Earlier today the Mayor signed into law the nations most ‘stringent’ green building codes, for both residential and commercial construction. This being a continuing effort by the mayor to put San Francisco in the spotlight when it comes to progressive politics. All politics is local as they say, and energy policy is probably the most pressing issue the world is facing today.
From the Chron earlier today:
The new codes are to be phased in by 2012. Projects will be evaluated on a point system with credit given for materials used in the building, the location of the building site and water and energy efficiencies…..
Despite those predictions, the city’s Office of Economic Analysis estimated that the new codes would cost the city between $30 million and $700 million a year in economic output, as it could lead to higher rents and businesses choosing to locate elsewhere.
Newsom called that report inaccurate and predicted the new regulations would actually attract businesses to the city. That opinion was echoed by Phil Williams, an executive at San Mateo-based Webcor Builders, who sat on the city task force on green building that developed the new regulations.
The LEED certifications for green building will apply to larger projects, both residential and commercial and the Greenpoint system will apply to smaller projects.
The opposition are crying that the added expense will further drive up the cost of owning a home or a business in SF, and I cry bullshit on that. For far too long people have not paid the true cost of housing, energy and other resources. And this is where government certainly has a role, protecting the commons.
There will be cost savings aplenty as people fall in line with the added up front expense of building to codes that make sense in today’s world.
Photograph CC by Chance Gardener.