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Gavin Swears Greening Won't Send City into Red

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Being Greener than Thou is a bit of a specialty in San Francisco. Our mayor, for one, wont rest until this is the greenest city in the country; to that end, strict environmentally-friendly revisions to the San Francisco building code have been proposed and, pending approval from the Board of Supervisors, will most likely go into effect later this year. So the future San Francisco will be home to many, many buildings that meet LEED standards and a construction industry that relies heavily on recycled materials and alternative power sources, but at what cost to the city? Some so-called experts say $700 million over the next 19 years. Can you say "domino effect?"

The new rules that will reduce our carbon emissions will also increase construction costs, resulting in higher home prices and commercial rental prices, which in turn may discourage new businesses from relocating to or expanding in San Francisco. Estimating the financial impact of green building codes is anything but an exact science; since sustainable design and "green" building is a relatively new industry, it's difficult to say what exactly the costs will be. That $700 million was the high-end of the estimate. The low end? $30 million. For his part, Gavin remains (as always) stubbornly positive: "I don't accept the premise that there will be a hit to the [city's] economy." And if Gavin doesn't accept it, well then ...
· S.F.'s green building code plan called costly [SF Gate]