The Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) is working with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory to verify all data to establish new design values for visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber, for final consideration by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Board of Review.

The ALSC Board of Review was scheduled to review SPIB’s submittal at its hearing yesterday. In a notice e-mailed on Wednesday, ALSC President Tom Searles announced: “We just received the attached notice from SPIB withdrawing their design values submittal. The hearing will proceed to receive all comments that attendees wish to make. Another hearing will be scheduled upon receipt of a re-submission of the SPIB design values.”

In his e-mail to ALSC earlier on Wednesday, SPIB Secretary Bob Browder said: “The Southern Pine Inspection Bureau requests that our previously submitted Design Values for Southern Pine Lumber be withdrawn from the Board of Review Agenda on 18 October 2012. We received the Forest Products Laboratory comments the evening of 16 October. Their comments include items that we have not discussed with the FPL personnel. It is our opinion that our submission has been properly prepared and that the only changes involve rounding in some of the cells. We believe that extraneous issues need to be carefully reviewed and differences resolved prior to the Board of Review consideration.”

Cathy Kaake, SFPA’s vice president for technical marketing, testified at yesterday’s ALSC hearing. With the support of SFPA’s Board of Directors and allied industry groups, Cathy encouraged the ALSC Board of Review to recommend an effective date six months following their approval of new design values.

“SFPA has taken the lead in design value communications since first learning about potential changes to Southern Pine design values in 2011. We have facilitated the exchange of information between Southern Pine lumber producers and key customer groups, including homebuilders, building material dealers, component manufacturers, treaters, wholesalers, post-frame builders, design/build professionals and code officials,” Cathy testified. “The Southern Forest Products Association appreciates the opportunity to provide input on this critical industry issue, and thanks the ALSC Board of Review for its serious consideration for a reasonable, six-month transition period,” she added.

Following the hearing, Cathy noted: “Given some slight discrepancies, SPIB and the Forest Products Laboratory are working cooperatively to finalize the analysis of the latest test data, comprised of more than 300,000 data points. This is the largest submission of data since the original In-Grade Testing Program in 1991. Providing additional time allows for this science-based process to produce the most accurate estimates of design values.”

The next regular meeting of the ALSC Board of Review is scheduled for January 30, 2013. SFPA will continue to monitor the process and keep all stakeholders informed of the latest developments.

BACKGROUND: 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).

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 at www.southernpine.com.

Source: Southern Forest Products Association

 

 

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