GERMANTOWN, MD - New visually graded southern pine dimension lumber design values  were submitted in a proposal by the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau  to the American Lumber Standard Committee, which meets Oct. 18 to consider them. It is the first major change in lumber design values in more than 20 years.

More than 7,400 full-size samples of commercially produced southern pine were destructively tested in a two-step process. The data analysis combined all data from steps one and two to provide the best estimates of design values.

“The results are encouraging, better-than-expected news for southern pine lumber producers and users,” said  Cathy Kaake, VP technical marketing for the Southern Forest Products Assn. in a statement about the review. Southern pine’s strength and stiffness remain comparable to other softwood species used in residential and commercial construction, she said.

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 in Madison, WI.

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