gcci-logo-high-quality-2

Building with sustainability has been at the heart of G. Christianson Construction’s motto for 30 years. Founder, Greg Christianson, passed his passion for the environment on to his son, Carl, who took over his father’s business in 2014. Out of Greg’s appreciation for nature and the planet, he restored six acres of his personal property back to native species, and he built a company that builds energy efficiency into every project.  When it came time for Carl to make a nest for his young family, he chose to build a new home to Passive House standards, and in the process became the first builder in Corvallis to be certified by the Passive House Institute.

Building “green” is a scale that the consumer can decide where they fall on. On one end of the spectrum, installing LED lights over incandescent lights saves energy and waste. On the other side, building Earthships out of 100% recycled materials takes nothing more than has already been produced from the planet. The G. Christianson approach is somewhere in between the two. In building Passive houses, our craftsmen build an extremely air-tight home with a focus on clean air circulation. This means, proper and secure window and door installations, where heating energy does not leak out. This also means building a strong frame and the absence of gaps in the structure. It may raise the question, “Aren’t all houses built alike?” The simple answer is, “No.” A house that pops up in a quick time frame is not going to have the same quality craftsmanship as a house that takes nine to twelve months to build.

The Passive building approach was born out of a desire “to create structures that are durable, resilient, comfortable, healthy, and super energy efficient” [www.phius.org/about/mission-history]. Passive Houses are built in accordance these five building-science principles*:

  • It employs continuous insulation through its entire envelope without any thermal bridging.
  • The building envelope is extremely airtight, preventing infiltration of outside air and loss of conditioned air.
  • It employs high-performance windows (typically triple-paned) and doors
  • It uses some form of balanced heat- and moisture-recovery ventilation and uses a minimal space conditioning system.
  • Solar gain is managed to exploit the sun’s energy for heating purposes and to minimize it in cooling seasons.

* http://www.phius.org/what-is-passive-building-/the-principles

Admittedly, the construction industry is slow to initiate change from the status-quo. The consumer should be aware of material and product selections when seeking a cleaner living space. Choose materials like Marmoleum that are made of recycled materials and installed with very low to no-VOC adhesives. Ultimately, businesses provide what the consumer demands. We can all stand to take a more serious look at the future of our planet and ask ourselves, “What are we choosing to invest in,” and “How is that product affecting my health and my family’s wellness?” At G. Christianson Construction, we aren’t striving to build the biggest mansion on the block. Rather, we believe that building small and sustainable is the smarter, eco-conscious solution.

Two members of the G. Christianson Construction team are PHIUS Certified Builders, and another member of our team is a certified Sustainable Home Professional (SHP). For consultations on an energy-efficient home remodel, or inquiries into building a new home, please call our office to set up an appointment.

ph-days-2016-map-2016

To see Passive Houses near you, visit: https://passivehouse-international.org/index.php?page_id=262

Wand wanted to change that with Sabi. The company has already released a set of Yves Behar-designed pill boxes and water bottles, as well as a line of very stylish canes. The company’s newest endeavor, Sabi Space, is a collection of 13 bathroom accessories that cater to the aging set, but will probably end up in the bathrooms of 25-year-olds, too. Just as Oxo did for kitchen accessories, Sabi is betting that great design for the elderly, if done right, will naturally become a must-have product for the young because its many functional benefits.

You can mix and match components or remove the pegs altogether.

To design the products in the Sabi Space line, the company tapped MAP Project, a creative studio founded by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. When Wand first approached MAP, he didn’t even know what kind of product he was looking to develop. So MAP looked at research, interviewed people in Sabi’s demographic and came to a surprising conclusion. “We thought it would be about reaching and mobility,” says Jon Marshall, a founding director of MAP. And so they designed a slew of items like hand-holds. But it turns out that the biggest issue is creating a bathroom you want, without having to undergo the enormous pains of installation. Sabi’s insight was to create a system that can expand over time, chock full of human-centered design touches.

