Design Solutions - Summer 2017 - 12

To this end, AWI's
Standard document adopted
three quality Grades:
Economy, Custom and
Premium. Conceptually,
each level required more
labor, better materials and
higher labor production
costs to achieve a specific
measure of quality or in
some cases, a subjective
description requirement.
For example, both the
2005 AWI Quality Standards
Illustrated 8th Edition and
the 2014 Architectural
Woodwork Standards
Edition Two define three
quality Grades as, Economy
Grade - The lower grade
in both material and
workmanship, and intended
for work [products] where
price outweighs quality
considerations.
Custom Grade - The
middle or normal Grade
in both material and
workmanship, and
intended for high-quality,
conventional work
[products].
Premium Grade - The
highest Grade available
in both materials and
workmanship intended
for the finest work. This is
naturally the most expensive
Grade."

12

I

designsolutions summer 2017

For the past 60 or so
years, the three Grade
definitions imply that
with each higher Grade,
product costs increased,
workmanship quality
improved and visual
appearance is superior
than the preceding Grade.
Thus, as Standards evolved
over time, prescriptive
requirements were
adopted to define the
ways and means by which
architectural woodwork is
to be fabricated, which also
supports the relationship
between higher quality and
higher product costs given
the challenges surrounding
the one-word Grade
descriptors.
The old orthodoxy of a
one-word Grade description
is totally inadequate
in today's marketplace
and must change. With
the integration and
application of networked
digital technologies,
manufacturing technicians
can produce more with
fewer craftsmanship skill
requirements, in fewer labor
hours and with repeatable
accuracy levels nearing
tolerances of .0001". A
remarkable and dynamic
departure from the 1950s
skilled craftsman production
process of yester-year!

Five Variables
The current industry
standards include a mix of five
variables that on the surface
appear to offer the user more
options but may tend to limit
the entry of new products into
the marketplace and stifle
the introduction of innovative
joinery methods. Over time, and
perhaps unintentionally, these
variables have become the
industry's rules and regulations.

This unwieldy combination
tends to impose a Standard
that is confusing, difficult
to navigate, and in the end,
requires manufacturers to
adhere to production processes
that continues to "level the
playing field" through strict
prescriptive joinery and
production requirements, while
adding nothing other than cost
to the end product.

WOODWORK
PERFORMANCE
MEASURES
AND LEVELS
In many cases, meeting
these requirements have
accomplished nothing more
than adding production
costs while creating NO
additional value to the
finished product. These
rules and regulations can be
summarized as,
What you SHALL DO.
What you MAY DO.
What you SHALL NOT DO.
What you SHOULD NOT DO.
And, multiple choices
plus other options for WHAT
YOU CAN DO.

AWI's Vision
AWI is creating our next
generation of architectural
woodwork industry
standards to better meet
specifier and end-user
expectations for product
that meets an intended
function. And to do
this, AWI is establishing
woodwork performance
measures and levels, based
upon factual data obtained
from AWI's National Testing
Center where performance
values are carefully
measured while historical
data is being recorded.
The first descriptor is
based upon woodwork
performance measures. This
means that as Performance
Levels increase from a low of
number one, and with each
successive increase, a higher
level of tested performance
value is delivered. By
providing specifiers with a
tested and proven numeric
Performance Level gives
them an ability to select an
appropriate Performance
Level that meets their customer's
specific needs and use.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Design Solutions - Summer 2017

Contents
Design Solutions - Summer 2017 - Cover1
Design Solutions - Summer 2017 - Cover2
Design Solutions - Summer 2017 - 1
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Design Solutions - Summer 2017 - Contents
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