There is nothing new under the sun and it seems that is even true with building technology. New “earth houses” are being made that reflect designs that are thousands of years old and make use of basic physics in order to aid heating and cooling.
With the advent of electrical power designs for living spaces underwent a radical change- no longer were thick walls and natural light considered design elements. Electricity was used to heat and light the architectural spaces so the spaces themselves had no reference to the natural world. But today with the many concerns around energy (cost and pollution) designs that take into account natural sun cycles and thick, insulating walls are being resurrected and adapted for modern buildings.
Probably the easiest way to make use of the seasonal energy of earth is by employing long eaves on your house. During the summer the while the sun is at a higher angle in the sky the long eaves shelter your house from direct sun and keep the temperature down. During the winter when the sun sits lower in the sky its beams go below the eaves and still light and warm the house.
Of course building a brand-new building isn’t very energy efficient. So take a look at the building you have- odds are it could be altered to use a little- or a lot less energy. And save you a bundle at the same time!