The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) has produced a comprehensive collection of data analysis covering SPIB’s proposed design values for visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber. This package is now available to the public at

All proposed design values for visually graded Southern Pine are here, along with design values for Southern Pine Machine Stress Rated (MSR) and Machine Evaluated Lumber (MEL). Comparisons with other species for both design properties and spans are also here, as are sample alternative Southern Pine grades.  A complete set of span tables is included for all visual, MSR and MEL grades, for seven common loading conditions. Informative Q&As, plus all other items in this 92-page package are also available individually for free downloading at

“SFPA’s design value package is the most extensive analysis available”, says Cathy Kaake, SFPA’s vice president of technical marketing. “The comparisons show that Southern Pine remains comparable to other softwood lumber species, and that many Southern Pine options are available with both visual and mechanical grades,” she adds.

The proposed design values are based on the testing of more than 7,400 full-size samples in a two-step process to complete the full In-Grade testing matrix. On September 17, 2012, the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) submitted the proposed design values for all grades and sizes of visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber to the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC). Proposed design values are subject to adjustment during the ongoing review process and must be approved by the ALSC Board of Review, which is scheduled to meet on October 18, 2012 in Washington, DC.


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

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SFPA is a nonprofit trade association that has represented manufacturers of Southern Pine lumber since 1915. Today, SFPA is the leading source of information about Southern Pine products for design-build professionals and consumers.