Southern pine users should plot their own course when implementing the new design value reductions in Southern pine 2x4s, the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) said today.

The new reductions affect some design values by 25% to 30% for visually-graded No.2-- and lower--2x4s. The changes were proposed by the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau and passed by the American Lumber Standard Committee, a quasi-government agency authorized to set grading standards for lumber used in residential and commercial construction, on Jan. 11. They will take effect on June 1.

The SFPA suggested two implementation paths for Southern pine users, which includes builders, component manufacturers, and dealers. The first was to finish current projects and implement the changes on new projects. The second suggestion was to set a certain date after which all projects would be built to the standards of new design values.

“The effective date of June 1 allows for an orderly transition to the new design values,” said Cathy Kaake, senior director of engineered and framing markets at SFPA. “The intent of the six-month transition period is to allow the marketplace to begin to use the new design values or switch to other Southern pine grades or sizes meeting strength and stiffness requirements.”

The SFPA also said it is continuing to work with industry segment leaders to create a unified approach to the implementation of future design value changes.

“We are receiving positive reactions from customer groups and will continue to work with them going forward,” said Kaake.