G. Christianson Construction is proud to have won two Earth Advantage Builder of the Year awards, which recognize achievements in sustainable & energy efficient construction practices: Lowest EPS® Score & Zero Energy!

As an Earth Advantage builder, G. Christianson Construction entered the first PHIUS certified passive house in Corvallis, Oregon. We completed this passive house in 2016, incorporating a variety of systems & materials to create superior energy efficiency and indoor air quality, as well as being environmentally responsible.

This custom home was built to use 70% less energy than a code built home per the world’s most rigorous Passive House standard. It achieves this by very limited infiltration, thermal bridge free construction techniques, super insulation, and heat recovery ventilation. Its 12” thick walls boast an R-value of 51.8, obtained with 2” of cork insulation over BIBS wall insulation. The 32” thick roof has an R-value of 102.4, while the 17” thick floor has an R-value of 63.9. High efficiency doors and triple paned windows, contribute to its energy efficiency. It also has 8.25 kW solar panels, Energy Star appliances, and natural daylighting to keep its energy bills low. A typical Oregon home of a similar size built to code would have a carbon footprint between 19.1 to 20.6 tons of carbon dioxide per yr.; this home has a carbon footprint of 4.0 tons per year before the solar array, which brings it down to 0 tons of carbon monoxide. The home was computer modeled to make sure it met PHIUS energy requirements. By adding solar panels on the garage this home is Net-Zero energy usage.

Indoor air quality has a huge role in overall health. Where possible, this home has eco-friendly building materials that off-gas fewer harmful chemicals. Its ventilation system not only prevents heat loss, but also reduces airborne contaminates, reducing the chances of health risks like allergies, asthma, and more serious health detriments.

During the construction of this home the landscape was taken into consideration as well. Practices to promote healthy landscapes were implemented. Erosion was minimized by use of straw and minimizing vegetation clearing and deforestation. The landscaping uses many native species and avoids the use of invasive species.

This home’s materials were chosen with the environment in mind. Where possible, locally sourced materials were chosen. All the materials chosen are durable and high quality, to last a lifetime, if not generations.

Water conservation was also addressed in this house. It has metal roofs and gutters plumbed for rain water catchment, Nebia low flow shower heads, and a weather dependent irrigation controller to reduce household water consumption without sacrificing comfort.

In addition to its environmental efficiency, this gorgeous home boasts grey quartz countertops atop white and blue painted shaker cabinetry, dark stainless steel appliances, and a subway tile backsplash in the kitchen. Elegant white walls bathed in natural sunlight accentuate the hickory flooring throughout, with a wood inlay feature to add a nautical flair to the transition from the kitchen to the family room. The sleek bathroom has a seamless tile shower with mosaic accents and modern vanity with clean lines. The reading nook under the stairs in the family room is a cozy spot to curl up with a book. Expansive views greet you through every tilt & swing triple paned window.

Designed with “Not So Big House” principals to be effortlessly comfortable using minimal energy, with exquisite finishes and details, this home is a beautiful and cozy retreat from the bustle of everyday life.

 

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Progress Continues at the Passive House on Hawkeye Ave.

We have some great news: The G. Christianson Passive House is now PHIUS+ 2015 Pre-Certified, and PHIUS+ Source Zero Pre-Certified! This means that the solar panels on the garage provide all of the power for the house and proves that the house will use the amount of energy that the design predicted.

Passive House building is an exceptional way of reducing energy use of a home by 70% or more. Passive House building is supremely comfortable, has a healthy indoor environment, has a resilient and durable structure, and has an extremely low utility cost with a reduced carbon footprint. This is the best path to a NET ZERO or Positive Energy house. We will accomplish this by using the following techniques:

1. Install super insulation

2. Create air tightness with a fresh air ventilation system

3. Eliminate thermal bridges

4. Install exgtremely high performance windows and doors

5. Optimize Solar heat gain design through 3D building modeling

Project Update

Framing is complete at the G. Christianson Passive House, and work has begun on interior details. Our team took a trip to the house to perform a blower door test before drywall work closes up access to the stud bays of the walls. A blower door test detects the amount of air pressure that leaks through any cracks or gaps. A standard new house leaks between 3-5 air changes per hour under pressure. A Passive House requires that the home be no more than 0.6 air changes per hour. The G. Christianson Passive House tested at 0.29 air changes per hour – less than half of what our goal was! We’re moving forward with a strong number under our tool belts.

