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Developers Hate Regulation; Architects Hate Style

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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YOU'RE UGLY, TOO Avalon Chrystie The General Services Administration—a standalone unit of the executive branch of the U.S. government!—has come out against new building codes proposed after 9/11. The code is not very crazy—it mandates things like a third stairwell for buildings taller than 40 stories. Also, some outfit called the Building Owners and Managers Association, which has a strong lobbying arm led by the former PR man for USA Today, is complaining that the new regs make developers put glow in the dark markings on stairwells. Yes, that is so burdensome. The lobbyists point out "an average of one civilian a year died in office building fires nationwide from 2000 to 2004." Except for that 9/11 thing. The regulations, by the way, were proposed by an agency of the Department of Commerce, which is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. government.

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