After reviewing feedback it received from the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) withdrew the visually graded southern pine design values it submitted to the American Lumber Standards Committee’s (ALSC) for review. The ALSC’s Board of Review was scheduled to discuss the new values on October 18.
SPIB Secretary Bob Browder, in his email to the ALSC said this about the organization’s decision: “[FPL] comments include items that we have not discussed with the FPL personnel. It is our opinion that our submission has been properly prepared and that the only changes involve rounding in some of the cells. We believe that extraneous issues need to be carefully reviewed and differences resolved prior to the Board of Review consideration.”
The time frame for a final decision about the design values is uncertain. The next ALSC BOR meeting is scheduled for January 30, 2013.
Some in the industry remain concerned that the changes in values will be implemented quickly once they are presented to the ALSC. These concerns include that:
As a result, many industry organizations including the Southern Forest Products Association have asked the ALSC for a six-month transition period. The ALSC does have a history of providing a six-month period after approval before new values go into effect. Changes to the southern pine 2 x 4 values that were approved in January of 2012 did not take effect until June 2012. In keeping with this tradition, it is unlikely that mills and consumers would feel the effects of the upcoming changes until the second half of 2013.