June 1 Implementation of New SP Design Values Imminent

Originally published by: SBCAMay 28, 2013

The following article was produced and published by the source linked to above, who is solely responsible for its content. SBC Magazine is publishing this story to raise awareness of information publicly available online and does not verify the accuracy of the author’s claims. As a consequence, SBC cannot vouch for the validity of any facts, claims or opinions made in the article.

There are a wide variety of groups that have addressed, and will continue to address, the imminent implementation of the new Southern Pine (SP) design values. June 1, 2013, marks the date the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB), (under the oversight of the American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC)), has established for the revised SP “design” values to become “effective”. As can be seen in the screenshot of the SPIB website, it clearly indicates an effective date of June 1, 2013:

Supplement 13 to the 2002 Standard Grading Rules for Southern Pine Lumber's cover page text confirms this:

The operative word for the implementation of the new SP design values is "effective". So what does "effective" specifically mean? Referring to Dictionary.com, the word means:

ef·fec·tive // [ih-fek-tiv] adjective 2. actually in operation or in force; functioning: The law becomes effective at midnight. 

This means that the professional engineers working for American Wood Council (AWC), Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) and SPIB have a really big job ahead of them. For  the lumber design value change to be truly “effective” on June 1, 2013, the new values have to be applied to all end use applications that resist applied loads using standards, such as the National Design Specification (NDS) engineering mechanics resistance equations.

These equations form the basis of engineered resistance tables in the International Residential Code (IRC), International Building Code (IBC), AWC’s Special Design Provisions Wind and Seismic (SDPWS), the Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) and so forth.

To be successful in this professional engineering endeavor, the organizations listed above have had from January 30, 2013 to the June 1, 2013 effective date, to ensure that all end use applied load resistance applications are using the newly implemented SP design values. Their largest challenge is that this task includes ensuring that all of the conventional framing engineered applications that use pre-June 1, 2013 span tables/design values (i.e. all IRC, IBC etc. tables) are well-known to no longer be in force or effect. This is a significant professional engineering job.

If they do not accomplish this task, many will fail to meet the SPIB effective date.  Yet, so little information has been placed into the marketplace advising of the absolute importance of the effective date, the need to implement the new SP design values by the effective date, and the ramifications if one does not accomplish the changeover.  

Are builders and framing contractors, for example, being told that if they build or construct using old design values that they are failing to meet the lawful effective date and most likely will be legally responsible for any resulting claims of failure to comply, bodily injury, or property damage? Would not this be the most responsible course of action to be taken?  

Clearly all who specify  visually-graded SP lumber (i.e., framing contractors, builders, engineers, architects and other building designers) and all who use visually-graded SP lumber (i.e., builders and framers) have to know when to implement new SP lumber designs and then be able to count on the following table (the complete table can be found at SPIB.org),  to accurately provide lumber conventional framing resistance design.


To have any other engineering outcome means that the SPIB  June 1, 2013 effective date means nothing, that it is only suggestive, which is not only implausible, but also a reckless interpretation.

SBCA has been consistently advocating—through its websites (understand the importance of design values, sortable span tables, SYP comparison tables, etc) and data obtained through recent full-scale testing conducted at the SBC Research Institute (SBCRI)—our engineering-based need for an industry policy articulating exactly why raw material design values are so important to the products this industry manufactures. This policy (sbcmag.info/dvp) follows fundamental and generally accepted engineering principles and embraces the June 1 effective date for implementation of the revised SP design values.


One Example of Marketing SP Design Value Changes

Given the importance of the June 1 date, the forest products industry is in, and will continue to be in, an active marketing mode. Here is one example of the information you may see (key concepts in this marketing release are highlighted):


The Southern Pine revisions to design values has been one of the most challenging issues that those buying and using lumber have had to face in the last 30 years. As is commonly known, using the wrong Southern Pine design values after the June 1, 2013 date of effect may have downstream unintended consequences. 

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