Eyes on Innovation

Hines has always been innovative–it is a fundamental part of our culture. Innovation has been a differentiator for us in the industry and, along with other factors, has led to great successes for our company.

That innovative culture started with our founder, the real estate visionary Gerald D. Hines. As a mechanical engineer, he invented entirely new HVAC systems and their components. He perfected office floor plate design. He found a way to deliver architecturally meaningful and operationally superior buildings at market cost.

Over the years, our innovation charged on. We continued to reinvent HVAC systems (at times utilizing geothermal systems or nearby rivers to help). We made under-floor air systems commercially viable. We designed a net-zero energy building. We led the industry into LEED® adoption. We brought timber back to mid-rise office development. This merely scratches the surface – we have innovated all over the world in a multitude of ways.

But as Mr. Hines has said, our industry has changed more in the last five years than it did in the entire 25 years preceding that. New technological tools, whether hardware or software, are pouring in at massive volumes. The way people want to live and work is changing rapidly. New entrants that didn’t exist 10 years ago, are worth billions and carry substantial influence.

In response, we now have dedicated resources focused exclusively on innovation. We invest in, or advise, multiple real estate technology on venture capital funds, giving us organized access into early trends and tools in technology. We are partners with the Mayo Clinic in studies to medically and scientifically understand how interior spaces affect human health and well-being. We are diving deep into a new level of service we can provide our tenants.

We are a firm of 4,000 innovators and these innovation resources exist solely to help each one of us explore and lead in our roles and projects around the world.

As we look to the future, there is so much more leadership in the real estate industry able to deliver results, as well as the usual endless challenges, plus ever more technology and tools that may allow our competitors to catch up with or surpass us. Let’s help each other push and explore.

-Charlie Kuntz
Innovation Officer