ALSC Supports MSU Study, Affirms SPIB Recommendations on Approval Track

Originally published by: SBCAApril 30, 2012

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As reported earlier, Mississippi State University, in cooperation with other universities, and funded by a coalition of wood products producers, re-manufacturers, forest landowners, and customers had proposed a study for an investigation of the mill-to-mill and regional variation in lumber properties that will examine the variability throughout the entire southern pine lumber region.

At the American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) Board of Review meeting in Washington, DC on April 18, 2012, they discussed the merits of this proposal. From  the minutes (which can be viewed in their entirety by clicking the pdf link below), it appears ALSC is in support of the study:

“A discussion took place regarding a lumber testing consortium that has developed a proposed study to evaluate within mill and between mill variability. Mr. Rey, representing Travis Lumber Company, and Dr. Shmulsky of Mississippi State University (MSU) made presentations on their concept of the study and their view of its value.

Some comments were made that a mechanism should be derived which would maintain design values for mills producing “higher strength” Southern Pine even if there were indications of change in the resource, and hence global values, as determined by ASTM D-1990.

Dr. Shmulsky indicated that the proposed study would take approximately six to nine months. Upon inquiry, Mr. Rey indicated that a request would be made to stay consideration of the Board’s consideration of any design value proposals arising out of the on-going SPIB/TP full matrix until the proposed study was completed.

The Board, in Executive Session, noted that it would entertain any relevant, timely new scientific information. It was the Board’s unanimous position that if the consortium wishes to proceed with its study, they should do so with the clear understanding that the study’s pendency will not be viewed by the Board as a ground to delay or defer the consideration of the anticipated SPIB.”

Other key items discussed at the ALSC BoR meeting:

  1. It does not appear that Canadian SPF design values will be changing.
  2. Timber Products Inspection will no longer pursue is Audited Stress Rating program.
  3. Douglas Fir Larch testing is on-going and scheduled for submission to ALSC in September of 2012. DFL is being tested first; then testing will be performed on Hem Fir and SPF-South.
  4. SPIB will not have data submitted prior to July 2012.


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