It seems like we’re on to something…

When our small group of real estate owners and professionals founded SERF a little over a year ago, none of us expected that we would be accepted so quickly and broadly.   Already we have SERF certified facilities in 10 states!

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised.  After all, each one of us independently came to the belief that the USGBC’s phenomonal success in bringing sustainability in to the public consciousness through its LEED certification would be enhanced by a certification which is more streamlined, user-friendly and cost-effective.

After all, to endure, sustainability must be affordable.

The notion that we are not alone in our pursuit is reinforced by a recent poll of real estate professionals in which 89% responded that they would want to learn more about an alternative certification to LEED.

A full year ahead of schedule we have opened a Chicago office and brought on Jenni James ( as Regional Manager for the Chicago and Phoenix areas.  Jenni brings her education and experience for architecture and landscape architecture, along with her passion in sustainability, to SERF’s growing team.

Our Chicago thrust has already yielded exciting dividends as we are in the finishing stages of certifying Mies van der Rohe’s iconic 330 N. Wabash on the Chicago River–formerly known as the IBM Plaza and soon to be the home of the American Medical Association.

We are also excited about a spate of interest, and pending certifications, from healthcare facilities. This seems to be an underserved population in the sustainable certification arena given the myriad regulations and requirements they face for accreditation which, on the surface, seem to run counter to established green building criteria.  Here’s a secret we discovered, if you look deep you will find the healthcare industry is ahead of the game in sustainability and perhaps the most innovative of all the building sectors.

As the president and co-founder of SERF, it is my pleasure to pen this inaugural posting on SERF’s blog.  If I’ve done my job and captured your interest,  you will return and read other voices in addition to mine in this space.  These include SERF’s Director of Sustainable Construction Stanley Samuel, MS.  Stan is a civil engineer from Bangalore, India who recently completed his MS in Construction Management from Michigan State University.  As part of his graduate studies, Stan performed research with the US Department of Energy on energy-efficient building solutions.

Another SERF co-founder, John Fiacco–a new urbanist of the highest order–will chime in along with the aforementioned Jenni James, among others.

Thank you for checking us out and we hope you join us in our quest for Practical Environmental Stewardship (TM).