The Globe had an article this morning about a recent meeting of regulators of the State Building Code where there had been some heated discussion about the impact of sprinkler regulations on building costs. Apparently, to install sprinklers in a 3 family structure costs about $27k--which by my math works out to about $6 per s.f.--peanuts by any definition.
The major regulation that influences construction costs in Massachusetts is local zoning. Land costs are so incredible that any developer who undertakes major renovations or new construction is already sunk the cost of the property before a single nail is driven. Sprinkler requirements for major renovation work are a good idea and cannot be regarded as discouraging improvements to a property.
In my opinion.