The city’s design review board did things like postpone the approval of a 400-unit, transit-oriented development with 168 subsidized homes because they didn’t like the color, the presence of a ground-floor day care, the shape of the façade, and the ground-floor residential units. A “passive house” project—six stories, 45 units, ultralow energy use—was required to attend a third meeting after the board asked for more bricks, though it eventually approved the building without bricks, 19 months after the builders first applied.

From this great piece in Slate on the ways that we build in huge construction costs not because of the cost of better designed buildings, but instead, because of the cost of appeasing design review boards that you have the right aesthetics.