New design values for all sizes and grades of visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber became effective June 1, 2013. New design values apply only to new construction; the integrity of existing structures designed and built using design values meeting applicable building codes at the time of permitting does not change.

Southern Pine users can find complete information about the new design values, as well as comparisons with other species and updated span tables on Related to this development, the American Wood Council (AWC) has also revised its standards and design tools, and developed addenda to assist with building code enforcement.

“Everyone should be using the new design values now that the effective date is upon us,” said Cathy Kaake, SFPA’s vice president of technical marketing. “Look for the New Design Values logo on SFPA’s publications to make sure you have the current information on Southern Pine lumber products,” added Cathy.

Southern Pine’s strength and stiffness is comparable to other softwood species used in residential and commercial construction. Southern Pine users have many available product options including visually graded dimension lumber and an increasing supply of mechanically graded lumber. From framing a house to building a deck, Southern Pine continues to be a dependable product with superior treatability against decay and termites.


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 and Timber Products Inspection recently completed the full In-Grade design value matrix by destructively testing more than 7,400 full-size samples of commercially produced Southern Pine in a two-step process, resulting in more than 300,000 data points.

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 online at

Back to news list

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.