SERF Scholars in academe, law and real estate professions conduct research and publish studies on issues related to green buildings and sustainability in general. A sample of such published works is listed below.

Featured Publication

Alito ‘s Voice: Koontz and the end of Justice Stevens’ Private Property Regulation Policy

by Colin W. Maguire (2015)., Cleveland State Law Review.

Synopsis: This article starts as an analysis of the history or takings through Supreme Court cases, and moves toward an examination of contemporary takings policy and Clean Water Act jurisdiction cases – which share many of the same legal tests and divides on the Court. This article proposes that Justice Alito’s opinion in Koontz is a major moment for how we should understand government takings and a driver for working toward mutually-productive public-private partnerships

    • Revisiting The Case For Sustainable Construction Via LCA – Build New or Reuse?
      by Samuel Stanley, Mehtab, Nida, SERF Foundation (2014)
      Synopsis: Build new or reuse an existing building? Factors such as economics, aesthetics, regulation, historic status and personal taste have usually determined this answer. However, by the use of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), this paper develops a tool to compare reuse versus new construction from an environmental perspective. It also provides guidelines to incorporate this comparison into green building certification systems.
    • Electrocatalytic Upgrading of Model Lignin Monomers with Earth Abundant Metal Electrodes

      by Maguire, J. et. al (2014)., Royal Chemistry Society’s Green Chemistry Journal.

    • Project Delivery Metrics for Sustainable, High Performance Buildings
      by Swarup, L.*, Korkmaz, S., Riley, D., ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management (2011)
      Synopsis: This article demonstrates how Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) methods can benefit the overall performance and quality of a service and a product. Construction industry can benefit from innovation in many forms, including advances in product delivery, collaboration and product improvement; when dealing with technical innovation they could involve innovation in process as well. In short the innovation in idea or process improves communication and collaboration that can help achieve the desired results in a manner that is more time and energy efficient.
    • Information Framework for Intelligent Design Support System for Home Energy Retrofits
      by Syal, M., Duah, D., Stan Samuel, MS, SP., Mazor, M., Mo, Y., Cyr, T. ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management (2013)
      Synopsis: The paper describes and categorizes various types of information needed for a retrofit decision, proposes a decision-making process model for HER, and developes a framework for organizing and integrating the quantitative information with the expert knowledge in an expert system-based IDSS.
    • Adaptive Reuse, a Case Study: North Pier Chicago
      North Pier Chicago, by Joseph P Maguire, MS, SP. , Columbia University Press (1989)
      Synopsis: This study explores the entire development process of the adaptive reuse of existing structures, focusing on the sustainability maxim that the greenest building is the one that is already built. The legal, economic, historic landmark, tax, architectural, engineering and marketing aspects of adaptive reuse of an historic structure are defined and then applied to the adaptive reuse of the historic North Pier Chicago structure.
      TAGS: Chicago, North Pier, Adaptive, Historic, Green, Reuse
    • The First True Case of ‘LEED-igation’: The Far-Reaching Impact of Gifford V. United States Green Building Council
      by Colin W. Maguire, JD, SP. , University of Baltimore Journal of Land & Development (2012)
      Synopsis: The Green Building industry continues to grow rapidly, but with what legal consequences. Is LEED misrepresenting information to gain an unfair advantage? An energy efficiency specialist in New York named Henry Gifford thought so and sued in federal court.  The case was dismissed because Mr. Gifford was not a direct competitor of LEED.  However, the case offers numerous lessons and warnings for all participants in the growing Green Building market.
    • The Imposing Specter of Municipal Liability for Exclusive Promotion of Private Green Building Certification Systems
      by Colin W. Maguire, JD, SP. , University of Baltimore Journal of Land & Development (2012)
      Synopsis: Early on in the Green Building movement, a wave of municipalities passed ordinances which exclusively promoted a private green building certification – mostly LEED. But as the Green Building market expands, these ordinances are clearly illegal.  Not only do these exclusive ordinances not make practical sense, but they open municipalities up to unnecessary liability.
    • A Design Process Evaluation Method for Sustainable Buildings
      by Magent, C., Korkmaz, S., Klotz, L., Riley, D.Architectural Engineering and Design Management 5 (2009)
      Synopsis: This paper explores different attributes of construction project delivery and their impact on the level of design integration. It focuses on the choice of project delivery method as one of the prime factors affecting the desired outcomes. Since sustainable and energy efficient buildings produce different challenges such as initial cost to owners, the author suggests different ways of how phases of the project life can be planned by incorporating different tools to optimize human productivity and maximize other resources that have direct or indirect impact on the outcome and efficiency of the project.
    • Stewardship of the Land: An American Pillar
      by Colin W. Maguire, JD, SP. ,Oxford University: Mansfield College,’s 11th Global Conference: Environmental Justice & Global Citizenship (eBook Publication in Fall 2013)
      Synopsis: There is a strong, effective narrative of sustainability in American Conservative political philosophy.  To find it, one has to go back to early, influential works by political philosophers Thomas Hobbes John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau – the authors the Founding Fathers would have read.
    • The Great Lakes State & Algae Biofuels
      by Colin W. Maguire, JD, SP. , 3rd International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts. Toronto, Ontario (2013)
      Synopsis: This poster presentation proposed a sustainable way for Michigan to assert itself as a leader in renewable energy.  Algae Biofuel presents a great deal of potential as a renewable resource, provided a sustainable source of water and other components, but only if Michigan’s water withdrawal regulatory scheme allows it.  This poster examines the processes for Algae Biofuel production and shows how heterotrophic production potentially works within Michigan’s regulatory scheme.
    • Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage
      by Nikos Avlonas (Member of SERF Advisory Board) and George P. Nassos, Copyright (C) 2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey
      The first part of the book is on the various strategies a firm can implement to gain a competitive advantage without a negative impact on the environment and society.  The second part of the book  covers measuring, reporting, and communicating sustainability activities.  The authors intend to provide firms with the opportunity to integrate the appropriate strategy in order to become truly sustainable and then have a roadmap on how to market that achievement to its stakeholders. Additionally the authors hope to provide University Professors with a  practical book for teaching and integrating practical Sustainability into Business Curriculum and Classes.
    • Sackett v. EPA Six Months Out: A Wide-Ranging Effect with an Uncertain Significance
      by Colin W. Maguire
      This article examines the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Sackett v. EPA, and how it has a displayed a broader effect on agency law than we might have suspected. On the environmental side, there is potential for significance, especially in the Sixth Circuit. Yet, the EPA is generally operating under the same rules. Does this case force us to reconsider Rapanos and federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act as Justice Alito suggests? Perhaps, but we are not yet sure where the ramifications of this decision will end.  While the case may not functionally change the procedures developers may go through, this opinion certainly adjusts its tone towards federal oversight.