American builders are always on the lookout for innovations they can incorporate into the homes they build. These new ideas can come in many forms: great design; a building system that saves time and money; a way to address density or affordable housing; a home network that improves the home buyer's quality of life; or tools for increasing energy efficiency, for example.

But the United States doesn't have a corner on the next big idea. Far from it. And in one area, we are behind the curve. The truth is, new homes built in the United States are notoriously wasteful of raw materials and far from energy efficient.

So BUILDER put out a global call to find out what we can learn from home builders around the world. What we found was both exciting and challenging—especially as the industry addresses the unprecedented post-hurricane housing needs in the Gulf states and Florida.

There is a wide range of creativity being displayed by builders, architects, engineers, and urban planners worldwide. The projects featured on the following pages are some of the highlights.