As a follow up to its approval of new design values for visually graded No. 2 and lower grades of 2×4 Southern Pine lumber in January, the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Board of Review has approved additional new design values for No.2 2×4 Dense and NonDense grades, with an effective date of June 1, 2012. This size category includes material that is 2 to 4 inches thick and 2 to 4 inches wide.  In announcing its decision March 9, ALSC stated: “After consideration of all the information available to it, the Board approved the No.2 Dense 2 to 4 inches thick and 2 to 4 inches wide and No. 2 Non-Dense 2 to 4 inches thick and 2 to 4 inches wide southern pine design values as submitted by SPIB on February 10, 2012 with a recommended effective date of June 1, 2012.”

“The new design values for No.2 Dense and No.2 NonDense apply only to Southern Pine lumber,” says Cathy Kaake, senior director of engineered and framing markets for the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA). “Mixed Southern Pine does not have published Dense and NonDense grades,” she adds.

Minutes of the ALSC Board of Review’s March 9 executive session along with previous ALSC rulings are available on the New Design Values page of  Also available from this page is Supplement No.9 to SPIB’s 2002 Standard Grading Rules for Southern Pine Lumber, plus a revised table providing the new design values.  An updated Questions & Answers document will be available soon.

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). SPIB is the first rules-writing agency to submit proposed 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.

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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.