“The house as a system” is a modern concept. But long before that phrase was coined, houses functioned as systems—or else they failed the test of time.

Husband-and-wife team Robert LaPorte (builder) and Paula Baker-LaPorte (architect) are bringing one such time-proven system into the 21st century, making modern homes using ancient systems—such as a wall assembly with natural clay and straw infill, mixed on site and packed into Larsen trusses wrapped around a timber frame. In scheduled workshops...

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