AWI and SMA Lead New Stair and Railing Standards Development Through ANSI Process

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) has announced that the Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association (SMA) will be collaborative partners in the development of a new AWI/SMA 0643 – Wood-Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems draft standard through AWI's ANSI-approved process. 

With the completion of the draft standard, the AWI team is preparing to begin the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) canvass process, during which the proposed standard will be subject to further review and vetting by industry leaders. Upon completion of the canvass process, the AWI team will address any comments or suggestions submitted by the canvass body.

The AWI/SMA 0643 – Wood-Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems draft standard differentiates between structural performance and aesthetic requirements for stair systems, ensuring that industry professionals have the ability to tailor the product to their specific needs. In contrast to other standards recently developed by AWI, the proposed AWI/SMA 0643 standard will include a separate installation section, to be used by stair system installers in the field. This allows industry professionals to maintain direct control over the finished product's aesthetic qualities and the expected structural performance of the assembled product.

Prior to the beginning of the ANSI canvass process, the draft AWI/SMA 0643 - Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard will be available for public comment at To submit comments regarding the draft, affected users will use the 0643 Public Comment Response Form, which will be available at

Pending the results of the ANSI canvass process, AWI anticipates the release of the AWI/SMA 0643 – Wood-Stairs, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard in Q1 of 2020. The final document will be made available to architectural woodwork industry professionals through for a minimum of 45 days prior to the standard's effective date.

While the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), Edition 2, 2014 remains AWI's current and recognized woodwork standard, AWI's Margaret Fisher noted that several entries in the next generation of AWI Standards became effective on March 15, 2019 for use by design professionals and specifiers in project planning. 

The new AWI Standards; 100 - Submittals, 200 - Care & Storage, 300 - Materials and the new AWI/ANSI – 0620 Finish Carpentry/Installation are currently available for download and reference from AWI's website, Meanwhile, 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." 

Technical help is available at 229-389-2543. Contact Ashley Goodin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  for assistance and for information on participating in the standards review process.

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About AWI   

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1953. Today, AWI represents nearly 3000 members consisting of architectural woodworkers, suppliers, design professionals and students from around the world.   For more information -

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Monday, 05 December 2022