Hines partnered with a major institutional client to update their suburban office building in New York. The installation of a 250 kW fuel cell system, combined with a six-acre solar array completed the previous year, relieves up to 1 MW of demand from the local grid. The building has become a highly sustainable work environment with risk reductions and lower operating costs.

What We Said:
Hines will initiate a LEED Volume Certification (VC) program to scale the number of our LEED-certified projects. We will expand the “Paper-Lite” program to minimize paper use through digital document management.
What We Did:
Launched the LEED VC Program where 33 properties to date have participated, 19 of which have completed and received certifications. In 2014, Hines securely shredded and recycled 33,665 pounds of paper with Iron Mountain.
What’s Next?
Hines will continue to increase participation by non-U.S. properties in tracking energy, water and waste data. Additionally, the firm will begin exploring advanced energy metering platforms. We will add 10 more properties to the LEED VC Program in 2015 and launch a cloud-based platform to track and manage leasing.

Property Management and Engineering

We identify and implement ways to minimize energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste. We encourage vendors, suppliers and tenants to engage in sustainable practices.
  • 75 Hawthorne Renovation
  • Managing at the Property Level
  • COES Standards
  • Energy Tracking
  • Hines and ENERGY STAR
  • Water Tracking and Initiatives
  • Solid Waste Tracking
  • Paper-Lite Program
  • Engineering Audits
  • Hines Best Practices
  • Case Study: Synchronous Belts for AHUs
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
  • Hines GREEN OFFICE Program
  • Contractor and Vendor Policies
  • Sustainability Tips
  • Tenant Manuals
  • Tenant Surveys
  • Hines’ Headquarters LEED Certification
  • myStory — Clayton Ulrich
square feet
number of
number of

Service. Performance. Hines’ objective is to create environments that so enhance occupants’ experience that it would be difficult for our tenants to imagine conducting their business in a property that is not operated by Hines. Property management teams provide superior service through personal interaction and maintenance of high-quality amenities. We collaborate with tenants through one-on-one meetings, surveys and other tenant engagement programs to create work spaces that complement our tenants’ business objectives. Hines engineering teams maintain their focus on maximizing building performance, reducing the cost of operations and improving the comfort of occupants. The Hines portfolio is sustainably operated through improving energy, water and waste performance and enhancing the environment.

“We strive every day to deliver best-in-class service to our owners, our tenants and our employees by providing the support and the tools needed to be successful. As long as we continue to be successful at providing quality service, we will remain a leading provider.”

Adam RoseDirector, Property Management

Managing at the Property Level

A multitude of factors contribute to building performance: local climate, regulatory context, building history and tenant requirements. Accordingly, Hines property managers and engineers are charged with the greatest responsibility at the property level. Property managers are responsible for the daily operation of the property including tenant relations, lease administration, on-site accounting, security, cleaning and other contract services. Engineers are responsible for management and maintenance of all building systems and infrastructure.

Properties are supported by the Hines Central Operations and Engineering Services department and the Operations Management Committee.

Central Operations and Engineering Services (COES)
COES supports Hines’ onsite management teams by providing standards guidelines and periodic assessments of property administration; risk administration; personnel management; contract services; mechanical physical facilities, preventive maintenance; energy management; equipment efficiency; water treatment; and personnel development.

Operations and Engineering assessments are performed every two-to-five years based on a property-specific risk matrix. An assessment report is provided by the review team following the assessment, which includes an executive summary, a listing of all areas reviewed, any findings and suggested remedies. Each item reviewed either “Meets,” “Meets with Few Exceptions” or “Does Not Meet” the Hines standards for either operations or engineering. Specific action plans are developed for areas that do not meet expectations.

Operations Management Committee (OMC)
The OMC serves as an interface between property-level management and executive leadership, providing problem solving and guidance on issues, standards and best practices that can benefit multiple properties or regions.

