When designing a new home, it is a good idea to go with open floor plans and to avoid the traditional long hallways. By doing this, circulation of air is promoted and the entire house will have a better chance at staying at one cool temperature. Installing ventilation fans from the kitchen above the stove and in the bathroom is a good way to keep hot air from sitting around. To remove the hot air collected in the house, install an attic fan, if the design includes an attic.
Another thing to do is to properly insulate the attic. Many people think that insulation is to keep the house warm. While this is true, it also acts as a way to keep the house cool. To say that a home is well insulated, there should be at least eight inches of insulation in the ceiling or attic. When installing fibreglass insulation, make sure that dust masks, eye protection and gloves are worn.
Figure out which side of the house gets the most hours of sunlight and design the home to have fewer windows on that side. Whatever windows are installed, they should be double-paned windows. The extra thick windows act as insulation, keeping cool air in during the summer and keeping warm air in during the winter. The double insulated windows cost more, but the savings in energy costs will more than pay for it. Make sure that the windows are properly placed in the room in order to maximize airflow.
Also, you should also think about the landscape. Plant some shade trees on the side of the house that will get most of the sun. You will need to think ahead on this decision though. If there is a chance that solar panels will be installed, having the shade trees blocking the rays of the sun would not be a good idea.
Figure out which direction the wind generally hits, you can plan a small pond on that side of the house. The wind skimming over the water will help to cool down the house when the windows are open. You will see in the end that all of the effort with worth it. You will be kept cool and you will save a lot of money on your energy bill.