Skip to main content

Laboratory Testing Services from AWI

AWI Tested and Approved Construction Methodologies Now Available!

AWI Tested and Approved Construction Methodologies

These AWI-tested engineered drawings indicate the construction methods that have been tested and proven to meet the indicated Performance Duty Level by the AWI National Testing Center in Americus, GA. The use of these drawings alone will not indicate compliance with AWI Standards. In order to achieve compliance with AWI standards, the manufacturer will need to acquire an Official AWI Testing Report and pass an audit inspection verifying the construction methods contained with the Testing Report have been followed.

Base Cabinets

Duty Level 4: Particleboard, MDF, Veneer Core

Wall Cabinets

Duty Level 4: Particleboard, MDF, Veneer Core

Tall Cabinets

Duty Level 4: Particleboard

Drawer Boxes

Duty Level 4: Hardwood

Duty Level 4: Particleboard

Duty Level 4: Veneer Core

Duty Level 2: Particleboard

Shelf Supports

Duty Level 4: Steel

Duty Level 3: Steel

AWI Testing Methods

The AWI Testing Methods outline the requirements for the submittal of drawings, manufacture, assembly, and confirmation of architectural wood casework, drawer boxes, and finishing test specimens intended for testing at the AWI National Testing Center or ISO 17025 accredited laboratories.

AWI Testing Methods can be found in the AWI Publication Store.

Publication Store

Header image grooved wood background

20.9 Tested and Approved Methodology Policy

Per compliance with the ANSI / AWI Standards a performance duty level requires laboratory proof of how the combination of a given construction method, material, and/or hardware combination perform against a given test criteria. This test criteria only validates the performance of an individual product. AWI acknowledges 3 paths to achieve this requirement: AWI Membership Distributed, Proprietary, Nonmember Purchase. Regardless of path, the applicable product must be constructed identical to engineering found in testing report for consideration of compliance.

20.9.1 AWI Membership Distributed

20.9.1.1 Use Requirement – A testing report previously approved by AWI will be available to AWI Manufacturing/Industry Company Members in good standing with AWI, pursuant to the provisions of this section 20.9.1. The name on the project contract documents must be an AWI Manufacturing/Industry Company Member in good standing with AWI. Testing report documents are nontransferable.

20.9.1.2 Cost – An AWI Membership Distributed testing report requires the applicable member to be current on its Annual Membership Dues, and the payment of additional Testing Report fees. Fees described in this section 20.9 shall be set by the AWI Board of Directors and shall be reasonably related to costs incurred, taking into consideration a reasonable offset from members’ payment of dues where applicable. ($30 per TR initially, $15 annually)

20.9.1.3 Initial Verification – AWI Membership Distributed testing report documentation will not be considered valid until the applicable member has successfully passed an audit inspection. If a failed inspection is received, the Member Company will pay ($750) for the subsequent inspection and ($375) for following inspections until a positive inspection is achieved.

20.9.1.4 Annual Verification – Members are subject to randomized video/in-person manufacturing inspections to ensure construction methodologies are being met. If a failed inspection is received, Member Company will pay ($750) for the subsequent inspection and ($375) for following inspections until a positive inspection is achieved. Use of reports will be suspended until a positive inspection is achieved.

20.9.2 Proprietary

20.9.2.1 Use Requirement – A company may obtain a Proprietary Testing Report from a source other than AWI. To be acceptable in this program, such a Proprietary Testing Report must include the company name on the Testing Report and that company name must be the same as the company name on project contract documents. Company holding the original rights to a valid report in good standing may grant use rights to one or more other parties on terms determined by them. In the event that a company grants use rights to another party (the “Licensee”) and the Licensee wishes to use the licensed Proprietary Testing Report in this program, the Licensee shall pay a validation fee to AWI. ($40 per TR initially, $30 annually)

20.9.2.2 Cost – The fee for obtaining a Proprietary Testing Report varies based on laboratories. AWI conducts laboratory testing, but testing also may take place at any independent laboratory that meets AWI laboratory qualifications. In the event of laboratory testing being conducted by a non-AWI laboratory, AWI shall charge a reasonable fee review and confirm the report results. ($250) A tested methodology is only required to be laboratory tested once with ongoing annual verification. Should the method not be maintained continuously, new laboratory testing results will be required.

20.9.2.3 Initial Verification – Testing Company initial verification is achieved during the testing process. AWI shall not consider documentation to be valid until the Licensee has successfully passed an audit inspection. If a failed inspection is received, Licensee will pay ($750 member/$1125 nonmember) for the subsequent inspection and ($375 member/$600 nonmember) for following inspections until a positive inspection is achieved.

20.9.2.4 Annual Verification – All Testing Reports on file are subject to randomized video/in-person manufacturing inspections to ensure construction methodologies are being met. If a failed inspection is received, Inspected Company will pay ($750 member/$1125 nonmember) for the subsequent inspection and ($375 member/$600 nonmember) for following inspections until a positive inspection is achieved. Use of reports will be suspended until a positive inspection is achieved.

20.9.3 Nonmember Purchase

20.9.3.1 Use Requirement – A company that is not a member of AWI may purchase from AWI the rights to use the AWI Membership Distributed Testing Report. Such a Testing Report will be issued to the non-member company under the purchasing name provided by the company. These testing reports documents are nontransferable.

20.9.3.2 Cost – AWI shall charge applicable non-member companies on a per-report basis, with the permission to use the Testing Report lasting for a 12-month term. ($630)

20.9.3.3 Verification – Documentation will not be valid until the purchaser has successfully passed an audit inspection. If a failed inspection is received, purchaser will pay ($1125) for the subsequent inspection and ($600) for following inspections until a positive inspection is achieved.

Testing reports only confirm the joinery/structural performance of the product in a laboratory environment. AWI endorses the Quality Certification Program to ensure the project’s compliance with all structural and aesthetic requirements per the AWI Standard and project specification.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Should I have my cabinets tested or follow AWI’s methods?

The decision to pursue proprietary testing or AWI methods will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Several things to consider while making this decision include your current manufacturing processes and efficiencies, the number of jobs you produce that must comply with current AWI Standards, your current construction methods, the level of adjustments that would need to made to current methods to match AWI methods, etc.  If you would like to further discuss which method of compliance may be right for you, please contact Hunter Morrison at [email protected] 

How is the performance duty level determined?

Product Performance Duty Level is determined by the lowest tested value derived from AWI Test Methodologies (Example: A Product may include a cabinet body construction meeting Performance Duty Level 4 and may also include an adjustable shelf system meeting Performance Duty Level 2. The assembled casework unit would then meet Performance Duty Level 2 as the lowest tested value).

What does testing cost?

Testing costs are dependent on the test batteries performed and the number of specimens tested.  For a customized quote, please contact Hunter Morrison at [email protected]

Will my testing results be shared?

Proprietary testing results will be kept confidential by AWI.

How long does the process usually take?

The overall process can take a month or longer once engineering, fabrication and shipping is factored in while the test batteries typically take about one week to complete.

Does each individual job need to be tested?

No. Each job does not need to be tested. Once your cabinets have been tested, the results are valid.

What types of tests are conducted?

The tests conducted are assembled unit tests and structural integrity tests. The load values express in AWI test methodologies do not suggest service loads nor shall they be construed as suggesting normal casework usage loads.