There are a lot of aspects of this house that are unconventional – and we expect to see these building techniques become the new normal. The foundation was upgraded to meet Fire Station Seismic Code levels. We framed 8″ thick walls, which allows for R-29 blown-in fiberglass insulation. In comparison, standard building code requires R21. We are also installing a 2″ layer of sustainable-harvested cork to the exterior of the home, which will go underneath the siding. The added exterior insulation provides a layer of breathe-ability and an additional value of R8 insulation.

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[Photos, clockwise from top left: A Zehnder Fresh Air heat recovery ventilator, which brings fresh air to each room year-round; cork insulation on the exterior of the house; blower door test; interior stair framework].

The next phase of building is to install roofing, which is a copper-colored standing-seam metal roof – and one of Carl’s favorite design aspects of the home. The siding is Hardie panel siding with Boral trim. Simultaneously, we are working inside installing the drywall and getting ready for finishes like flooring, tile, and custom cabinetry.

Check in soon for our final photos of the first Passive House to be built in Corvallis. Please call us at 541-754-6326 if you would like a tour of this project.

We’ve posted final photos for Herb and Linda’s cabin in Kings Valley:

Herb and Linda’s Craftsman Cabin

We have finished at Herb and Linda’s new cabin in Kings Valley. This is a special project because Herb and Linda needed to build a house on their Benton County timber property in order to keep their rights to build a future large house. Linda worked extensively with Susan Harthun (a local retired designer) to create a small charming cabin that meets the County’s minimum 400 square foot size and habitability requirements, but is still very comfortable to live in.

The drawings were completed in late August, then we applied for permits and were able to start construction in mid-September. Our goal was to get as much of the construction done before the rains made the gravel access road impassable to large trucks. We poured the foundation on an expedited contract and agreed on the rest of the details in early October. The framing and roofing proceeded quickly followed by the windows, siding and decking. By pushing to get the cabin “dried-in” before the rains started, we were able to dry the lumber and proceed with the interior drywall and trim during the winter.

The cabin has some very lovely features including large timber framed entry porch and matching covered back deck, Nichiha Sierra stained fiber cement siding, fiber cement exterior trim, Milgard Essence wood windows and French doors, and Western Red Cedar decks.  Indoors the main room has a vaulted ceilings, reclaimed wood for beadboard and ceiling paneling, custom drywall texture by Linda, antique sinks and cabinetry, marmoleum flooring, extra insulation and a high efficiency ductless heat pump.

Please give us a call if you are interested in building your own custom cabin 541-754-6326.

Benton County Cabin Construction

We have been busily working at Herb and Linda’s new cabin in Kings Valley. This is a special project because Herb and Linda needed to build a house on their Benton County timber property before next year in order to keep their rights to build a house. Linda worked extensively with Susan Harthun (a local designer) to design a small charming cabin that meets the County’s minimum 400 square foot size and habitability requirements, but is still very comfortable to live in.

The drawings were completed in late August, then we applied for permits and were able to start construction in mid-September. Our goal was to get as much of the construction done before the rains made the gravel access road impassable to large trucks. We poured the foundation on an expedited contract and agreed on the rest of the details in early October. The framing and roofing proceeded quickly followed by the windows, siding and decking. By pushing to get the cabin “dried-in” before the rains started, we were able to dry the lumber and proceed with the interior drywall and trim this winter.

The cabin has some very lovely features including large timber framed entry porch and matching covered back deck, Nichiha Sierra stained fiber cement siding (15 year warranty on finish), fiber cement exterior trim, Milgard Essence wood windows and French doors, and cedar decks.  Indoors, we are building vaulted ceilings, extensive beadboard wood work, custom drywall texturing by Linda, antique sinks and cabinetry, marmoleum flooring, extra insulation and a high efficiency ductless heat pump.

