AWI developing new architectural woodwork suite of standards
February 7, 2018 | 8:39 am CST

POTOMAC FALLS, Va. -- The Architectural Woodwork Institute is in the process of creating a new suite of standards for custom architectural woodwork. The creation of the new AWI Standards is expected to continue for two years. They will define and address each aspect of architectural woodwork. AWI has adopted and numerically aligned each woodwork standard to CSI's 2016 MasterFormat numbering system.

While the Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2, 2014 remains AWI's current and recognized woodwork standard, interim specification language recommended by AWI is as follows: "All work in this section shall comply with AWI's published standards, latest edition, for grades of architectural woodwork indicated for construction, finishes, installation, and other requirements." 

In early 2018, AWI will be vetting its first standard, the new AWI 0620 Finish Carpentry (installation) Standard through a balanced industry canvas group in adherence to AWI's approved ANSI process. Following the canvas and balloting process, AWI will undergo an initial compliance audit administered by ANSI. Later in the third quarter of 2018, the AWI 0620 Finish Carpentry Standard is scheduled for release and use by design professionals and specifiers in planning upcoming projects.

The Architectural Woodwork Institute's National Testing Center (NTC) in Americus, Georgia, has completed extensive testing of base and wall cabinet joinery methods and various materials to ascertain integrity and functionality performance outcomes in support of the new AWI 0641 – Architectural Wood Casework Standard's development. In the coming months, NTC is conducting tests on tall storage cabinets and various drawer materials and joinery methods.  Additionally, NTC will be testing load capacity and span deflection values of different shelf materials common to architectural casework.

In the near term, AWI's Technical Committee is analyzing test data outcomes to establish various Casework Performance Duty Levels.  Each Casework Performance Duty Level is intended to provide specifiers and design professionals with options for selecting the appropriate casework relative to that product's intended use, its installed application and function over time. Options and choices for the product's desired visual aesthetic are defined and specified as Premium, Custom and Economy aesthetic grade selections for a product's appearance and the permissible manufacturing tolerances within each of the three aesthetic grades.  

The new AWI Standards are being developed for accessibility in multiple digital platforms including tablets, smartphones, and computers alike. A simplified numeric format outlines the new standard's content while information is straightforward in presentation and easy to reference. 

Contact Ashley Goodin,, for assistance and for information on participating in the new AWI Standard review process. For more information about this topic, contact Margaret Fisher at 571-926-5522 or email at


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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at