|Builders looking for U.S.-grown sources of softwood lumber have a new choice – Norway Spruce grown in New England, New York and the Great Lakes region.
Last October, the American Lumber Standard Committee Board of Review approved the inclusion of Norway Spruce grown in the United States as part of the Spruce-Pine-Fir (South) species group.
Lumber prices have been on the rise, causing concern for home builders and their clients, according to a blog post from NAHB. NAHB reports that lagging domestic supply and increasing tariffs on Canadian lumber are responsible for price increases that could reach as high as 30 percent by April.
Established design values for imported Norway Spruce have existed for some time, but this is the first new, major U.S.-based species to be tested for lumber design values since procedures for assigning such values were initially developed in the 1920s.
With this action, Norway Spruce can be used for wall studs, floor joists, roof rafters and any other application where Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) lumber is currently used. And since the existing design values for SPF apply, builders and inspectors need only look for the grade stamp to know this new source works for the stud heights and joist and rafter spans stated in the International Residential Code and International Building Code. No change to your designs that use SPF are needed.