Thermal energy storage (TES) systems using phase change material (PCM) have been recognized as one of advanced energy technologies in enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability of buildings. The use of PCMs in buildings provides the potential for a better indoor thermal comfort for occupants due to the reduced indoor temperature fluctuations, and lower global energy consumption due to the load reduction/shifting. A good knowledge on dynamic characteristics and energy performance of buildings using PCMs is essential for building researchers and practitioners to better understand building temperature response characteristics and economic feasibility of using PCMs and take further proper actions to fully utilize PCMs to enhance indoor environmental quality and overall energy efficiency of buildings. This paper presents an overview of the previous research work on dynamic characteristics and energy performance of buildings due to the integration of PCMs. The research work on dynamic characteristics and energy performance of active and passive building applications is reviewed, respectively. Since the particular interest in using PCMs for free cooling and peak load shifting, the specific research efforts on both subjects are reviewed separately. A few useful conclusive remarks and recommendations for future work are presented.