• The Real Estate Innovation Lab researches the frontier in real estate product, processes, and data technologies to impact cities and the built environment

  • The research team integrates financial, architectural, economic, and urban data sets to identify impact and outcomes.

  • The research team is multi-disciplinary: trained in statistics, architecture, planning, economics, and urban design

  • The team creates the built environment through design, computation, finance, and planning. The team works at the frontier of big data and innovation for buildings to make them live, work, and play for cities


The Real Estate Innovation Lab (REIL) is a research lab for innovation in the built environment that links design, innovation and economic impact back to its stakeholders. It grew out of the work of MIT’s Center for Real Estate, and remains within the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

As the first lab of its kind, its primary objective is to create an intellectual community of multi-disciplinary researchers for developing academic work on innovation that impacts the development of the built environment.

The REIL was established in late 2015 by Research Scientist Dr. Andrea Chegut, who serves as its Director, and Professors Dennis Frenchman and David Geltner and developer and technologist Steve Weikal. Dr. Andrea Chegut was named director of the REI Lab in 2016 to work with the inter-disciplinary team of 12 researchers


The lab is a community for innovators in the built environment. The lab team is composed of pathbreakers uncovering the latest data design, computational techniques, and, methodologies to support our understanding of urban form and economics.

The team consists of architects, engineers, GIS specialists, urban economists, financial economists, urban designers, planners, and technologists. Such a diverse group brings unique insights into understanding the frontier of the built environment.

The lab’s primary goal is to support the community through research; identifying and measuring the impact of innovation in the built environment.


Bringing innovation into the world is filled with uncertainty. The REI Lab supports a community of innovators who aim to remove uncertainty by understanding the paths of discovery and deployment for data, products and processes that are improving cities.

We track how long it takes for new building uses to diffuse into a city’s economy, how the spatial forms of buildings affect their finances, or where global capital is accumulating in real estate. These types of research initiatives allow stakeholders in the built environment – developers, planners, designers and engineers – to have more confidence about the effects of innovation on cities