This $73 million, 525-unit housing project at the United States Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse, Louisiana features four million board feet of borate-treated Southern Pine structural framing lumber. The development also called for two million square feetĀ of borate-treated OSB sheathing.


Although wood treated with borates is naturally clear and nearly indistinguishable from untreated wood, it’s tinted green in this project to set it apart as a treated product. The decision to color the wood is left up to the individual treating company, and often helps the builder with inventory of treated and untreated lumber.

Like other advanced waterborne preservatives, borate-treated lumber protects structures against decay and termites. Borates are a diffusible preservative approved for above ground applications that are continuously protected from liquid water. They are an excellent choice for enclosed structural framing, as this Navy housing project exemplifies. Borates were also chosen for the project because of their cost effectiveness compared to other construction methods.

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.