I will post new pictures as we finish the interior. – Carl

We have made a lot of progress this summer and fall on Andre’s new home in Monroe, OR. We worked consistently throughout the summer framing, installing metal roofing, insulating and drywalling his home. We painted and installed concrete sidewalks before the rains started. We also just installed the custom Marvin aluminum clad windows and doors, including the back patio door assembly that weighs 500 pounds! It took our usual crew and a few helpers to install it. We will be starting interior trim and the balance of the interior finishes and look forward to posting the final photos for your to see as well. We plan to meet the owner’s Thanksgiving completion schedule.

The floors of the home are made of 3” of polished concrete. The concrete is poured after the house is framed and then we polish it just before painting, these floors look spectacular. The progress photos really don’t capture the magnificence of the floors.

It has been a real privilege as a company to work on some of the most leading edge, energy efficient homes in the past few years. Especially because it allows us to hone the advanced techniques we study and build spectacular homes.

– Carl

Andre came to us this spring looking to build a custom home in Monroe, Oregon (south Benton County). He had already jump started the process by having his friend (an engineer) draw up the design and he began searching for property to build on. We helped him refine his material selections and design. I also used Google Sketchup to build a 3D model of his home, so he could visualize the great room. Andre agreed that we would be the best contractor for his project. We broke ground on June 5th.

We have made good progress on Andre’s custom home. Last month we started by excavating and pouring concrete foundations and walls for his new home. This month we framed for the main floor and on Monday will pour the elevated floor slab for a polished concrete finished floor. The concrete floor will contain integral coloring. Next we will frame walls and set trusses.

Please call us if you want to find out more details, or have a project we can help you with. 541-754-6326.

–          Carl

The architect for John and Bea’s custom Corvallis home (Don Livingstone of Livingstone Studios Architecture & Planning, LLC) created a video explaining how he designed their home and h0w he communicated his thoughts. The short video shows how we turn the design from paper to reality. I think you will be impressed by the video of our work.

By creating 3D models of their home early in the design process, Don was able to show John and Bea roughly what their home would look like.  This allowed the homeowners to modify the design to fit their needs (and visualize their changes). Don was also able to maximize passive solar design by using the shadow tools to modify the size of the overhangs to keep out the sun’s heat in the summer and bring in light in the winter.

Please give us a call if you would like to know more about their home or how we constructed it,

541-754-6326. – Carl

Livingstone Studios from Vito West Creative Videos on Vimeo.


 

We have just received word that our most recent new home construction project will be featured in Oregon Home Magazine. The architect for this project, Don Livingstone of Livingstone Studios Architecture & Planning, LLC wrote to the homeowners John and Bea to inform them that:

Oregon Home Magazine wants to feature their house in the magazine and will be sending a writer down to check it out sometime after the first week of May.

I will add a blog posting and link to the article once it is published.

We are very proud of the fine craftsmanship, design, and quality materials that went into John and Bea’s home. Please give us a call if you would like to know more about this project, or if you would like us to build your dream home.

–          Carl

We have just completed John and Bea’s home and have some new photos to share. We’ve talked about some of the amazing features in this home as we were installing them, but it is spectacular to finally see their dream home. One of the unique features is the locally milled madrone hardwood flooring. There are also some spectacular aesthetic features:  lighting by solar tubes from the roof to the basement, a custom cedar sauna, a high efficiency wood stove with soapstone accent, soy-based concrete stained floors, custom handrails, spectacular tile bathrooms, a tile dog washing shower, dog doorbell, custom colored American Clay (plaster) accent wall, recycled Eco quartz countertops by Cosentino, commercial grade appliances, a garage with a sunroom, a curved concrete interior stairway. We are really proud of this home.

 

 

 

Who We Are

We are premier builders for additions, remodeling and new construction for Corvallis and the Willamette Valley. We specialize in unique and challenging projects and apply sustainable building principles.

Contact Information

Please call us for a Free Estimate!

541.754.6326

541.207.2240

gcci@comcast.net

644 NW 4th St. Corvallis, OR

Greg Christianson

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