Lumber is one of most common structural components on any building site. It’s a renewable material that can offer cost advantages, it’s easily available, and it can be cut and sized on-site for use in nearly any kind of construction project. Lumber—including framing studs, roofing trusses and flooring systems—is found throughout residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and recreational construction projects worldwide.
Dimensional lumber refers to the standard pre-dimensioned wood used in wood-frame construction, including walls, floors and roofs. It is manufactured in a variety of sizes for use in wall framing, flooring systems, roof trusses and exterior applications.
Machine stress-rated lumber is recommended where great strength is critical, such as in truss rafters, machine stress-rated and machine-evaluated lumber offers consistency of performance. Machine grading measures a desired characteristic – such as bending strength or density – and ensures that the graded lumber is more precisely selected than is possible with visual grading.
Kiln drying lumber is recommended as freshly sawn lumber is often too high in moisture content for some uses. Kiln drying before the lumber is shipped reduces moisture content and increases the wood’s structural integrity, appearance and workability, as well as reducing swelling and/or shrinkage. Virtually all lumber is kiln-dried to a moisture content of 19% or less.
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Manufacturing wood into products also requires far less energy than other materials, and most of that comes from residual biomass (such as bark and sawdust).
Grading delivers consistent quality and reliability
As an organic, natural resource, lumber varies in appearance, characteristics and quality. B.C. has developed a sophisticated system of product standards, engineering design guidelines and government regulations to assure customers of uniform product quality. Under B.C.’s quality control system, forest products are manufactured and graded to internationally-recognized standards or to specifications designed to meet the specific requirements of the customer and /or the product’s intended end use.
The National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA) is responsible for writing, interpreting and maintaining Canadian lumber grading rules and standards. The Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board (CLSAB) approves NLGA rules and standards, accredits lumber grading agencies, and monitors the quality of Canada’s lumber grading and identification system.