Common materials and methods are used in the following strategies:
Use constant temperature of the earth to temper the air before it enters the house. Polished concrete slab-on-grade is cooled by the earth in the summer and functions as thermal mass.
Use the “chimney effect” to draw hot air from the first floor up through eight perimeter shafts and out through the attic. Operable dampers limit and/or direct air to the second floor bedrooms. Use cross-ventilation for cooling via Energy Star operable double-pane windows with low “e” glass throughout the main space of the ground floor. Use cross-ventilation in the bedrooms via two windows in each bedroom.
Position thermal mass to face south and shade it from the summer sun with horizontal slats. Shade the south elevations with deciduous trees to allow sunlight to enter the windows and heat the thermal mass floor slab in the winter. Protect vehicles from the sun to reduce the energy required for cooling.
Collect roof water for incidental uses such as watering plants and washing cars. Corrugated metal directs rain water to a single “valley” and downspout to a cistern. Provide a protected path to vehicles.