Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Hardwood Decking

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Title: Hardwood Decking

This is a recurring question to our helpdesk. The problem goes well beyond quality standards. Since there are no quality standards, the product cannot be tied to a grade per ALSC provisions. Since products cannot be tied to a grade, assigning design values is impossible per existing US standards.

The only solution we can suggest is that designers review the "unadjusted average ultimate mechanical properties" published in Chapter 4 of the USDA Forest Products Lab Wood Handbook:

You'll have to use your own judgement on applying these values in the design process.

Here's what one building department in Virginia has done related to this subject:



John "Buddy" Showalter, P.E.
Director, Technical Media
AF&PA/American Wood Council
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
P: 202-463-2769
F: 202-463-2791
The American Wood Council (AWC) is the wood products division of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA). AWC develops internationally recognized standards for wood design and construction. Its efforts with building codes and standards, engineering and research, and technology transfer ensure proper application for engineered and traditional wood products.

The guidance provided herein is not a formal interpretation of any AF&PA standard.  Interpretations of AF&PA standards are only available through a formal process outlined in AF&PA's standards development procedures.


From: Robert Shmerling <robshmerling(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Hardwood Decking
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Does anyone have experience with specifying imported hardwood decking material? I am trying to interpret the quality standards for the material, which seem to vary widely based on the supplier. The standards are FEQ, FAS, CAH, etc. and they all seem to mean different things to the various suppliers.

If this sounds familiar, any advice would be appreciated. The specific hardwood I am investigating is Brazilian Ipe for an outdoor deck application.