Jake and Karen contacted us in 2013 to build a home on their property in Corvallis. The plans for the 1,700 sq. ft. home borrow from “The Not So Big House,” by Sarah Susanka, whose motto is to “build better rather than bigger.” Jake and Karen decided to build and design usable spaces with a focus on solid construction. That is what made GCCI the right choice for them.


The 3 bedroom/2.5 bath took six months to build from start to finish of construction. The banisters add a special touch to the interior of the home. They were repurposed by GCCI from the original 150 year-old farm house on the property.


We created an integrated sound system, featuring remote speakers throughout the house and a hub centrally located under the staircase. Brian and Merrilee knew they wanted to install a wood-burning stove in the near future, but the search for the perfect unit, along with a timely permit process, put the installation on hold. GCCI was able to pre-pipe for the stove, which will provide the couple savings in the future.


The kitchen is highlighted by Katana Frameless Cabinets by Canyon Creek in Maple and Formica Seagrass matte countertops. The clients chose a Proflo Stainless Kitchen Sink and Moen accessories to go along with Marmoleum flooring. The same flooring flows into the bathroom, accented by matte Formica Beluga Beige countertops.


Trec Guardian, a composite deck material, was chosen for its high resistance to the elements. Cedar railing finish off the exterior space.


The clients decided to install Fujitsu HVAC units as an energy upgrade to their home. As an alternative to a traditional furnace, the Fujitsu units offer high efficiency ratios. GCCI installed one outdoor unit connected to indoor units in the attic and second floor. This selection eliminated the interior space needed for air handlers. We also installed a Lifebreath heat recovery ventilator (HRV) to maintain indoor air quality.


Another important energy upgrade the clients chose was high insulation to create a better R-value. This provides a thermal boundary to the house. We installed R-50 fiberglass batts to the entire main level, R-49 into flat ceiling areas, and R-21 unfaced sound control insulation in the den.


GCCI is serious about weather-proofing our new builds. Underneath the James Hardie siding and Cypress trim is: TriBuilt vapor barrier, Moistop tape around the windows and doors, and z flashing above all the trim. Milgard Styleline 3D North Energy Package windows provide more insulation than a standard window package. The superintendents at GCCI are proud to help our customers choose economically-minded, high-value upgrades. If you are interested in a new build, addition, remodel, or energy upgrade, please call us today at 541-754-6326.

Check it out: the Christianson passive house was published in Green Building & Design Magazine!

Single Family – Honorable Mention: Christianson Passive House in Corvallis, Oregon

The Christianson Passive House is a 1,935-square-foot single family home. By reducing energy using Passive House design, G. Christianson Construction was able to install enough solar panels to become net zero. The project’s carbon footprint is one-fifth that of a typical house built in Oregon of the same size.

CPHC®: Win Swafford, Jan Fillinger
PHIUS Certified Builder: Carl Christianson, G. Christianson Construction
PHIUS+ Rater: Ryan Shanahan, CPHC®, Earth Advantage
PHIUS+2015, PHIUS+ Source Zero Certified


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.


Greg W. Christianson

March 15, 1953 —May 27, 2017
Surrounded by his loved ones, Gregory (Greg) Wynn Christianson passed away peacefully at home on May 27, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 64.
Greg was born on March 15, 1953, in Aurora, Illinois, to Wallace and Elizabeth Christianson. He was raised in nearby Naperville with his three siblings, and went on to study at the University of Montana – Missoula, where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Biology.

It was in Missoula that he would meet the love of his life, Rosemary (Rose) Schultz.
On May 17, 1980, Greg and Rose were married, marking the beginning of a love story that would span over 37 years and take them to California, Alaska, and finally, Corvallis. Along the way, they would welcome two sons, share countless adventures, and build a successful business that bears the Christianson name.
G. Christianson Construction Inc. (GCCI) was founded in 1986 when Greg and Rose relocated to Corvallis from Alaska. What started as a small home-based operation blossomed into a thriving business that has provided decades of service to the Corvallis community. Greg sat at the head of GCCI until his retirement in 2015, after which he passed on the company to his oldest son, Carl. He was proud to see the business remain in the family.
Among his many interests, Greg loved to be outdoors. His passion for nature took him across the globe, where he could be found fishing, hunting, boating, bird watching, scuba diving, camping, or snowboarding.
His love of teaching led him to serve as Scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America, Troop 1. Greg was also a long-time member of the First Congregational Church in Corvallis, where he participated in choir, softball, and men’s group, and served as a trustee.

Greg was many things to those who knew and loved him — husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, employer and friend. He will be remembered as a devoted family man, consummate craftsman and steward of the land, who could light up a room with his infectious laugh, sharp sense of humor and honest heart. Greg truly loved his life.

He is survived by his wife, Rose; sons, Carl and Scott; sister, Linda; brothers Wayne and Gary; as well as three grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth (d. 2014) and Wallace (d. 2016).
A celebration of life service will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at the First Congregational Church, 4515 SW West Hills Road, Corvallis.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First Congregational Church in Corvallis, Nature Conservancy of Oregon and Benton Hospice Service.

