NIST Opens Review of Softwood Lumber Standard, PS 20

Originally published by: Federal RegisterApril 8, 2019

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The American Lumber Standard Committee (Committee) acts as the Standing Committee for review and revision of PS 20-15. The Committee is responsible for maintaining, revising, and interpreting the standard, and is comprised of producers, distributors, users, and others with an interest in the standard.

PS 20-15 establishes standard sizes and requirements for developing and coordinating the lumber grades of the various species of lumber, the assignment of design values, and the preparation of grading rules applicable to each species.

2.6 Design values-- Published design data that are representative of the strength and stiff-ness of specific grades and species/species groups of lumber.

Its provisions include:

1) implementation of the standard through an accreditation and certification program;
2) establishment of principal classifications and lumber sizes for yard, structural, and factory/shop use;
3) classification, measurement, grading, and grade-marking of lumber;
4) definitions of terms and procedures to provide a basis for the use of uniform methods in the grading inspection, measurement, and description of softwood lumber;  
5) commercial names of the principal softwood species;
6) definitions of terms used in describing standard grades of lumber; and
7) commonly used industry abbreviations.

The standard also includes the organization and functions of the Committee, the Board of Review, and the National Grading Rule Committee.

NIST invites public comments on the current standard, PS 20-15, which is available at​sites/​default/​files/​documents/​2017/​06/​13/​doc_​ps_​20-15_​american_​softwood_​lumber_​standard-final-2-25-15.pdf.

All submissions, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure.

Written comments regarding the proposed revision should be submitted to the Standards Services Division, NIST, no later than April 29, 2019.

Written comments and further information on the standard or the comment process should be submitted to David F. Alderman, Standards Services Division, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2100, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2100; fax (301) 975-4715. Electronic comments may be submitted via email to

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