August 1, 2002


Americans have been building homes with wood—shaping logs, joining timbers, nailing studs—for almost 400 years. Our current approach, stick framing, grew popular in the mid-1800’s (particularly in the rapidly growing “West”) because it took less skill, required simpler tools, and took fewer people than timber framing. We apparently really like waste haulers, too. The NAHB Research Center reports that the “typical” home generates about 3,500 pounds of wood waste during its construction, about half of which is solid sawn lumber. There are opportunities to use wood more efficiently at every stage of a home’s design and construction to save time, money, energy, and resources - you could call this optimum value engineering (OVE) from start to finish.