Monday Morning Briefing 5-21-2012
New Southern Pine Design Values Become Effective June 1As previously communicated in this report, new design values for #2 and lower grade Southern Pine and Mixed Southern Pine 2x4’s will become effective on June 1 of this year. These reduced values, developed by the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB), were approved by the American Lumber Standard Committee’s Board of Review in January. At the urging of NAHB and other industry stakeholders, an effective date of June 1 was provided to allow the industry some time to transition to the new design values while avoiding project delays and market disruptions. As part of these efforts, the American Wood Council has developed addenda to the National Design Specification for Wood Construction, the Wood Frame Construction Manual, and the Span Tables for Joists and Rafters reflecting the new design values, and has also developed recommended amendments to prescriptive tables in the International Residential Code and International Building Code. The new values were reduced by 25-30% and will primarily affect the design of roof trusses. Though the maximum allowable spans for 2x4 headers, joists and rafters will be shorter, they are not commonly used in those applications, and so will have minimal effects on most builders. In addition, 2x4 studs used in conventional construction are not affected by this change. It is our understanding that any such adoption would apply only to new construction. Projects already under construction or submitted to the building department prior to an adoption date should not be affected, however in any particular situation, builders should consult with their local jurisdiction regarding any plans to adopt and enforce the new design values. Going forward, SPIB is testing additional sizes and grades of Southern Pine. A submission to ALSC is expected in late summer or early fall, which may propose reductions to design values for larger sizes (including 2x6 through 2x12) and higher grades (#1 and Select Structural). ALSC has also directed that the other major species (Douglas Fir, Hem-Fir and Spruce-Pine-Fir) should undergo sampling and testing to assure there are no changes to their current design values.
Builder Confidence Up Five Points in May
Housing Starts Rise 2.6 Percent in April From Upwardly Revised Pace
- Joanne Loftus