A new set of manufacturers is producing carbon-storing, plant-based building materials sourced from the farms, forests, and factories of rural America

Consider the story of the Three Little Pigs and their three little houses. Subjected to the huffings and puffings of the Big Bad Wolf, the straw house blew down, the stick house blew down, but the brick house remained upright. Call it a win for the brick industry—or an allegory for the perceived permanence of mineral materials over the perceived transience of plants. But manufacturers in the U.S. are now telling a different story, presenting straw and sticks as the logical material choice for homebuilding and a major opportunity to reverse the climate impact of contemporary construction.

Buildings currently account for roughly 40 percent

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