Anyone who calls the Southwest home for any period of time will tell you that managing the heat in desert living is the most important aspect in creating a comfortable space. Heat rises as we all know and therefore structures tend to be low. Single storey homes are the most common profile, but even they require ingenuity to prevent heat from entering the interiors.
In the great southwest wind and sun are the greatest sources of both energy and property damage. Winds cool the air and sun warms the exterior walls of buildings. Exterior screening can be the most effective way of taking advantage of these elements.