to light have become errata (errors in the printed edition which have been corrected and are posted on the errata Web site), some are currently under review by the Joint Standards Committee, and some will be addressed with the release of the AWS, 2nd Edition. Click here to view the errata site and submit your questions and comments.

The View from Here
Be Proactive About Q-Accreditation
By Patrick Nartker, Ted Bolle Millwork, Inc., AWI QCC Treasurer

In this tough economy, we -- as woodworkers -- make important decisions everyday about where to best spend our dollars. Your QCP renewal fee is one such expense. If you are seeing the QCP specification in your area and have recently completed some QCP projects, renewing your Q-accreditation likely was not a difficult decision because the value of the Q is obvious. However, if this is not the case, it was probably a much tougher decision. Below are some tips for helping you get the most from the Q.

If you aren’t seeing the QCP specification in your area, use it as an opportunity to call on architects and explain to them the value of the QCP specification and Q-accreditation. It’s also an excellent opportunity to find out what projects are on the horizon in your area.

Similarly, if you see that the QCP specification is frequently removed during the bidding process, call on the architect. The value of hiring a woodworker with a proven track record in the industry is invaluable, as is the value of having an independent inspector at their disposal should they have any questions about the product meeting the specifications. Not only will this get you some quality one-on-one time with the architect, it may also keep the QCP requirement from being dismissed on the next project, which could limit the number of qualified bidders in your area.

Taking a proactive approach to the QCP specification and Q-accreditation pays dividends. Use it to distinguish yourself from your competitors and help increase the number of projects that specify QCP. Through rigorous testing and inspection, you’ve earned the right to be a qualified bidder, and there is no better time to take advantage than during these challenging economic times.

We greatly appreciate the confidence accredited firms have shown in the QCP by making the decision to renew your participation for 2010. We look forward to serving you this year, and please remember to contact any one of us if there is anything with which we can assist.

Disciplinary Actions on the Rise as QCP Interest Grows

With the increase in QCP applications, more and more companies are experiencing difficulty with the application and accreditation processes. Disturbingly, some firms that are no longer accredited are still using the QCP logo, which is reserved only for currently accredited firms. In one instance, the AWI QCC Board of Directors mandated that a company in this situation was ineligible to reapply to the program for six months. Other companies have lost their ability to certify projects, as required by the contract documents. These companies also face a six-month suspension on reapplication to the program.

Part of what makes the QCP so useful to the design industry is strict adherence to the program policies. In order to maintain the credibility of the QCP as a quality management tool, the program policies must be enforced equally among applicants and currently accredited firms. To download the latest version of the Program Policy manual, visit our Web site, or click here.

2010 Renewal Deadline Extended to April 30

The AWI QCC Board of Directors voted to extend the 2010 QCP renewal deadline to midnight, April 30. If your firm's accreditation expired in 2009, this means you can be reinstated into the QCP if you choose to do so without having to reapply, provided you submit the full renewal fee, including the late fee of $300, by or before midnight, April 30, 2010. In addition, you may resume use of the QCP logo after you've paid the necessary fees and received confirmation from us that you’ve been reinstated in the program. Finally, please note that your term of participation will expire Dec. 31, 2010, as stated in the program policies. For additional information, please contact AWI QCC Executive Vice President Craig Elias at

New Biennial Inspection Requirement Save Time and Money

With the 2010 forecast indicating more challenges for the industry, the AWI QCC Board of Directors has amended the biennial inspection requirements for accredited firms.

You may recall from the policies that whereby an inspector needs to visit the plant every two years, the AWI QCC needs to see compliant samples of work in the sections for which you are accredited every four years. 

In lieu of this two-year interval, which in the past was conducted separately from project inspections, the board chose to base the timing of the biennial inspection upon the last time a QCP representative visited the plant, and in which the work shown was compliant with the Standards, thus allowing for a project inspection to serve as a biennial inspection.

With this change, accredited firms will be able to show fewer samples, spend less time preparing for the inspection, and spend less money. 

AWI QCC staff will send annual notices indicating when the next inspection is due and the samples required at that inspection. Questions may be directed to AWI QCC Executive Vice President, Craig Elias at

Annual Rep. Training is Opportunity for Hands-on Experience

QCP representatives traveled to the Washington, D.C. area, March 17-20, for their annual training initiative. This year, representatives had the opportunity to hone their inspection and reporting skills during on-site tours of two Q-certified projects in Reston, VA:  The College Board offices, a recent award-winning project by Jefferson Millwork and Design, Inc. of Sterling, VA, and the Reston offices of Sallie Mae, with millwork by Gaithersburg Cabinetry and Millwork of Warrenton, VA. The latter was featured as a cover story for Design Solutions magazine. Together, these installations offered a broad assortment of premium-quality contemporary plastic laminate casework, stain grade fixtures and paneling, column surrounds, and unique custom features. "Our sincere thanks to Dominic Giovinazzo of Jefferson Millwork and Kirk Vetter of Gaithersburg Cabinetry for their time and effort in facilitating this valuable educational experience," said AWI QCC Inspections Manager Wayne Hintz.

Comings and Goings
Tim Byrne, Woodbyrne Cabinetry, Joins AWI QCC Board of Directors

Tim graduated from St. Mary of the Barron’s College in 1976, and founded WoodByrne Cabinetry in 1978. He has worked in all aspects of the business, from construction and installation, to estimating and management. Tim has been an active member of AWI and the QCC, where he's served on the Board of Directors, Membership Committee and the Discovery Board. He's also active in the St. Louis AWI chapter. Woodbyrne Cabinetry has been Q-accredited since 1999. The AWI QCC staff and board welcome his input.

