KENNER, LA -- The American Lumber Standard Committee Board of Review has approved the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau’s design value changes for all sizes and grades of visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber, and recommended an effective date of June 1, 2013. SPIB will publish the new design values in its Supplement 13 to the Standard Grading Rules for Southern Pine Lumber, 2002 Edition.

“Southern Pine producers and their customers are pleased with the ALSC Board of Review’s decision on new design values,” says Cathy Kaake, vice president of technical marketing for the Southern Forest Products Association, who testified at the ALSC hearing on Jan. 30. “A June 1 effective date provides time for an orderly transition to the new design values,” she says.

The intent of a transition period is to minimize project delays and supply chain disruptions by providing time to manage design value changes. Producers and key customer groups should use this period to evaluate and prepare for the potential impact on their businesses. Establishing implementation plans will aid in a successful transition to this second set of new design values.

SFPA will continue to facilitate dialog among key industry segments to provide a unified approach to implementation of these new design values. “Throughout this transition period, SFPA will provide both the current design values as well as the ALSC-approved new design values,” Cathy adds. Detailed Q&As, as well as span tables based on both current and the new design values, will be available from SFPA at during the transition period.

Following publication of SPIB’s Supplement 13, the American Wood Council (AWC) will work with the International Code Council to incorporate the new design values into span tables in the 2015 International Building Code and 2015 International Residential Code. AWC will also develop addenda and other updates to use with new construction designed in accordance with its standards and design tools, as well as recommended revisions to previous code editions.

Southern Pine is Strong, Dependable

Southern Pine’s strength and stiffness is comparable to other softwood species used in residential and commercial construction. “Southern Pine users have many available product options including visually graded dimension lumber and an increasing supply of mechanically graded lumber,” said Cathy Kaake.

Southern Pine is one of the best construction products on the market today. Southern Pine lumber provides a great value in a wide variety of applications. From framing a house to building a deck, Southern Pine continues to be a dependable product for any project.

ALSC approved new design values effective June 1, 2012 that only applied to visually graded Southern Pine and Mixed Southern Pine sized 2” to 4” wide and 2” to 4” thick (2x2s through 4x4s) in No.2 and lower grades (No.2, No.3, Stud, Construction, Standard and Utility). This approval also included new design values for No.2 Dense and Nondense Southern Pine. SPIB and Timber Products inspection then completed the full In-Grade matrix by destructively testing more than 7,400 full-size samples of commercially produced Southern Pine in the two-step process, resulting in more than 300,000 data points.

The last major change for visually graded dimension lumber occurred in 1991 when design values for Southern Pine and other North American species were published based on In-Grade testing of full-size samples of commercially produced lumber. Since 1994, SPIB has conducted an annual resource monitoring program developed in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). SPIB is the first rules-writing agency to submit design value changes. Rules-writing agencies responsible for other species are in different stages for evaluating design values.

SFPA does not test lumber or establish design values. SFPA’s primary function is to market lumber products and to help users understand Southern Pine grading rules and design values.

Complete information about Southern Pine design values is available online at

Source: SFPA

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