What's everyone's take on using non-traditional materials for construction? There's a group in my city that creates sustainable housing for low-income families, and also works to make the homes energy efficient and more eco-friendly. One of their main materials is straw, which they use to build the walls. I was surprised, because you'd think that a straw house would be extremely flammable, but the opposite is apparently true: straw walls are far less flammable than traditional wood walls. The material is a by-product of farming, so it's apparently abundant and cheaper to obtain than wood. It's also a great source of insulation. And- having seen some of the end-products of the construction- I can attest that it can make for a very attractive house in the right hands.