What the heck is a Rain-Screen?
Moisture is by far the most common cause of building failures today and throughout history. Many high-performance builders are now using exterior rain-screens in an effort to combat moisture issues related to exterior claddings like stucco, and lap siding.
In that same vein, exterior rigid foam is all the rave at the moment, mainly due to increasing energy costs, and improved building code standards demanding a higher R-value (which is sometimes difficult to achieve with a standard 2″ x 4″ wall, using traditional insulation methods).
See the video below to observe both of these applications working in conjunction with one another on a whole-house remodel/addition in South Austin, that my company is currently working on.