From the desk of Chris Lee, via Inhabitat: 

Passive Houses are popping up all over the place, and the 2012 Passive House Institute US conference in Denver showcased a lot of excellent building technology that can be used to make the most energy efficient buildings in the world. Air sealing tape and insulation may seem humdrum, but this stuff is in a different league compared to what you’d find in a hardware store – and it’s made from natural materials like cork. The windows are 3-4 times more efficient than normal windows, and the most important mechanical device in a Passive House is used to keep the air fresh. We spotted some of the best building materials of the future, including phase change walls, which suck up heat during the day and release it at night.