Bathrooms come with all sorts of hurdles for the older population. Safety is clearly a concern, but less obvious is the fact that many people, old and young, have a hard time creating a customized bathroom on their own. Porcelain and ceramic are hard to work with, and often require professionals to install something as simple as a shelf. “I want a 65-year-old woman to be able to install this system in her bathroom,” says Wand.

Ingeniously, MAP came up with a system of products that centers around a single building block: the peg. The collection includes bathroom standards like towel racks, mirrors and toilet paper rings, but each of those components connects to the wall through little aluminum pegs that adhere to the wall, no screws necessary. This way you can mix and match components or remove the pegs altogether if you decide that’s not where you want to place your mirror. “This is something you can’t do with any products in the bathroom right now,” says Marshall. “You can’t change your mind.” You also can’t expand upon the pieces you’ve already bought, reconfiguring them to changing needs. This system allows that.

Each piece comes with an ingenious graphic: On the back of the package, there’s a true-to-size rendering of the product, along with installation instructions. That way, you can literally hold the package up to a wall, and see how to install your new shelf or rack. It’s a thoughtful design touch, and the line is full of them. For instance, a rubber-coated aluminum grab bar that goes near the shower, the place where the majority of accidents happen in the bathroom. MAP worked with engineers to create a circular form that varies in thickness. “Some people, when they have arthritis, their hands become quite curved and they find it difficult to grip onto a thin round rail,” says Marshall. “So this is a range of different grip positions.”

The nod to medical issues is subtle, which is exactly how Wand wants it. Yes, Sabi Space is meant to make life easier for the aging without being patronizing, but you could just as easily imagine any of these pieces in a busy college student’s apartment— the grab bar included. In fact, Wand says, “We even use one for my kids.”

Here are some simple things to consider when designing an accessible bathroom in your home or for someone else. G. Christianson Construction has a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist available to help you design your bathroom remodel.

Lighting at Vanity

1. Hand-held showerheads and shower benches. Inside the shower, hand-held showerheads mounted on a vertical bar allow users of different heights to select the perfect height for  them, or they can choose to use the fixture without the bar as a hand spray.

2. Hand holds. With the high incidence of bathroom falls, remodelers shouldn’t forget to add “hand holds” (aka “grab bar”). They can be built into items such as: a soap dish, towel bar, or a toilet paper holder.

3. Sinks that offer seated access. Pedestal sinks or wall-mounted sinks have space for people who might need to be seated; plus there’s more space for maneuvering in the room.

4. Multi-tasking toilets. There are new toilet/bidet combinations that wash the body and blow warm air for drying, features useful for anyone who might have difficulty managing personal hygiene. Comfort height toilets, typically two inches taller than conventional toilets, can be great for users with mobility issues who find the boost in height makes it much easier to rise from the toilet.

5. Wider doorways. Bathroom doorways in older homes are usually 24 inches, making it difficult for even an average size person to walk through comfortably. Pocket doors are an option, although they add time and cost to a remodel. Widening the door to 32 or 34 inches makes a big difference

.Accessible Bathroom Vanity

6. Better lighting. Use a mix of lighting, including task lighting. Place lights on either side of a mirror, or mirrored medicine cabinet, rather than above it. Designers are highly recommending some form of daylighting in the bathroom, which can be accomplished by adding a window, skylight, or solar tube. Also recommended are dimmer switches to control light levels, and rocker switches, which don’t require the fine motor skills needed to operate other types of switches.

7. No-slip flooring. Slippery floors are the culprit in many falls, so choose flooring carefully. Tiles with texture provide a better grip surface, and cut down on glare as well.

8. Lever handles instead of door knobs. These are easier to operate for those who have trouble grasping and twisting with their hands.

9. Hands-free faucets that work with sensors, or touch faucets that require only a tap to operate.

10. Walk-in showers. The walk-in shower has no step or edge to it, which removes a tripping hazard, and also opens the shower up to wheelchair users, who can roll in without help. Accessible Shower

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

houzz interior design ideas