Energy Tracking

Hines engineers track energy consumption at Hines-managed properties. Energy management and conservation practices occur daily, as engineers balance equipment to demand loads based on weather, time of day and tenant activity. Utility meter tracking and reporting serves as a benchmarking tool for month-to-month, year-to-year and property-to-property comparisons. Hines does not set blanket reduction mandates; optimum efficiency is continually achieved by rigorous assessment and identification of strategic infrastructure improvements.

Energy Control and Optimization System (ECOS)
The energy consumption of Hines-managed buildings has been tracked since 1957. Today, using a proprietary Web-based application called ECOS, engineers input property information, certifications, monthly utilities cost and consumption totals, degree days and average occupancy. Automated analytics tools permit evaluation of data integrity and trends by property, region or company-wide.

2014 Building Energy Intensity by Region4
Energy intensity for properties that represent predominately office space with total building energy data


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program includes an energy performance rating system for commercial buildings. In 1999, Hines became the first international and privately held real estate company in the world to commit to ENERGY STAR. Since then, Hines has labeled over 295 buildings representing more than 121 million square feet. Hines’ specific ENERGY STAR strategy and initiatives are led by the ENERGY STAR Management Group (ESMG). This team, formed in 2001, consists of engineering leaders from Hines’ central headquarters and every U.S. Hines business region, who have developed special networks with their engineering colleagues to support firm-wide energy conservation goals.

Comparison of Hines ENERGY STAR-labeled buildings to the national median3:

more energy efficient
total portfolio
savings per year
energy cost savings
per sf per year
metric tons annual
reduction in CO2e
Water Tracking and Initiatives

Water consumption and costs, derived from utility bills, are tracked in ECOS (Hines’ proprietary environmental tracking tool) by building engineers. As Hines has leveraged green building standards, water consumption from occupant use has decreased. Hines continues to evaluate the lifecycle water savings and costs of restroom retrofits in existing buildings.

U.S. Building Water Intensity 2003 – 20145
Historical water intensity for properties that represent predominately office space with total building water data

Solid Waste Tracking

In 2013, Hines added tracking of waste and recycling to ECOS. Unique solutions were integrated to accommodate regional differences in waste management, such as incineration for fuel use in Europe. Hines Central Resources provided web-based training and tools to all properties.

2014 Solid Waste and Recycling by Region6
Recycling and waste for properties that represent predominately office space that could provide data in metric tons

Engineering Audits

As a routine part of the annual planning process, Hines-managed properties are required to outline steps to achieve energy performance improvements. Corporate engineering employees perform engineering assessments, evaluating energy-use profiles, operating practices and energy reduction programs. Results are captured in a report that is presented to the property team, the regional operations executive and the asset manager. Each audit report also specifies responsible parties and target dates for completing improvements.

Hines Best Practices

Hines administers a Best Practices Program to promote innovation by operations, engineering, design and construction professionals. A best practice is defined as a documented tactic, strategy, process, new technique or technology that produces superior performance and is readily adaptable to other Hines offices or properties.

Ideas are submitted to a committee, evaluated and are approved if they meet standards for efficiency, value, applicability, creativity and quality. Awardees are acknowledged with various forms of recognition.

The global program currently represents more than 280 best practices submitted by over 70 teams and 210 individuals. Five best practices have been approved in 2014, two in the Engineering department and three in the Operations group.

Case Study: Synchronous Belts for AHUs

Atlanta Financial Center, completed in the late 1980s, is composed of 910,269 square feet in three interconnected towers: two 13-story towers and a 19-story centerpiece.

The aging buildings have experienced excessive wear and tear, leading to an increase in man hours spent in tensioning, repairing and replacing the hardware and components of the air handling units (AHUs). Over time, slippage occurs with V-belts because the belt stretches and the sheave starts to wear, eventually creating rubber dust particles inside the AHU.

Installing synchronous belts and hardware enables the variable frequency drive to lower its output frequency, which then lowers the overall energy consumed, in addition to decreasing dust particles. Synchronous belts carry an efficiency of 98 percent and maintain that efficiency over a wide load range. They also require little to no maintenance and re-tensioning, and can operate in wet and oily environments.

