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Stick building is a wonderful way to build. It's how I've made my living for almost 20 years, and it produces some of the best houses in the world. But it is getting increasingly difficult to ignore the environmental impact of this wood-intensive approach to building. As our forests are harvested on shorter cycles, lumber quality has dropped. Every builder has had to cast aside some of the lumber taken from trees too young to harvest. A shrinking supply has also forced us to pay more for quality lumber, particularly in the larger dimensions, which have reached record prices several times in the last two years. Despite these problems, our home building practices have changed little. Over 90% of our homes