Tony and Debra Turner are the directors, designers and builders at Rustic Touch, a Central Coast-Hunter building company.
The two are particularly proud of their recent passive solar build at Trinity Point. Debra and Tony have been in business for 30 years, so they’ve built a few houses.
Trinity Point is a luxury development on Lake Macquarie with 120 residential lots of land.
“This house is one of our distinctive designs,” Debra says.
“As opposed to custom homes, we have adaptable designs.”
“Primarily it was designed as a two bedroom, aimed at a couple looking at retirement who didn’t need all those bedrooms; it’s a waste of money and heating.
“It’s about living in a house full of comfort and luxury but not having to accommodate the four children.”
A passive solar design means that every part of the house, from the floors to the windows to the ceilings, are designed to collect and distribute energy.
Much planning and analysis goes into the location of a passive solar home. Designers consider the direction of the sun, climate and shade.
The house recently won a national Housing Industry Association (HIA) GreenSmart Award.
The home has up to three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double garage.
Scyon Linea boards are used in the bathroom and in main bedrooms as bedheads and ensuite dividing walls.
The floorboards are solid blackbutt.
Scyon Stria and Matrix cladding lines the exterior. The bathroom is a modern design with a comfortable freestanding bath.
The skillion roof brings light to the centre of the house.
“It gives a nice contemporary look to the exterior,” Debra says
“The other thing with the home is we’re expected to be surrounded by two-storey homes. If/when that happens, it won’t look dwarfed in comparison.”
She called it a “healthy home” meaning it has low toxic emissions and is environmentally friendly. It’s constructed using sustainable techniques, and she and Tony consider air quality, natural light and cross ventilation when they build.
One of her favourite things about the design is the main bedroom. She describes it as having a nice ambience and the feel of luxury and spaciousness without being wasteful.
It’s the first home completed in the Trinity subdivision.
“We’re having it there so people can see the quality,” Debra says. “Because we’re custom builders and we don’t mass produce, it’s about people visualising the quality in our construction and the ambience created by the design.”
The landscaping is designed for low-maintenance drought-resistant plants, and the house itself gets good natural sunlight. Opening windows create good cross-ventilation helping to reduce the need for air-conditioning, although the home does have an air-con system. The home has photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, so theoretically it should be self-sufficient.
“Certainly during the day it produces more power than it uses, so that goes back to the grid, and then it’s a hybrid system. It has the ability to have a battery backup. It’s got solar hot water,” Debra says.
They envision a sailing-loving couple nearing retirement age as potential buyers for the house, although it is not currently on the market. These hypothetical owners would be health and environmentally conscious, outdoorsy and social but looking to scale down.
The house is not a display home, and anyone who is curious about the design or location can visit the home by appointment only.