Rep. Spotlight
Mike Frasca

Mike graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) Brockport in 1983, and the Durham (N.C.) Technical Institute in 1985. He has been involved in various aspects of the architectural woodwork business ever since. Mike is currently the owner of F&S Woodworking, a fabrication and installation firm located in Olive Bridge, NY. He joined the league of Q-representatives in January of 2009, and is responsible for conducting inspections in upstate New York. Mike resides in the Catskills with his wife and children.

On the Road with the QCC

The AWI QCC will participate in several tradeshows this spring. Please stop by to say "hello" and pick up a copy of the AWS.

  1. GSA Project Knowledge and Technology Showcase -- May 11, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans, booth #56.
  2. CONSTRUCT2010 -- May 12-14, Philadelphia Convention Center, booth #867.
  3. AIA 2010 -- June 10-12, Miami Beach Convention Center, booth#986.

Spring 2010
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Congratulations to the following companies that recently earned Q-accreditation. Look for these and more than 500 other Q-accredited woodworkers at

Alpha Omega Woodworks, LLC 
Norman, OK
Date Accredited: 1/4/2010 
QSI Sections and Grades: P300-600, P900, P1600 and P1700


Anton Cabinetry 
Arlington, TX 
Date Accredited: 1/13/2010 
AWS Sections and Grades: P5, P6, P8, P9, P10, P11


Apple Contractors 
Houston, TX
Date Accredited: 2/16/2010  
AWS Sections and Grades: P5, P6, P8, P9, P10, P11.1, P6.1, P8.1, P8.2, P9.1, P9.2, P10.2 and P10.3


Cabin-Tree Cabinets, Inc.
Bluffdale, UT
Date Accredited: 4/12/10
AWS Sections and Grades: C5


Central Wisconsin Woodworking 
Wausau, WI
Date Accredited: 1/19/2010  
AWS Sections and Grades: P5, P6.1, P8.1, P8.3, P10.1, P10.3 and P11


Crider's Finishing 
Sterling, VA 
Date Accredited: 1/26/2010
QSI Sections and Grades: P1500


Crowe's Cabinets, Inc. 
Lowellville, OH 
Date Accredited: 1/29/2010
AWS Sections and Grades: P10.3 and P11


Distinctive Wood Works, Inc.
Earlville, IA
Date Accredited: 4/19/10
AWS Sections and Grades: P6.1, P8, P10.1, P10.2, P10.3, P11
QSI Sections and Grades: P300-600, P1500-1600


Educational & Laboratory Systems
Fairfield , NJ 
Date Accredited: 1/6/2010 
QSI Sections and Grades: P300-600 and P1500-1700


Fine-Line Cabinets, Inc. 
Hollidaysburg, PA 
Date Accredited: 1/11/2010 
QSI Sections and Grades: P300, C400A, P400B and C, P600, P1500-1700


The Helfenbein Company
Baltimore, MD
Date Accredited: 4/5/10
AWS Sections and Grades: P5, P8.1, P8E, P10.1, P10.3, P10E, P11, P11E


Jericho Woodworks 
Sugar Land, TX 
Date Accredited: 1/4/2010 
QSI Sections and Grades: P400A and B, P600, P1600 and P1700


Landmark Finish, Inc. 
Andover, MA 
Date Accredited: 1/12/2010 
AWS Sections and Grades: P11, P6, P6.1, P8, P8.1, P10, P10.1 and P10.3


The Maiman Company
Springfield, MO
Date Accredited: 3/25/10
AWS Sections and Grades: P5, P6, P9.1, P9.2, P9.3


M.C. Mill and Design 
Sandy, UT 
Date Accredited: 1/22/2010 
QSI Sections and Grades: P300, P400ABC, P600 and P1500-1700


Nicewood Enterprises, Inc. 
Toano, VA 
Date Accredited: 1/29/2010 
AWS Sections and Grades: P6.1, P9.3, P10.1, P10.3, P11, P5, P8.1 and C9.3


Perfection Cabinetry 
Cullman, AL 
Date Accredited: 3/4/2010 
AWS Sections and Grades: P11 and C10.3


Rails Plus, Inc. 
Englewood, CO 
Date Accredited: 1/6/2010 
QSI Sections and Grades: P400ABC, P500, P1500 and P1700


Saroyan Lumber Company 
Huntington Park, CA 
Date Accredited: 12/31/2009 
AWS Section and Grade: P6.1


Wavell-Huber Wood Products, Inc. 
North Salt Lake City, UT 
Date Accredited: 1/11/2010 
QSI Sections and Grades: P300, P400A and C, P500-700, P900, P1300, P1500 and P1700


Westwood Mill & Cabinet 
Salt Lake City, UT 
Date Accredited: 2/10/2010 
AWS Sections and Grades: P6.1, P8.1, P8.2, P10.1, P10.2, P10.3 and P11


White Rock Custom Cabinets
St. Paul, MN
Date Accredited: 4/1/2010
QSI Sections and Grades: P400A, B and C and P1700


AWI QCC Board of Directors

QCC President
Dean G. Rummel
TMI Systems Design
Dickinson, ND

Steve Bialek
Englewood, CO  

Tim Byrne
Woodbyrne Cabinets
St. Louis, MO

Doug Carney
R & S Casework, Inc.
Fargo, ND

Philip Duvic *
Architectural Woodwork
Potomac Falls, VA

Shows Leary
Shows Leary Project
Petersburg, NY

Matt Lundahl
Meyer and Lundahl
Phoenix, AZ

William A. Munyan, AIA, CSI
R&M Group PLLC
Charlotte, NC

Patrick Nartker *
2008-2009 AWI
QCC Treasurer
Ted Bolle Millwork, Inc.
Springfield, OH

Greg Shenkler
Skanska Building USA
Raleigh, NC

* ex officio

The board, which convenes in the fall each year, is responsible for program oversight, including policies and budgets.


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