G. Christianson Construction recently completed the first passive house in Corvallis!

This beautiful Contemporary Craftsman style custom passive house has a carbon footprint 1/5 that of a typically built house in Oregon of a similar size. Its 12″ thick walls with cork insulation, high efficiency windows & doors, solar panels, heat pump hot water, Energy Star appliances, air intake unit, and natural daylighting keep its utility bills low.

In addition, this gorgeous home boasts grey quartz countertops atop white and blue painted shaker cabinetry, black 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 interest in 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 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.



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.


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


1915 Bungalow Receives an Historic Bathroom Addition

The owners of this property visited G. Christianson Construction last summer after purchasing this 1915 Bungalow in Corvallis (near the Public Library). The problem: The house only had one bathroom. The solution: Add a 5′ by 14′ addition off the Master Bathroom.

Superintendent Steve Schoonover, who has been part of the G. Christianson team for 23 years, was just the person for the job. Steve passionately restores historic homes, and had worked on this house about eight years ago when G. Christianson restored the kitchen and front deck to it’s former glory. The previous owner kept a detailed book of restorations, which she passed to the new owners, which brought them to us.

Designer Sue Rutherford created a dream, our craftsmen went to work building the addition to match the home exactly. Then we hired one of the best tile masons in town to install the shower, wainscotting and floor tile. The tile work stayed true to the flair of the existing bathroom, with white subway tile, black pinstripes with diamond accents, and white grout.

The result: A 70 square foot spectacular Master Bathroom addition with 1915 glamour and modern amenities. The bathroom boasts a Moen Wynford shower head, American Standard faucet, Toto Carusoe toilet, custom white painted cabinetry, a custom built medicine cabinet, Corian countertops, Simpson Fir F55 door, Emtek Quincy plate with a Providence door knob, Velux skylight, and a Marvin Ultimate double hung window in Wineberry color.

The homeowners love their new bathroom, it is everything they wanted and more!

The praise we received from all of the neighbors is that this addition fits seamlessly with the home’s original look, this is exactly what we intended.


IMG_8989   IMG_8992   IMG_9001   IMG_9013

[Photos, from left to right: …. trim, view of walk-in shower, detailed tile work around … shower head, …. tile work.]


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.

HVAC  EXTERIOR - ANGLE SHOT  0601161401b_Burst030601161401f_Burst02

[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.

Shows on HGTV highlight beautiful additions and remodels, like the one pictured below that we’re working on in the Corvallis Historic District. But seeing so many before-and-after photos makes it easy to forget that construction, like art, is a process.



20160304_101505   20160304_101207   20160304_101246   20160304_101333

This 96 sq. ft. addition adds a Master Bathroom to the currently one bathroom 1915 Craftsman house. Our team put a lot of effort into matching the exterior of the addition to the original home. The photos, while not the the last step of construction, highlight the continuity of the addition with the historical markers of the original exterior, like the custom trim work and soffits.

“The outside of the addition looks as if it’s been there all along,” the owner says, which is exactly what the team at G. Christianson strives to accomplish with any addition, be it a historic home or a contemporary building.

20160304_100436   20160304_100748   20160304_100637   20160304_100551   20160304_100612 (1)

The interior of the addition houses a vanity, a recessed medicine cabinet, and a whole lot of custom tile work. The owners chose to keep with the historic ambiance of the interior of the house and selected white subway tile with black pinstripes, which matches the existing bathroom. The vanity lighting and chrome hardware add a touch of modernity.

Check back in soon for the final photos. In the meanwhile, visit us at www.houzz.com/

Many of us in the Willamette Valley have been told the “big one” is coming. Oregon has a 40% chance of a MAJOR seismic event within the next 50 years. While it’s impossible to know when the earthquake or earthquakes will occur, we shouldn’t make the error of assuming we have time to prepare.

Much of Oregon’s infrastructure will not be able to withstand a major seismic event, including many homes. Homes built before 1974 are likely to be particularly vulnerable to structural failure in the event of a major earthquake. Many of the homes built prior to 1974 were not bolted to their foundation during construction. Additionally, only 20 percent of Oregon homes have earthquake insurance.

Here is a checklist (from Simpson StrongTie website) that you can use to determine if your house is connected to your foundation and reinforced to withstand an earthquake.


Picture and list from: http://www.safestronghome.com/earthquake/03.asp

  1. Wood wall around the perimeter of the home are secured to the foundation, using anchors, bolts, sill plate connectors and holdowns.
  2. Metal strap ties or holdowns are used to connect the 2nd floor to the 1st.
  3. Beams and joists are joined together with metal connectors and fasteners (the critical points within the frame of a home are where 2 pieces of framing material meet).
  4. Metal connectors are added to connect the roof to the wall top plate.
  5. Post-to-beam connections are reinforced with metal connectors.
  6. Minor foundation wall cracks are repaired with epoxy.

With the help of a local Structural Engineer you can determine exactly what your home needs.

If you need this type of retrofitting, contact G. Christianson Construction, a licensed contractor, to install the necessary anchors, bolts, connectors and holdowns. 541-754-6326.


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!




644 NW 4th St. Corvallis, OR

Greg Christianson

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