San Francisco Environmentally Friendly Building Code’s Cost Questioned

San Francisco–San Francisco’s strict green building codes could reduce the city’s economic output by up to $700 million a year, according to a recent city report.The city’s new standards–which require new commercial and high-rise residential buildings to decrease their impact on the environment in ways such as using on-site renewable power generation and sustainable building materials–would be the strictest of any U.S. city if accepted, the San Francisco Chronicle said.San Francisco’s Office of Economic Analysis released a report recently that said the new codes would cut greenhouse gases by a significant amount; but the report also found that the higher construction costs would result in slower construction and higher housing prices and rent.The new codes could cost the city $30 million to $700 million a year through 2027, according to the Chronicle.The report also offered a possible measure to charge local businesses an energy use tax if they produce greenhouse gas emissions, which the Office of Economic Analysis said could lessen the economic impact on the city.The city would lower payroll tax for businesses participating in the program to help offset the cost of the energy tax.