When architects in Harare, Zimbabwe were planning to build the Eastgate shopping centre, they looked to termites for guidance on building their cooling systems. Because of Harare's temperate climate, they were able to use a natural cooling system, instead of air conditioning. Treehugger has a cool (no pun intended) article on the new building. Here's a bit:
Long before the building was created, passive cooling was being used by the local termites. Termite mounds include flues which vent through the top and sides, and the mound itself is designed to catch the breeze. As the wind blows, hot air from the main chambers below ground is drawn out of the structure, helped by termites opening or blocking tunnels to control air flow.