Husband-and-wife architect team of Chris and Jodi Laumer-Giddens own a custom design-build firm, LG Squared, which focuses on sustainable home building. But the couple has recently turned their attention to small homes reports JLC's Ted Cushman. They're now working on a small cabin in central Florida that is designed to showcase high-performance methods for the hot, humid climate of Florida.

The basic concept is to construct an airtight, vapor-open shell with continuous insulation applied outboard of the structure. The benefits of the insulated jacket, Chris explains, go beyond energy. "One of the primary goals of any of these jobs is to be durable," he says — "making it durable to make it comfortable, and so it will last for a very long time. To do that, we are trying to protect the structure. To have your control layers continuous around that structure, to protect it from the environment, is the goal. So the idea is sort of building a beer cooler, and then your structure is within that cooler. So we have the insulation go completely under the house, up the exterior, and then up and over the roof structure, containing it within it."

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