Plenty of information on this is at zeroenergydesign.com, then click on "house cooling" He also sells a CD of all his information for 24 dollars which i purchased. However, you can get 80 percent of his stuff from his website directly for free. Your idea is described on his website as a good method of cooling a house because cool air is brought up the outside walls and into the attic. This cools the whole house and the warm attic pulls the cool air up without any machinery or electricity required. It is easier said than done though, unless you are doing new construction.
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If you have windows or vents on both ends, and if they are situated correctly to the prevalent wind flow, you could add a fan to increase the flow-through and use the venturi effect to draw air up from the access hatch or stairway. I do this in my home with a good success, since it boost the negative pressure in the interior and makes for a breeze in any open window. Problem of course is that when it rains, I have to close my windward window, defeating the trick.I have no air conditioning aside from tree shade, this trick, and closing all the windows and doors first thing in the morning when it gets really hot outsideAside from 5-10 days during the summer, it's always comfortable in my house.
Most roofing companies will sell you a vented tile or ridge tile. The lower edge of the roof line should be vented in the soffet to allow a through flow of air.
+1. If you want to harness the cooling of the crawlspace - add a heat exchanger directly to that area. Cooling your attic is best done by venting it properly.