As a construction material, wood has a lot going for it. It can be used as a primary material, as seen in log cabin construction or blended with other building materials and used as either a decorative element or support structure. Wood is lightweight compared to stone, and it's strong once it's been seasoned to remove moisture. It can also be cut to length easily.
Wood does have some disadvantages, though. It decays eventually, and it's vulnerable to moisture damage like dry rot and predation by insects like termites. Fire is a big problem, too.
Even with these vulnerabilities, wood buildings can survive a long time. Just how long may surprise you. The oldest wood building in existence is the Horyu-ji temple in Japan, which dates to the 8th century [source: CWC].
In the next section, let's see how playing with mud can be a smart thing to do when you're trying to make bricks.