The harsh summer heat can be quite tolerable if you keep a few pointers when designing a house. You can get comfort and efficiency just by the way a house is positioned keeping the environment in mind. Correct orientation can give you an efficient cooling and heating system without using up too much of energy.
East facing windows and doors get in a lot of sun which is welcome in winter but can be quite a pain during the summer months. These windows would require a different shading solution then a north facing window which would keep the room quite cool in summer but very cold in winter.
In climates where you need to keep the summer sun out and want the winter sun to penetrate you require passive solar heating. It is an energy efficient way of cooling during summer and heating during winter.
Another way of minimizing heat during summer and gaining heat during winter is by insulating the walls, roof and floors. Externally insulating materials like concrete, bricks etc are used to absorb and restore thermal energy.
Glazing windows to prevent heat loss is another way to maximize the use of energy in the house. Insulated glazing (IG) is a form of double glazing . In order to increase more heat the double window panes are separated by an air or other gas filled space. Glazing can also be triple glazing to reduce heat transfer across a part of the building envelope.
In areas where there is little light you can use skylights to bring in more light and heat.
Incase of apartments and multi-story houses adding elevators can use up a lot of energy. Passive designing for a multi-storey unit can be quite a challenge as compared to individual dwellings. Getting someone to understand your exact requirement in the early planning stage can help save a lot of trouble later on. Grant Elevators has years of experience in designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing lifts.