“How can we adapt
our buildings for a
clean-energy future?”

In 2013, Hyundai Motor Tower, Beijing, completed work, led by Group Engineering Manager Shuyu Huang, to convert its central plant from diesel to natural gas. The 24-story tower, acquired in 2001 on behalf of Hines’ Emerging Markets fund, is one of Beijing’s most recognizable landmarks.

What We Said:
Hines will expand the upcoming tenant survey to include more questions related to sustainability to help Hines benchmark against the industry. We will hold a conference for Hines property managers to share best practices for on-site property management around the world.
What We Did:
Included questions related to sustainability in the 2013 tenant survey (see below). Convened 225 Hines property managers from 10 countries in Miami.
What’s Next?
Hines will initiate a LEED volume 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.

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.
  • Diesel to Natural Gas Conversion
  • Managing at the Property Level
  • COES Standards
  • Energy Tracking
  • Energy Intensity and Performance
  • Hines and ENERGY STAR
  • Building Performance
  • Water Tracking and Initiatives
  • Solid Waste Tracking
  • DOE Partnership Study
  • Engineering Audits
  • Hines180 Highlight
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
  • Hines GREEN OFFICE Program
  • Contractor and Vendor Policies
  • Sustainability Tips
  • Tenant Manuals
  • Tenant Surveys
  • Trend: Trends in Property Management
square feet
number of
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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 the energy, water and waste performance and enhancing the environment.

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.

2013 Building Energy Intensity by Region6
Energy intensity for properties that represent predominately office space with total building energy data

U.S. Building Energy Intensity 2003 – 20137
Historical energy intensity for properties that represent predominately office space with total building energy data

Does Energy Intensity Tell the Whole Story About Performance?

Every building is different. Buildings evolve as tenancy, equipment and density change. Weather varies from year to year. Annual per-square-foot energy intensity provides a quick first measure of the energy performance of a building or portfolio. If the energy intensity of a building goes up, does it mean the building is less efficient? Maybe.

If a tenant office suite was all private offices and held 20 people, and is now an open floor plan and holds 40 people, it is likely to use more energy—but could be more efficient. If a building was 85% leased and is now 100% leased, is it using more electricity? Very likely yes, but it is not necessarily less efficient.

Considerable judgment must be exercised when interpreting these results, as significant drivers of energy consumption are not accounted for in this basic evaluation.

For example, Hines’ West Region energy intensity increased from 2012 to 2013, yet the best sustainability practices were still in place. In fact, the West Region is where Hines’ first net-zero building is located. So what happened?

This increase is best explained by an unusually cool winter, the addition of a large, high-tech space to the operating portfolio and increased worker density throughout many of the buildings. We think that understanding and normalizing for these factors is best evaluated right at the building.

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 lifecycle water savings and costs of restroom retrofits in existing buildings.

LPL Financial at La Jolla Commons uses recycled wastewater to provide more than 85% of the building’s water needs, including water closets, irrigation and cooling towers.

U.S. Building Water Intensity 2003 – 20137
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.

La Jolla Commons Tower I began single-stream recycling in 2012. Combined with a tenant awareness program, the recycling rate increased from 44% in 2012 to 94% in 2013.

2013 Solid Waste and Recycling by Region8
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.

Hines180 Highlight

Hines managed the renovation of the 45-year-old, 1 million-square-foot Kinder Morgan Tower in Houston and completed the project on schedule and under budget with major risk reduction, lower operating costs, improved occupant comfort and enhanced asset value. The property, transformed from an aging facility into a modern and collaborative work environment, received LEED-CI Gold certification.

Projected savings:
Natural Gas
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.


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. The 2013 survey, administered as a web survey by email invitation, had 1,763 respondents, a 90% response rate. When asked “how would you rate your satisfaction with Hines’ commitment to sustainability?” 84% of those who responded rated their satisfaction as “good” or “excellent”; 61% felt “green” building operation was important or very important to their company.

Tenant interest in green
initiatives in their buildings:

* new in 2013 survey

Trends in Property Managements

Today’s property manager must have an expanded definition of sustainability in response to informed tenants and investors. Almost every decision factors in sustainability in some form, including ways to accommodate efficient modes of transportation, how much daylight an occupant can capture, and what kind of renewable energy to purchase or generate to energize a building. It’s no longer just reducing waste: it is creating opportunities to do the better things for our communities.

Thomas KruggelSenior Vice President,
Operations, West Region and Asia Pacific