As some of you may already be aware, on October 20th, 2011 the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau will be proposing new allowable design values for southern pine lumber to the Board of Review of the American Lumber Standard Committee. The proposal will lower design values for all grades and sizes of visually graded southern pine by approximately 25-30%. This will have a major impact on all aspects of the lumber industry.
While the testing for these changes began in 2010, it appears as though many groups have only recently become aware of the proposed changes. One point of contention for many industry representatives is the limited sample size of testing performed to provide the basis for the changes. To my knowledge, approximately 400 southern pine #2 2x4 were tested. No other sizes or grades were tested. Further contention lies in the lack of collaboration with other industry groups to insure that everyone affected has a chance to aid in the process of determining the new design values.
Much more information can be found in the following links:
SBCA News Page
Southern Pine Inspection Bureau Updates
Anthony Forest Products News Page
Another Note: While there appear to be several written items about the changes, I have not found a table of the proposed design values to compare with the current design values.