The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 74 (1996) > Issues > Issue 6 > Guidance Note. Making the Grade: Dry Timber
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Guidance Note. Making the Grade: Dry Timber

In March 1995 new rules were introduced governing the specification of structural softwoods. The changes are designed to ensure that the moisture content of the timber is appropriate to the inservice conditions for which it is specified. The permitted stress grades are set out in BS 4978. The amendments to this standard require all structural softwood less than 1OOmm thick for internal applications such as roofs, floors and walls in housing and other buildings to be graded at a moisture content of 20% or less. The timber must bear a stress grade stamp indicating that it is DRY or KD (kiln dried). Softwood for use in high moisture environments (principally fully exposed outdoors) will be marked WET, indicating that it is not suitable for internal uses. M. Milner The importance of