A year-long test has resulted in a huge step forward in the world of home building and energy efficiency. According to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the interior and exterior building products that people use in their homes play a huge role in the overall efficiency of the structure. To prove this, the group conducted a test project over the course of the past year in which they built a new house in the suburbs of Maryland. The home was built up to U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum codes, which is the highest standard for sustainable structures in the nation, Clean Technica states. In addition to the home’s insulation, which was enhanced for wind and air infiltration resistance, Clean Technica notes that “the house [was] installed with] solar water heating and 32 solar panels in order to produce its own energy, and was equipped with the most energy-efficient appliances.” Then, the researchers placed a virtual family of four into the home who used the same amount of energy as the average American family. According to the researchers, the average Maryland family would use 27,000 kWh of energy per year. This zero-net, energy-efficient house produced 13,577 kWh of energy through photovoltaics, and proved to be 70 percent more efficient than other homes its size. The end of the test found the home to use zero-net energy with the help of solar electric panels and other environmentally efficient materials. If you are interested in making the shift to solar energy, contact Golden Solar for your free, on-site consultation with one of our trained professionals.