Also, synchronous belts are more cost effective. With an average savings of $65 per AHU, the return on investment is just over one year.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Hines recognizes that as property owners and managers in over one hundred cities worldwide, it can contribute to the carbon reduction goals of municipalities and tenants.

Directly, Hines focuses on energy-efficient operation of its buildings. By rigorously tracking energy consumption and refrigerants, Hines can account for GHG emissions. At present, Hines does not find that conversion of energy consumption into carbon equivalents adds meaning to help the company manage buildings more effectively. Most Hines properties do not currently utilize electricity from renewable sources, except where provided in the standard grid power mix from local utilities.

Indirectly, adherence to the LEED, ENERGY STAR and other international sustainability certificates inherently reduces the carbon impact of new developments and building lifecycles. Additionally, the HinesGO® (GREEN OFFICE) for Tenants program provides practical GHG reduction-yielding tools for tenants.

Unavoidable leakage of refrigerant GHG emissions from cooling systems is tracked and reported monthly by building engineers at all U.S. properties. By testing and maintaining systems in peak condition, engineers work to avoid these emissions to the greatest extent possible in existing buildings.

Hines GREEN OFFICE Program

In 2008, Hines initiated HinesGO (Hines GREEN OFFICE) to measure and reward sustainable practices within Hines offices worldwide, and a year later Hines launched the program for voluntary participation by tenants. Leaf Credits are earned by implementing specific strategies or improvements in six categories: energy efficiency; people and atmosphere; reduce, reuse, recycle; LEED; travel and commuting; and remodeling and construction.

Six Years of HinesGO

active tenants have achieved
of total occupied space firm-wide in the program
million leased
square feet of GREEN
OFFICE tenants
Hines offices certified in the program

HinesGO Scorecard
Leaf Credits are earned by implementing specific strategies or improvements in six categories.
A minimum of 70 Leaf Credits qualifies an office for the Green Office designation.

Contractor and Vendor Policies

Security and cleaning services are provided by third-party contractors in Hines-operated properties. Hines expects all of its service contractors to comply with applicable laws relating to payment of wages and benefits, worker health and safety, interacting with labor organizations and other workplace laws. U.S. security, cleaning and other contracts include clauses for insurance, liability, non-discrimination, confidentiality and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). Respecting labor union relations, Hines is committed to a position of neutrality, guided by the interests of its partners, investors, clients and tenants.

Tenant Manuals

Hines communicates property-specific procedures in tenant manuals, distributed in print and, increasingly, in digital formats. In addition to basic property management resources, security and emergency response instructions are included for medical, fire, earthquake, terrorism and other emergencies where applicable. Tenants are also oriented to heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and other automated systems, to ensure a balance of comfort and efficiency.

Tenant Surveys

Hines commissions a third party to conduct tenant surveys to gauge tenant satisfaction. Surveys are conducted every two years.

Clayton Ulrich
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Operations
and Engineering Services

“The Hines standard represents the global real estate benchmark for service and quality to our clients.”

From third-grade licensed operating engineer to senior vice president of Corporate Operations and Engineering Services, with a lot in between, is a good way to describe a 40-year career spent mentoring young professionals at Hines. This is all fueled by a passion to keep Hines as an industry leader in energy efficiency, property operations and sustainability.

Clayton always understood, and has led two generations of Hines employees to understand, that Hines’ reputation is built in large part on performance for our investors and the day-to-day experience of our tenants. Property operations is a core competency of Hines and one that requires continuous nurturing and improvement.

“We have always been about providing the highest level of service in a way that minimizes the use of resources like water, energy and refrigerant. Leading the focus on efficiency just made good business sense, and really formed the basis of our sustainability program.” These core elements of operations and engineering, many created by Clayton and his team, built a foundation for the more formalized programs that came later. “Hines already had the foundation from which to embrace programs like ENERGY STAR and LEED when they came along. We had a head start because it was part of our business approach.”

Among the many responsibilities of Clayton and his department is assessing the operations and engineering at Hines-operated buildings. “It’s not just about the report card, but more about how we can guide our people to success. Our audits are targeted for 40 percent auditing, and 60 percent teaching and mentoring.”