Green builders and their clients are always looking for new ways to create sustainable homes, and they often start with the framing system.

Mother Earth News' Chris Magwood has taken a deep dive into alternative and traditional ways of framing a home and some of his findings may surprise you. He compares five house framing systems systems according to 11 criteria, and show how each system rates relative to the others.

Many people assume that alternative wall systems (such as straw bale, cob and compressed earth block) are more sustainable choices, but if you study this chart, you’ll see that wood-framed walls perform well when paired with improved materials.

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