• Credit: Liam Frederick

  • rob paulus, aia, tucson, ariz., robpaulus.com

    Credit: Rob Paulus Architect

    rob paulus, aia, tucson, ariz., robpaulus.com

Paulus keeps his development costs low by using off-the-shelf materials in unexpected ways. Baltic birch plywood, for example, became stair treads in the 007 House (above). The material's microlaminations “give it incredible strength,” he says, as well as a “built-in aesthetic that's very cost-effective.” Sourced easily from lumberyards, plywood panels come in a variety of sizes. Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association, 703.435.2900; www.hpva.org.