YOLO COUNTY NEWS
A cover shades the patio at Dick and Carol Bourne's home in the Aspen subdivision. A lap pool with an outdoor shower can be seen in the back yard. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

A cover shades the patio at Dick and Carol Bourne's home in the Aspen subdivision. A lap pool with an outdoor shower can be seen in the back yard. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

Local News

The Bourne house: not your average listing

By From page A12 | June 27, 2012

Those paging through the real estate section of the newspaper may soon come across a unique piece of property listed in West Davis.

Dick and Carol Bourne’s house, at 2379 Isle Royale Lane in Aspen, is a 2,028-square-foot carriage-style home where the majority of the living space is on the second floor. It soon will need new owners as the couple has decided to downsize and move downtown.

But the fact that it resembles a carriage house — which, among other things, affords its occupants the best views of the surrounding area — or the fact that it possesses an outdoor shower that sits next to a lap pool in back, isn’t what sets this listing apart.

The couple built the house in the mid-1990s to demonstrate cutting-edge energy-saving techniques that essentially have rendered a functional thermostat obsolete.

Perhaps the most innovative part of the house is its roofing system, called NightSky.

The system keeps the house cool without using a bit of energy, no matter how hot it is outside. Last week when the temperature reached over 100 degrees on three consecutive days, the inside temperature never rose higher than 78 degrees.

NightSky, which the couple says is the main reason the house stays cool, uses a 3 1/2-inch-deep layer of water covered by a floating layer of insulating foam that deflects the majority of the heat from the sun, while insulating the house below.

The water also absorbs heat from the rooms below it through the corrugated metal ceiling inside the house.

The house also features a kind of “cooling tower,” which doubles as the staircase to get to the second floor, where a lip of the ceiling can be raised to let out warm air that has collected inside.

Aside from the unique energy-saving techniques, the house also features lots of south-facing windows to take advantage of the delta breeze and south-facing passive solar panels to take advantage of the sun. The technology, much of which Dick designed with the Davis Energy Group, has made the house net-zero altogether.

But even though their home may have many bells and whistles, the Bournes say no extra know-how is needed to live there and enjoy the many energy-saving technologies the two have implemented since moving in.

The couple declined to say how much they will be asking for their house. But when it comes to money, the energy-saving technology in the house saves a lot of it. The Bournes pay about $70 per month for both gas and electricity.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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