The Biden administration issued a fact sheet last week for an “initiative to modernize building codes, improve climate resilience, and reduce energy costs.” For commercial real estate, which faces continued rising construction materials, labor, and land expenses, a big question is how much this might add to project costs, especially as a recurring theme in the document is about raising labor rates, something that many developers and contractors might argue has already happened through labor shortages and market forces.

That buildings have to become more energy efficient is clear. “ESG has gone from being interesting, to nice to have, to need to have to now, in my mind, absolutely table stakes,” CBRE Investment Management CEO Chuck Leitner said in 2021.

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